LOCAL BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: Jacobus' Drew Kelley a true 'bat' man
The Jacobus roster features a real a 'bat' man.
Drew Kelley has proven over the last 5-10 years to be one of the best players in the Susquehanna League. But Kelley's expertise in that area isn't just limited to playing on the diamond.
With both the Central and Susquehanna leagues using wooden bats for the past decade, Kelley saw a chance to make a more profound impact on the sport that he loves. So he got together with Dylan Acker and the two created Dead Red Bats LLC last year.
"We made about 300 bats last year," Kelley said. "And this year we're probably double that."
Dead Red Bats mainly services teams in both leagues, as well as American Legion players. They currently give discounts to players in the Susquehanna League, with Kelley quoting prices as $90 for maple bats and $70 for ash.
One player who has taken advantage of the bats is Hallam's Jon Benchich.
"He was one of our first customers," Kelley said. "And I don't think he's broken a bat yet."
While a lot of the business is local, Kelley and Acker have supplied bats for former Major League players such as Miguel Tejada. Plans are also in the works to try to branch out to professional leagues, including teams such as the York Revolution.
"We send bats down to Texas and we just sent bats out to Manny Ramirez down in the Dominican Republic," Kelley said. "We made bats for a kid that was playing at Lancaster Bible College and his dad was the agent (for Ramirez and Tejada). So we sent them a couple bats."
Anyone interested in purchasing bats can contact Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at http://www.deadredbats.com.
Munoz headed to play in prestigious showcase in Florida: Dallastown High School rising junior Joe Munoz was recently was named to a team that will play in the Baseball Factory National World Series in Bradenton, Florida, later this month.
One of around 400 players at a tryout camp at Messiah College, Munoz was the only local player selected to participate in the event that will be played July 29-Aug. 7 at the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"They were from all around," Munoz said. "Not just Pennsylvania, but from a lot of the states in the U.S. I was the third overall pick and the only one who was from Pa., so that was pretty cool."
While he isn't entirely sure what to expect when he arrives, the website for the tournament says players will train 10-plus hours a day with professional scouts, former pro players and college coaches to take their games to the next level. Players will also participate in a tournament against top players from around the country.
Such an experience should only help Munoz, who is a speedy center fielder, develop his skills to hopefully play NCAA Division I ball a few years from now. The one area that the camp won't help him out, however, is just as important as the games.
"I need to focus on my grades," said Munoz, who has gotten recruiting materials from Ohio State, Fordham and others already. "I know I'm not a big guy and am not trying to be a big hitter or anything. As long as I can get my grades under control I'll probably have an opportunity."
'The Rock' keeps on rolling: Glen Rock appears to be in excellent shape to capture the Central League regular-season title. Manager Marty Heyne's club is riding a eight-game winning streak through Sunday that has them four games up in the loss column on Mount Wolf.
With just 13 games left on the schedule, Glen Rock (17-2) has only one game left against contenders Jefferson (13-8-1) and Mount Wolf (11-6-2). Even more favorable is that more than half of those games come against the bottom three teams in the standings (Dover, Pleasureville, Dillsburg).
While Glen Rock will be tough to catch, there is a tight race for second with three teams — Jefferson, Mount Wolf, and Manchester (12-9) — separated by just three points in the standings (two points for a win, one for a tie).
WLPct.Jacobus193.864East Prospect183.857Hallam178.680Conrads1211.522Stewartstown1013.435York Township1014.417Red Lion814.364Windsor617.261Felton219.095
Key games this week
Monday: Conrads at Hallam
Wednesday: Jacobus at East Prospect
WLTPGlen Rock172034 Jefferson138127Mount Wolf116224Manchester129024Stoverstown1210024 Shiloh99119Dover812016Pleasureville41419 Dillsburg21704
Key games this week
Monday: Shiloh at Glen Rock
Tuesday: Manchester at Glen Rock. Mount Wolf at Stoverstown
Thursday: Jefferson at Stoverstown.
Key game this week
Monday: Playoff championship. Pleasureville at Northeastern, 5:45 p.m.