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Professional baseball pipeline extends from Clay County through Indiana State

Posted Thursday, May 20, 2010, at 3:25 PM

The 2010 baseball season continues to improve for former Northview High School standout, Brady Shoemaker.

After a slow start to the season and a brief stint back at extended spring training, Shoemaker has raised his batting average with the Class A Kannapolis Intimadators to .305 this season. The 6'0, 200 lb., 23-year old has gone on a tear since his return to the team and now has three home runs and five doubles in 82 at-bats with 11 RBI.

Shoemaker also celebrated his birthday on May 10 with a 2-for-4 night at the plate with two RBI and a stolen base. In his last 10 games Shoemaker has hit .382 with 13 hits in 34 at-bats and 10 RBI.

Overall this year, Shoemaker has raised his batting average to .293 in 27 games with nine extra base hits and a .371 on-base percentage.

Last year following his senior season with Indiana State, Shoemaker played in 65 games between Bristol in the Rookie Appalachian League and Charlotte in the Class AAA International League. He hit a combined .321 with 10 home runs and 22 doubles in 234 at-bats while driving in 36 runners.

Shoemaker began his college career with a two-year stint at Olney Central in Illinois before joining Indiana State.

While with the Sycamores, Shoemaker set the single-game school record with a 10 RBI game against Illinois State on May 17, 2008. He also broke the mark for total bases in a single-game with 12 against the Cardinals and tied the mark for home runs with three.

The connection between Brazil baseball players, Indiana State and the professional ranks has a number of athletes in the history book.

Chad McDonald had a standout career with the Indiana State Sycamores before being drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1990. McDonald joined ISU after a senior year in Brazil where he hit .368 and earned All-State and All-Area recognition. From there, McDonald went to Wabash Valley Junior College for one year and tore up the league with a .472 average his freshman year.

With the Sycamores, McDonald was named a Pre-Season All American before his senior season when he was coming off a stellar junior year when ISU went 48-21.

The right fielder and third baseman hit .392 with 28 doubles, 10 triples and 82 RBI for the Sycamores his junior year.

In his senior season, McDonald hit .349 with 14 doubles, four home runs and 53 RBI in 62 games.

McDonald started his professional career in the high-A California League in 1990 where he finished the season with a .353 batting average over 34 games and 119 at-bats. He added seven doubles and a pair of home runs to cap off the season following his senior year with the Sycamores.

McDonald remains the all-time leader in career RBI for Sycamores with 208 and doubles with 58 and is fourth in career total bases with 506. In single season marks, McDonald leads in RBI with 82 and doubles with 28 and is tied for the lead with 10 triples during the 1989 season.

His second professional season saw McDonald start the year at West Palm Peach and the high-A level affiliate with Montreal. McDonald hit .253 in his second season over 112 games and 384 at-bats. He had 16 doubles, three triples and seven round trippers.

McDonald's third season was split between West Palm Beach and AA Harrisburg. With the Senators in 2002, McDonald hit .197 over 64 games where he added 18 RBI and scored 18 runs in 210 plate appearances.

David Ullery attended Indiana State University before being selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 29th round, 871st overall, of the 1997 amateur entry draft.

Ullery played eight seasons in the minor leagues, reaching AAA in they Royals organization in 2001, 2003 and 2004 with the Omaha Royals. In his final season, Ullery played in 31 games between AA Wichita and AAA Omaha. With the AA Wranglers, Ullery hit .228 over 57 at-bats in 18 games where he had a pair of home runs and eight RBI. He then played in 13 games with the AAA Royals and hit .188.

His best season likely came in 2000 when he played in 62 games with Wichita and hit .287 with 42 RBI, nine doubles and five home runs. The next season he ended up with the Orioles organization at Bowie in the AA Eastern League where he hit .283 over 14 games. He also hit .286 in 12 games and 42 at-bats with Wichita.

John Howes was named Honorable Mention All-State in football and Second-Team All-State in baseball while at Brazil High School. Following his high school career, The 6'0, 175 lb. lefthander went to Indiana State where he excelled over his career and helped ISU to some of its most successful years.

Howes was 9-4 in 17 starts during his senior season at ISU for the 1986 team that went 48-21 overall. That year followed an outstanding junior year where he went 12-0 in 69 1/3 innings of work with a 3.26 ERA for the 57-22 Sycamores.

After his senior year, Howes was drafted into the Montreal Expos system where he started 12 games for Burlington in Class A ball. He went 4-5 to finish the 1986 season with a 3.42 ERA. He threw 84 1/3 innings and gave up 86 hits.

In his second professional season with the same Burlington squad in the Midwest League, Howes went 7-9 with a 2.75 ERA in 17 starts and 134 innings pitched.

His final minor league season in 1988 with the West Palm Beach team in the Florida State League in Class A saw Howes go 5-5 in eight starts and 38 games overall. He threw 75 1/3 innings and had a 2.99 ERA.

Jeff Buell had a four-year career at Indiana State following a high school career where he was a three-year starter and set the school record for batting average, home runs and RBI and also earned academic all-state honors.

In his senior season with the Sycamores, Buell hit .360 in 186 at-bats with six home runs and 41 RBI in 1988.

Buell played the 1989 season in the Chicago White Sox system where he played at the rookie level and saw action in 37 games and had 122 at-bats where he hit .254 with six doubles.

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