2015 Archives

Grays Allstars are all-worthy

By: Anna Dunlavey; @annadunlaveyy

 

Tonight is the night of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League’s All-Star game, and

the Grays had three players selected to represent the team. Quinn Carpenter (Texas Tech), Colton

Shaver (Brigham Young) and Kurt Sinnen (Old Dominion) will all be competing tonight at

Shirley Povich field in Bethesda as part of the Ripkin League South All-Star team.

Shaver is no stranger to accolades such as this. Already this summer, he participated in

the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby, which was broadcast live on ESPN on July 2nd.

Shaver, a rising sophomore at BYU from Riverton, Utah, finished the 2015 season as the

NCAA’s third-leading freshman home-run hitter. He led the BYU Cougers in home runs with a

total of 13, including five games in the season where he homered twice. Shaver will also be

competing in the Ripken League Home Run Derby this afternoon.

 

Shaver has been having a great summer with the Grays, reaching base in almost every

game he’s played this season. He and fellow All-Star Sinnen are tied for the team-lead in RBIs

with 14. Shaver hit his first Ripken League home run last week. He is also one of the Grays’

most versatile defensive players. Shaver has primarily played catcher, but has served as first

baseman, designated hitter, and even pitcher. When asked about being selected for the Ripken

League All Star team, Shaver said it “felt good.”

 

Carpenter, a rising senior from Chester, New York, is another one of the Grays’ most

versatile players. This season, he has been a starting pitcher, outfielder, and catcher. Carpenter

has started three games as a pitcher, and has a record of 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA. He has pitched

16.2 innings, giving up a total of seven runs and striking out 22 batters. He currently has the

second-best batting average on the team, even though he hasn’t had the opportunity for nearly as

many at bats as most players on the Grays. Carpenter joined the team late in the season, late

enough that he was unsure if he would qualify for the All-Star Team. However, he was happy he

did, saying, “I played my best and things worked out.”

Carpenter played two seasons at Iowa Western Community College, where he won a

national championship as a sophomore and conference and regional titles in his freshman year.

He transferred to Texas Tech as a junior, and has played one season with them. He played 27

games, making eight pitching appearances.

 

This has been a bit of a breakout summer for Sinnen, a rising junior at Old Dominion

from Norfolk, Virginia. Already, he has more at bats, runs, and hits for the Grays than he has for

his overall college career, and has become one of the Grays’ most reliable offensive forces. He is

the team leader in hits, two of which have been home runs. His. 308 batting average is the best

on the Grays and the ninth-best in the entire league. Sinnen has taken on the role of designated

hitter for most of the season, but when he is a position player, he is often at catcher or,

occasionally, first base. According to the All-Star roster, Sinnen will be playing first base in

tonight’s game.

 

It can be a bit daunting to go into the All-Star game and realize the weight of pressure

and expectations, but these three players aren’t too worried. Carpenter said that his goals were to

“hit well, and if I pitch, pitch well. There’s really nothing more you can ask for.” If these three

hit as well for the All-Star game as they’ve been hitting for the Grays, they should lead the South

to victory tonight.

A deserving selection for Shaver

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By: Anna Dunlavey; @annadunlaveyy

Colton Shaver is a pitcher’s worst nightmare. He’s a power hitter, and if he comes up to bat with runners on base, those runners will score. Although just starting his collegiate career, he’s already received numerous honors and accolades. Most recently, Shaver was selected, along with only three other collegiate ball players, to participate in the sixth annual TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby in Omaha, Nebraska.

“I was pretty excited,” Shaver said of the moment when he got the news. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I know I’m going to be able to compete against the best of the best, especially when it comes to power.”

Shaver, a rising sophomore at Brigham Young University (BYU) from Riverton, Utah, finished the 2015 season as the NCAA’s third-leading freshman home-run hitter. He led the BYU Cougers in home runs with a total of 13. There were five games in the season where he homered twice. Shaver was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, as well as to the West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team.

Before BYU, Shaver played on multiple travel teams such as the Utah Horns. He said these teams helped him in the transition to college ball because “they gave me the background of upper-level baseball.” Shaver said there was a bit of a learning curve when entering college, but his stats don’t show it. Shaver established a place for himself in the Cougars’ lineup as the starting designated hitter in 53 games, and had a 31-game on-base streak, the second-longest streak on the team. He ended the year with a .314 batting average and a .598 slugging percentage.

Shaver has been having a great summer with the Grays. He has one of the best batting averages on the team at .320, and is currently on a five-game hitting streak. He has reached base in almost every game he’s played this season. He is also one of the Grays’ most versatile defensive players–Shaver has primarily played catcher, but has also served as first baseman, designated hitter, and even pitcher.

Shaver hasn’t hit any home runs for the Grays as of yet, but part of that is because the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League is a wooden bat league. “The ball flies a little bit better with metal,” Shaver said. “If you don’t hit it right with the wood, it doesn’t go anywhere, and it kind of hurts.” However, he said that this summer’s metal- to-wood experience has been helpful.

No matter what happens at the Derby, Shaver’s thrilled to be going. “I’m excited for the opportunity to go out with these kids and play in front of the fans and be in the environment. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby will be broadcasted live on ESPN on Thursday, July 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 CDT.

 

 

Growing into Grays

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Being brought to you by our generous friends at

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By: Anna Dunlavey; @annadunlavey
Most players come to the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League to play summer baseball knowing no one. They may have a teammate that they know from college or from travel baseball, but for the most part, they’re playing with a group that they’ve never played with before.

Luckily, for four of this year’s DC Grays, this was not the case. Kane Hassan (St. Mary’s), Aaron Inman (Loyola New Orleans), Drew Reid (Harvard) and Harry Thomas (UNC Greensboro) played in various baseball programs together while growing up, and are all reunited this year on the Grays.

All four players began their baseball careers in Little League at the age of five or six, but they didn’t meet and play together until they were a little bit older. Thomas said that it was initially difficult to find teams in the DC area, but that “over time, baseball became more fluid in DC. Things came together, and I met more local guys,” he said.

Hassan and Thomas were the first to meet, through a team called Swing Away. Hassan and Inman played together on the Woodridge Warriors. Reid was last to join the group – moving to the DC area from Massachusetts at age 14. He met Inman at his first DC Dynasty practice that year. Reid and Inman also worked together at Home Run Baseball camps in the DC area. The two of them met Thomas through DC Dynasty, and through RBI travel teams — Reid and Thomas even roomed together for the national RBI tournament one year in Jupiter, Florida.

Their lives intersected through high school as well. Hassan and Thomas both went to St. John’s College High School in the District, and played together there. Hassan transferred to the Maret School in the District in his junior year, where he met Reid, a senior there at the time. They played together for one year. Even when they weren’t playing together, the teammates still kept connected. “We did kind of separate a bit in high school,” Inman said, but added “Social media makes it so much easier to keep track of everybody.”

Reid and Thomas both played their first season for the Grays last year. Hassan and Inman are new to the team this season, but Inman knew about the Grays even before they moved to the Nationals Youth Academy. “I always wanted to play in the Ripken League,” Inman said. “It’s kind of a dream come true.”

Through social media and early looks at the roster, Hassan, Inman, Reid and Thomas all figured out that they would be teammates once again this year. “It definitely feels like we’ve come full circle,” Reid said. “It’s crazy to think how much better we’ve gotten and how much we’ve grown as ballplayers to not only be playing together on this team, but to be playing college baseball at a high level.”

The four players are still just as close, even after a few years apart. They can often be seen hanging out in the dugout, or talking things over together after a game.

“It’s been really fun,” Hassan said. “It’s nice to meet new guys, but it’s also nice to play with guys that I met a long time ago.”

“It feels great,” Inman said of playing with his former teammates. “It’s a lot different, it’s more serious, but because we know each other and everyone has a better feel for each other, it feels natural.”

“It’s really good to have local guys back on the team,” Thomas said. “We all love this city very much, and it’s awesome to play here, especially with the guys you grew up with.”

Coach Terry set to take over for the Grays

The DC Grays are thrilled to welcome new manager, Reggie Terry, to the organization. The Grays are entering their fourth season in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, and their second with the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy as their home field. Terry is taking over for Arlan Freeman, who coached the Grays from their start in 2012 until last season.

Terry has been involved in the Ripken League for just about as long as the Grays themselves have. For the past three seasons, He was an assistant coach for the Bethesda Big Train. The Big Train were the top team in the league for two of those three seasons, and the only team in the league to win 30 or more games.

Around this time, Terry began talking with Grays’ General Manager Antonio Scott and became more familiar with the Grays organization. “We had several conversations while I was coaching with the Big Train,” Terry said. “We talked about baseball, we talked about baseball in the inner city, we just talked in general.” Scott and Terry kept in contact to recruit players, and Scott eventually asked Terry to manage the Grays. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Terry said, “and I hope to enjoy my tenure here with the Grays.

“Reggie is a product of black college baseball,” said Scott.  “He has seen first-hand the positive impact that baseball can have on African-American young men.  That is why we are so excited that he will be leading our team and supporting our mission to be ‘ambassadors for baseball’ in the inner-city.”

Like the players on his team, Terry had a strong college baseball career. He played in every game during his time at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA. He also received numerous honors, was named to All-Region and All-State first teams, and was selected as his university’s Player of the Year. By the time he graduated, Terry had broken 12 of 15 offensive hitting records.

Throughout his career, Terry has coached everything from Little League to travel teams with Colangelo Baseball. He has also coached football and basketball teams. During the year, Terry is an assistant football coach at C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, VA, and an assistant baseball coach at Woodbridge High School, also in Woodbridge. Since beginning his time as an assistant coach there, the Vikings have gone to a 107-54 overall record.

Terry’s goals for the Grays this season are “to be competitive, to compete to win, and to do the little things on and off the field.” Terry emphasized that what happens off the field greatly affects what happens on the field. “I want to deal with the small things off the field, make sure they’re managed properly, do them right. Hopefully that will, and usually does, materialize into more wins than losses, and more competitive games.” Terry would also like to expand the Grays’ fan base, bringing in “younger kids all the way to older adults.”

The Grays begin the 2015 season tonight, taking on the Herndon Braves at Herndon High School in Herndon, VA. The Grays’ home opener will be this Saturday at 7 PM, against the Baltimore Redbirds.


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