With the Major League Baseball race for October underway, the college season at its midpoint and Dirtbags around the Carolinas continuing to impress, here’s the latest Dirtbags Weekly Digest with the organization well-represented at each level.
Wilson dominant on Wednesday against Walkerton
A week after fellow East Carolina commit, and Dirtbags teammate, Cody Benton shined on the mound, East Surry left-hander AJ Wilson twirled his on gem. On Wednesday, against Walkerton, Wilson pitched five innings of no-hit baseball and struck out 12 batters. The dominant outing from the southpaw helped East Surry to a 4-1 victory, as the Cardinals sit 12-1 on the year. Benton and Wilson are two of ECU’s current six-member 2019 recruiting class, which is ranked 44th in the country by Perfect Game.
East Surry High School 2019 @AJ_Wilson11 (East Carolina Commit) would strikeout 12 in 5 innings of work! The southpaw’s fastball🔥 sat 85-87 T88 and showed a good slider at 76 mph.. #DirtbagUp pic.twitter.com/AmJneodpOH
— Trey Daly (@trey_daly) April 5, 2018
Jeffers name mid-season Perfect Game All-American
With the college baseball season reaching its midpoint, outlets have reviewed the top storylines, teams, and players from the first seven weeks of the season. As one of the country’s premier travel baseball organizations, its no surprise the Dirtbags are represented among the best of the best in college baseball.
Helping UNC-Wilmington to a 19-9 start, 4-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association, former Dirtbag, junior catcher Ryan Jeffers is on track to compile an All-America campaign. With 14 doubles and eight home runs, Jeffers, a product of Raleigh’s Sanderson High, was named to Perfect Game’s mid-season All-America second team.
The backstop is batting .353 on the season, slugging .725, with 21 walks against 19 strikeouts leading to a .469 on-base percentage. Jeffers’ 74 total bases leads the CAA while his 29 RBI ranking fourth in the conference, putting him in position to help UNCW bring home their third straight CAA Player of the Year honor.
Goodwin opens 2018 season with grand slam
Washington Nationals outfielder Brian Goodwin didn’t find himself in the team’s opening day starting lineup, although he did enter the 2-0 victory over Cincinnati as a pinch hitter and recorded an RBI. But on Saturday, when Goodwin was in the starting nine for the reigning National League East champions, the former Dirtbag seized on an opportunity to show his breakout 2017 campaign wasn’t a fluke.
In Cincinnati, Goodwin went 2-for-5 with two runs scored, and connected on a ninth-inning grand slam to power the Nationals to a 13-7 victory. Through Washington’s seven games, Goodwin, a first-round pick in the 2011 draft out of Miami-Dade College, has picked up five hits in 12 at-bats, for a .417 average, driving in seven runs. Last season, as a super-sub for the Nationals, playing at least 11 games in each of the three outfield positions, the Rocky Mount, N.C. native batted .251 with 21 doubles and 13 home runs.