2007 Rawlings CPL Offensive Player of the Year:
David Thomas (Catawba College) Thomasville HiToms
A junior from Catawba College and Winston-Salem, N.C., Thomas was the ideal leadoff man for the league’s strongest lineup. He started and played in 50 games for the HiToms and finished with an impressive .335 batting average. Thomas had 65 hits, including 17 doubles and nine home runs to go with 35 RBIs and a league-best 49 runs scored. He finished ranked in the Top 5 of several categories including runs scored (49), doubles (17), total bases (109) and slugging percentage (.562). He also tacked on a .422 on-base percentage, was walked 20 times and went 15-of-18 in stolen bases.
Of those numbers, Thomas’ mark of 49 runs scored in a season ranks second most in Coastal Plain League history, only behind Jimmy Miles of Peninsula in 2006 who recorded 52. His 17 doubles tied him for third most in a single season as former Wilmington Shark Tim LaVigne featured 20 in 1999.
With the help of Thomas, Thomasville won both the First and Second Half Championships in the CPL West Division, and went on to repeat as Coastal Plain League Petitt Cup Champions with a 4-3 victory over Peninsula in the 2007 CPL Petitt Cup Championship Tournament. In the tournament, Thomas batted .455 through five starts with 10 hits, including a pair of doubles. He had two RBIs, eight runs scored, and added 12 total bases, a .545 slugging percentage, a .520 on-base percentage and a stolen base to his resume.
Thomas was also selected as a Coastal Plain League All-Star, starting in centerfield for the 2007 CPL National All-Star squad in Columbia, S.C.
2007 Rawlings Hitters of the Week
Tri-Hitters of the Week (Week 9):
Brian Conley (Towson) Edenton (Week 9)
Chris Swauger (The Citadel) Thomasville (Week 9)
Seth Waller (Belmont Abbey) Gastonia (Week 9)
Tri-Hitters of the Week (Week 8):
Eric Campbell (Boston College) Martinsville (Week 8)
Allen Caldwell (Spartanburg Methodist) Columbia (Week 8)
Josh Harrison (Mount Olive) Petersburg (Week 8)
Co-Hitters of the Week (Week 7):
Brad McElroy (Charlotte) Edenton (Week 7)
Chris Taylor (Charlotte) Asheboro (Week 7):
Tri-Hitters of the Week (Week 6):
Kyle Roller (East Carolina) Thomasville (Week 6)
Joe Luli (Mercyhurst) Florence (Week 6)
Jesse Barbaro (Lander) Florence (Week 6)
Co-Hitters of the Week (Week 5):
Randy Schwartz (High Point) Edenton (Week 5)
Stephen Batts (East Carolina) Wilmington (Week 5)
Tri-Hitters of the Week (Week 4):
Rob Lyerly (Campbell) Asheboro (Week 4)
Broc Sutton (East Carolina) Asheboro (Week 4)
Chris Swauger (The Citadel) Thomasville (Week 4)
Co-Hitters of the Week (Week 3):
Brandon Scott (Campbell) Wilson (Week 3)
Alex Lee (Clemson) Columbia (Week 3)
Hitter of the Week (Week 2):
Rich Poythress (Georgia) Thomasville (Week 2)
Co-Hitters of the Week (Week 1):
Eddie Van Es (VMI) Peninsula (Week 1)
Chris Pecora (North Carolina Wesleyan) Fayetteville (Week 1)
Additional Individual Power Hitting Performances:
Jerry Sands (Catawba College) Wilson (Week 1):
On the week, Sands started and played in eight games for the Tobs, finishing with a .323 average. More notable was that of his 10 hits on the week, four were for doubles and another four were home runs. With extra-base hits like those, he easily tallied 10 runs scored and 11 RBIs, as well as a .839 slugging percentage.
Mike Lyon (Northeastern) Petersburg (Week 3):
On the week, Lyon started six games, batting .333 with eight hits. Of those eight hits, two were for doubles and two were home runs, as he tallied a league-best 11 RBIs to go with eight runs scored. Furthermore, Lyon, a junior from Northeastern, had 16 total bases, a .667 slugging percentage and two stolen bases.
Frank Pesanello (Northeastern) Petersburg (Week 3):
Pesanello, a sophomore at Northeastern finished the week with a .292 average in six games started for the Generals. Of his seven hits, three were for doubles and a pair were homers. He had five RBIs and six runs scored, while racking up 16 total bases and a .667 slugging percentage.
Scott Suttmeier (Washington State) Edenton (Week 5):
Suttmeier, a junior at Washington State, started all six games for the Steamers, batting .364 with eight hits on the week. Of those eight hits, one was a triple and three were home runs to give him eight RBIs and five runs scored. He featured a slugging percentage of .864, while also racking up 19 total bases, three walks, a stolen base and a .444 on-base percentage.
Kyle Enders (South Carolina) Spartanburg (Week 8):
Enders, a freshman at South Carolina, started seven games for the Stingers, batting .407 with 11 hits on the week. Of those 11 hits, Enders had four doubles and two homers, while he went on to tally 10 RBIs and three runs scored. He also notched 21 total bags, a .778 slugging percentage, and .429 on-base percentage.
Jason Morales (UNC-Pembroke) Fayetteville (Week 8):
Morales, a junior at UNC-Pembroke, started all seven games on the week for Fayetteville and finished with a .360 average. Of his nine hits, three were home runs, to help him score seven runs and rack up seven RBIs. Morales also tallied 18 total bases, a .720 slugging percentage, a .448 on-base percentage and was walked four times.
