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Recent Sycamores playing ball in the professional ranks

Posted Thursday, July 22, 2010, at 5:26 PM

Former Northview Knight and Indiana State Sycamore, Brady Shoemaker has made the turn and is in the second half of the season with the Kannapolis Intimidators in the Class A South Atlantic League.

Shoemaker is hitting .274 through 75 games this year and has driven in 38 runs while scoring 40 times. He's in his second season of professional baseball and has hit nine home runs and 15 doubles in 266 at-bats.

He finished the month of June on a hot streak with five hits in 16 at-bats with four RBI and a home run. His former Sycamore teammate, Nick Ciolli of Terre Haute, has hit .272 with 26 RBI, 12 doubles, six home runs and has scored 38 times.

Shoemaker isn't the only former Indiana State Sycamore that the White Sox organization has signed.

Jacob Petricka, who was one of the leaders of the ISU pitching staff during the spring, is now with the Rookie level Bristol White Sox in the Appalachian League. Through five starts this season with the team, Petricka has posted a 1-3 mark with a 3.91 ERA over 23 innings. He's allowed 10 earned runs, but has an outstanding strikeout to walk ratio of 28 to four. He has struck out six batters in four of his five pitching outings.

Petricka was drafted in the second round of the MLB Draft.

Shoemaker's teammate at ISU and this season at Kannapolis, is Nick Cioli, who is hitting a solid .293 over 81 games while posting 41 runs scored with 35 RBI, seven home runs and 15 doubles.

Ryan Strausborger had a standout season with the Sycamores this year and is now in the Texas Rangers' organization with the Spokane Indians where he has struggled some this season.

The outfielder has hit .202 over 28 games and 99 at-bats while adding four doubles and a triple with six RBI.


Around the minor leagues

Apparently Roger Clemens still has it.

Clemens, was the honorary pitcher for the Texas League All-Star Game Home Run Derby earlier this month at Citibank Ballpark in Midland, Texas, but there weren't too many long balls hit off the eventual Hall of Famer.

Only two of the eight participants in the contest were able to hit a single homer in the Derby. San Antonio's Matt Clark, who qualified for the finals after hitting only one home run in the opening round, launched three in the finals to win 3-2 over Frisco's Joey Butler.

Only 10 home runs were hit in the entire Derby, including none by Clemens' son Koby -- a first baseman for the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Clemens threw from 10 feet in front of the mound and said that his arm felt fine.

"Throwing from 50 feet, it was great," he said. "That was the first time I've been a part of a Home Run Derby, other than just watching them at the All-Star Games. I had to slow down for some of the guys. I could tell some of them needed a breather. I'm sure they were anxious."

Clemens', whose son didn't hit any home runs in the Derby, still relished the chance to pitch in the Derby.

"I think the guys had fun. I didn't throw too many cutters at them," he joked. "It was fun for me to be out here. It's a double bonus being a dad and seeing Koby work his way up."

Kody Clemens was nominated after pounding out 16 home runs in the first half of the season for the Hooks after driving in 53 runs and scoring 42 times. Last season, Clemens hit a combined .341 in two stops with 22 home runs and 123 RBI.

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