More all-star honors for Boilermakers past & present

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue baseball alumni Nick Wittgren and Cameron Perkins have been named all-stars again in Minor League Baseball. Meanwhile, current Boilermakers Jordan Lewis and Alec Olund have also been selected as all-stars for their summer ball team.

Wittgren (2011-12) was named a Triple-A All-Star for the New Orleans Zephyrs (Miami Marlins affiliate) and will suit up for the Pacific Coast League’s team in its game against the International League July 15 in Omaha. Perkins (2010-12) was tabbed as a Double-A All-Star for the Reading Fightin’ Phils (Philadelphia Phillies affiliate) and will be part of the Eastern Division’s team in the Eastern League’s All-Star Game, also set for July 15, in Portland, Maine.

Perkins (sixth round) and Wittgren (ninth) were both selected in the first 10 rounds of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft, a year in which a program-record seven Boilermakers were drafted. Two years ago, they were both all-stars in the High-A Florida State League, although Perkins did not see action due to injury.

Lewis and Olund are teammates with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen of the Midwest Collegiate League this summer. They will represent the South Division in the MCL’s All-Star Game, set for July 7 at Oil City Stadium in Whiting, Indiana. As of July 1, Northwest Indiana is tied for first in the MCL with a 13-6 record. Lewis has three home runs and 12 RBI in 13 games while Olund is batting .288 with 10 RBI and 11 runs scored in 14 games.

Wittgren has converted 10 of his 11 save opportunities in his first season at the Triple-A level. He has surrendered only 26 hits while striking out 34 in 33 innings for New Orleans. Perkins has been on the disabled list as of late, but before the injury he jumpstarted his season with a 17-game hitting streak. He has racked up 25 extra-base hits and 33 RBI in 61 games this season. He was named the Eastern League Player of the Week June 8 after an 11-for-30 week in which nine of his 11 hits went for extra bases.

Earlier this summer, alumnus Brad Schreiber (2010-13) was selected as an All-Star in the Florida State League. He ended up closing out a 6-0 win for the South Division team by retiring the only two batters he faced. The right-hander recorded his FSL-leading 18th save (in 19 opportunities) July 1 and helped the Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay Rays affiliate) run away with the first-half North Division title thanks to a 45-25 record.

Andy Loomis (2008) is another former Boilermaker leading his league in saves. Loomis is the closer for the Gary RailCats of the American Association and has racked up 10 saves in 16 relief appearances. More impressively, he has surrendered only one earned run and just 13 hits in 17 2/3 innings pitched through July 1.

June 29 in El Cajon, California, current Boilermakers Daniel Sander and Harry Shipley both played in a perfect game thrown by Palm Springs Power teammate Luke Barker, who struck out 11 of the 27 Team San Diego players he faced. Sander has been playing well out in California and has an excellent chance to be named an all-star in the SoCal Collegiate League. He’s batting .345 and has compiled a .500 on-base percentage thanks to 16 walks. The Power is 21-7 (8-2 in league play) as of July 1, good for second play in the SCCBL.

The weekend of June 26-28, Cody Strong and Justin Gubser’s Menlo Park Legends team visited Palm Springs for a three-game series. All four Boilers played in the June 27 game, a 10-9 win for the Power despite a solid effort at the plate from Strong (3-for-4, walk, 3 runs). He has reached base safely in all 14 games (hitting safely in 12 of the 14) since joining Menlo Park in time for a June 12 win. Overall, he’s batting .333 with four doubles, 10 walks and eight runs scored.

In the Northwoods League, Shane Bryant is scheduled to start for the Kalamazoo Growlers against Kyle Wood’s Lakeshore Chinooks team July 3 in Kalamazoo. Wood has not played since June 22 so it remains to be seen if he faces Bryant this weekend. The two-game series had to be rescheduled due to flooding at Kalamazoo’s field the final weekend of June. Bryant impressed with a one-hit complete game shutout (in a seven-inning game) in a June 14 win against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.

Michael Vilardo hit a grand slam on consecutive days for the Addison Braves during a four-game Wisconsin State League series with the Oshkosh Giants the weekend of June 27-28 in Chicagoland. His slam in the series-opening win was a walk-off blast. Vilardo is batting .315 with 11 extra-base hits and 13 RBI for the Braves.

Finally, alumni Josh Lindblom (2007-08) and Dan Black (2007-09) have each found continued success in their first seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization. As of July 2, Lindblom is 9-5 with a 3.50 ERA and 11 quality starts in his 16 appearances. He ranks second in the KBO with 108 innings pitched and the 11 quality starts. He’s also among the league leaders with 90 strikeouts. Black has been on a tear since making his KBO debut on June 4. He’s batting .352 with a 1.014 OPS, six home runs and 17 RBI in 23 games. Both former Boilers have made strong cases to be named all-stars. The KBO All-Star Game is set for July 18 and is being hosted by Black’s KT Wiz team.

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