Erik Lovett (Mount Olive) Wilson (Week 9):
Lovett, a junior at Mount Olive, featured a .350 average on the week, highlighted by four home runs. All together, he had seven hits, with seven RBIs and six runs scored. Lovett also tallied 19 total bases, had a slugging percentage of .950, an on-base percentage of .500 and was walked seven times.
2007 Rawlings CPL Defensive Player of the Year:
Ben Reeser (Illinois) Fayetteville SwampDogs
Reeser, a sophomore from Illinois University and Bloomington, Illinois, made a total of 12 appearances on the mound this summer, starting nine of those for the SwampDogs. Overall, Reeser, a 6-3, 195-pound righthander, finished the summer regular season tied with a league-best 8-0 record and low 1.61 ERA. He also picked up a save in relief. His eight wins on the season is tied for third most in a season in Coastal Plain League history.
In 61 1/3 innings pitched, he allowed only 14 runs - 11 earned - on 45 hits, while walking only 13 and striking out 29. Reeser also featured a 0.95 WHIP on the regular season. Furthermore, Reeser had a complete game shutout on June 13 at Columbia, scattering six Blowfish hits through nine innings and taking a 1-0 decision back home to Fayetteville.
With Reeser on the mound, the SwampDogs won both the South First and Second Half Divisional crowns in 2007 and set a new Coastal Plain League record for most wins in a regular season at 42, three better than the previous record of 39 set by Fayetteville in 2006. Fayetteville also entered the 2007 CPL Petitt Cup Championship Tournament as the top seed, but was eliminated on Saturday by eventual champion Thomasville.
In the 2007 Petitt Cup tournament, Reeser made one appearance, pitching seven complete innings against Wilson and allowing three runs, all earned, on seven hits. He walked one and struck out five to pick up the win for Fayetteville and advance to Saturday’s action.
Reeser was also a member of the 2007 Coastal Plain League American All-Star Team. In exhibition play, Reeser faced Team Japan on July 2 and pitched masterfully. In seven complete innings, he gave up just one run on four hits, walked one and struck out four as the SwampDogs went on to win 5-4.
2007 Rawlings Pitchers of the Week
Co-Pitchers of the Week (Week 9):
B.J. Dail (North Carolina) Wilson (Week 9)
Chris Gloor (Quinnipiac) New Bern (Week 9)
Tri-Pitchers of the Week (Week 8):
Brett Walker (Virginia Commonwealth) Peninsula (Week 8)
Brad Davidson (Florida Southern) Petersburg (Week 8)
Zach Groh (Binghampton) Edenton (Week 8)
Tri-Pitchers of the Week (Week 7):
Bryant Gaines (North Carolina) Wilmington (Week 7)
Anthony Shawler (Old Dominion) Peninsula (Week 7)
Kevin Crum (VMI) Spartanburg (Week 7)
Tri-Pitchers of the Week (Week 6):
Sean Ray (Auburn) Peninsula (Week 6)
J.P. Primus (North Carolina A&T) Edenton (Week 6)
Brandon Scott (Campbell) Wilson (Week 6)
Co-Pitchers of the Week (Week 5):
Mark Carey (Central Missouri) Martinsville (Week 5)
Kevin Crum (VMI) Spartanburg (Week 5)
Co-Pitchers of the Week (Week 4):
Brian Feekin (Nebraska) Fayetteville (Week 4)
Jusin Lilly (Campbell) Outer Banks (Week 4)
Tri-Pitchers of the Week (Week 3):
Cody Vincent (St. Bonaventure) Asheboro (Week 3)
Britton Horn (Trinity) New Bern (Week 3)
Justin Freeman (Kennesaw State) Edenton (Week 3)
Tri-Pitchers of the Week (Week 2):
Brandon Scott (Campbell) Wilson (Week 2)
Chris Gloor (Quinnipiac) New Bern (Week 2)
Tio McLean (Tusculum College) Petersburg (Week 2)
Co-Pitchers of the Week (Week 1):
Matt Gianini (Central Connecticut State) Martinsville (Week 1)
Aaron Lorio (Louisiana Tech) Thomasville (Week 1)
Additional Individual Power Pitching Performances
Justin Lilly (Campbell) Outer Banks (Week 1):
On the night of June 7, Lilly pitched masterfully on the mound against the visiting Gastonia Grizzlies. Nine innings later, he had the League’s first no-hitter of 2007, going all nine innings, walking none and striking out 15.
Brian Espersen (Mercyhurst) Florence (Week 1):
On the same night, June 7, and only moments later, Espersen pitched himself to the second no-hitter in the CPL on the season. Walking 10, while striking out 12 New Bern batters, Espersen went down in the history books as well with his no-no.
Brad Gemberling (Princeton) New Bern (Week 5):
Gemberling, a 6-2, 205-pound sophomore from Princeton, pitched a complete game shutout for the River Rats against the Wilson Tobs on July 7. The righthander pitched nine complete innings of scoreless baseball, giving up only three hits, no walks, and struck out nine.
Aaron Martin (Illinois) Fayetteville (Week 5):
Martin, a 6-0, 180-pound sophomore from Illinois, pitched a complete game shutout for the SwampDogs against the Petersburg Generals on July 3. The righy went nine complete innings on the mound, surrendering only three hits, while walking two and striking out seven.
Scott Diamond (Binghampton) Martinsville (Week 8):
Diamond, a junior from Binghampton made two appearances on the mound for the Mustangs on the week. In 16 2/3 innings pitched, the 6-3, 210-pound lefty gave up 14 hits, two runs (only one earned), while walking five and striking out 20. