|Swinging into action at all-stars|
|Written by Todd Marver, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:36|
ISU baseball players have opportunity to join in all-star games, similar to that of the major leagues
Unlike many other organizations that hold their all-star games about halfway through the season, collegiate summer baseball league all-star tilts occur during the tail end of the campaign.
Only eight games out of 50 total remain after the all-star break for ISU sophomore pitcher Jeremy Rhoades and senior third baseman Zac Johnson with their Oneonta Outlaws squad this summer based out of Oneonta, N.Y.
Rhoades believes the Outlaws have not played up to their potential and hopes they finish the season on a strong note.
"I definitely think we’ve underachieved a little bit," he said. "We have a really good team and a really good ability to be the No. 1 team in the league. On paper, we’re definitely the best team in the league, but we’ve just underachieved a little bit. We’re going to make a run at it here in the last 10 games and try to finish in the top four and make it to the playoffs."
Johnson currently holds a .301 batting average with two home runs, 23 RBI and 22 runs scored. Rhoades has picked up two saves in 14 relief appearances with a 2.49 ERA in 25.1 innings of work.
Johnson competed for Team Ebright, while Rhoades played for Team Griffin in Tuesday’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game in Amsterdam, N.Y.
"[The all-star game] is a pretty big opportunity as far as showcasing my skills to professional scouts and other coaches there," Johnson said. "If you do well in the all-star game, the scouts see that you are doing good against the best competition."
In addition to Johnson, two other Oneonta Outlaws players, David Sosebee from Georgia and Orlando Rivera of the State College of Florida were on the Team Ebright squad opposing Rhoades.
"It’s kind of funny to play against one of my own teammates from school, Zac Johnson," Rhoades said. "It’s kind of weird [playing against some of my Oneonta teammates] because I know their weaknesses and they know what I’m going to be throwing. Playing against other good players in the league gives me a chance to see where I’m at and how I can grow to get better."
Rhoades was glad to have the opportunity to see how he stacks up against other top talent in the all-star game.
"It’s a great opportunity to get better and face kids that are really good and other all-stars from around the country," he said. "It benefits me by helping me continue to become a better player and see where my skills are at compared to everyone else."
Johnson has been able to learn a great deal from his Oneonta teammates that come from all over the country.
"Different programs do things different ways," he said. "I can grab certain parts of how, say, someone from Vanderbilt does stuff and take it in a way that can benefit us as a program. I came up here because it’s good competition and I’m really trying to better myself this summer. It’s been a heck of a summer and hopefully it keeps getting better."
Not only does Johnson believe his summer baseball experience is beneficial to his college career, but also it is helpful for him in preparing for the possibility of playing the sport after college.
"It’s a good league with good competition and wood bats," he said. "It gets you really prepared for the professional level after where you play with wood."
ISU senior right fielder Eric Aguilera was awarded a spot on the South Division team at Tuesday’s Northwoods League All-Star Game in Madison, Wis., as a result of his successful season with the Lakeshore Chinooks from Mequon, Wis. Aguilera is hitting .366 with three home runs, 26 RBI and 30 runs scored.