Carter Huffman selected as first 2019 CLPB player of the week: June 22/23, by jordan Wolff
What exactly defines a player of the week? It’s someone who performs at an above average level the entire week, giving their team a chance to win each and every game.
For the first 2019 player of the week (retroactive to week of June 15), the CLPB has decided to select Loggerheads outfielder Carter Huffman. Huffman isn’t someone who plays at Vanderbilt or Michigan, but goes to Sewanee: University of the South (Division III school).
Huffman made an immediate impact as a freshman, as he played 34 games batting .275 with 22 RBI’s and 1 HR. Coming to a league with a bunch of Division I talent, Huffman certainly didn’t let that affect him.
“Competition down here (Florida) is a little bit better because of the D1 guys I’ve been seeing,” Huffman said. “The fastballs are a bit harder and it’s just good competition.”
Huffman put Sewanee on the map in his first week, as he leads the CLPB with a .600 batting average and has three RBI’s with one home-run.
Going from .275 to .600, what’s been the biggest difference? Huffman just believes it’s being more aggressive at the plate.
“For me it’s just attacking early,” Huffman said. “Pretty much the whole week I kept swinging at the first pitch and it has been working for me. So I guess I’ll just keep doing that.”.
Huffman followed up by explaining how his teammates daily preparation has helped him adjust to playing with Division I talent.
“They got a different mentality,” Huffman said. “They go to a Division I school, and they’re cool and I’m able to get along with them.”
Huffman continues to stand out this week, as in Friday’s matchup against the Snowbirds he went 3-4 and led the game with three hits.
As the Loggerheads, they are currently 1-4-1 and are in fifth place in the CLPB standings. As for what they need to do moving forward, Huffman suggests being able to finish games.
“We just have to get the win,” Huffman said. “We’ve tied two or three times now and we have to stick it out to get the win. We do have a lot of guys absent, so when they get back hopefully that helps.”
Sailfish Gweshaughn Richards selected as CLPB Player of the Week (Week of July 14): July 15, Jordan Wolff
The CLPB has announced that the Sailfish first-baseman Gweshaughn Richards as player of the week (Week of July 14). While on field production is apart of it, Richards has turned into a guy who has garnered much love and respect from his teammates.
Richards recently did an interview, which he discussed how hasn’t been hitting the way he wants and shared how he feels like he needs to fix it.
“I’ve haven’t been in a slump, but more along the lines of slacking with my hitting,” Richards said. “So I went out there with nothing to lose and realized that I need to trust my hands, see the ball and hit it.”
In other words, he wanted to simplify his approach at the plate. Whatever adjustments he’s made, it’s working as Richards finished the week with a .529 batting average in just four games played.
In 17 at-bats, Richards scored five runs, totaled nine hits, and had a league leading eight RBI”s. Richards accomplished something even bigger than that, as Richards became the first player to hit for the cycle in the CLPB 2019 season.
In a 13-9 victory against the Florida Vipers, Richards went 4-4 (hit a HR, 1B, 2B, 3B) with a walk. In a recent interview with the CLPB’s own Colby Guy, Richards discussed what he did in that game and how he feels about his team.
“I just have to stay loose and trust my hands,” Richards said. “(Sailfish) We got a pretty good team and we’ve had trouble with consistent matchups and staying with the hits. Now, we feel pretty good.”
Richards week has ascended him to the top of his team leaderboard, as he nows lead the Sailfish in average (.367), RBI’s (10) and hits (11). His Sailfish are currently 7-8 (fourth in the CLPB) and take on the (9-6) Palm Beach Navigators on Monday at 7 p.m. (Palm Beach Gardens HS).
More importantly, Richards will be attending FAU in the fall and the Owls should definitely be excited for the type of player that have coming to its program.
CLPB Selects Snowbirds OF Mike Malinchak as Player of the week: July 22, By Jordan Wolff
As the CLPB season winds down, it’s interesting to see how players react to the adjustments made. It’s certainly payed off for Snowbirds OF Mike Malinchak, as he’s been selected as the CLPB player of the week (retroactive to week of July 20).
Malinchak is currently a rising sophomore at Pepperdine University. As for his freshman season, the Delray Beach native had a .242 batting average with 15 hits (one double and triple) and 15 RBI in 25 games played.
He turned it up a notch this past week, as in five games played (17 at-bats) he posted a .529 batting average, scored seven runs, had nine hits, four doubles, two home-runs and six RBI’s.
Malinchak’s big week ascended him to the top of the Snowbirds leaderboard, as he nows leads them in batting average, (.420) hits,(21) walks, (22) runs, (19) and doubles (7).
His Snowbirds currently sit at (9-11), which is fifth place out of six. The Snowbirds have the Navigators (10-10) right above them, as the CLPB playoff format sees the top four teams make it.
They are scheduled to play the last-place (8-11) Florida Vipers at 2:30 p.m. at Palm Beach Gardens HS. This is a big week for the Snowbirds in regards to making the CLPB playoffs.
But, it’s a bigger step for Pepperdine University, as their future looks really bright with this version of Malinchak.
CLPB selects Vipers Bryan Ariza as Pitcher of the week: July 23, By Jordan Wolff
The CLPB has selected Vipers pitcher Bryan Ariza as CLPB pitcher of the week (retroactive to week of July 20). In two games , Ariza pitched six innings, allowed four hits, three walks, no runs and struck out a total of 11 batters.
This should come as no suprise, as Ariza has shown the consistency from the mound all-season long. He leads the Vipers in strikeouts (25) and tied for first in wins (2).
In a previous interview, Ariza discussed what his typical mindset is on the mound.
“I basically try to hit my spots as much as I can,” Ariza said. “If I walk a guy, I try to get the ground ball for a double play. The most important thing for me is to limit the walks.”
Ariza also followed up on what he thinks, when the offense only scores a couple of runs and if that puts more pressure on him.
“I usually have a pretty good defense, and any runs my offense scores is basically insurance,” Ariza said. “All I try to do is just pitch around these guys.
That philosophy seems to work, as Ariza leads the entire CLPB in ERA (1.93). As for his season stats, in nine games (four starts) Ariza’s allowed 16 hits, 11 runs (four earned), 14 walks and 25 strikeouts.
The next time you can see Ariza in action is Tuesday July 23, (5 p.m. Ballpark of Palm Beaches) as he’s been one of eight Vipers players selected for the CLPB Pro-Day/All-Star game.
As for his Vipers, they currently (9-12-0) sit in last place in the final week of the season. They will resume action on Thursday July 25, as they take on the (10-10) Palm Beach Navigators for a final chance at a playoff bid.
As for Ariza’s future, Palm Beach State College is getting a pitcher who will bring the velocity and competitive edge to their club.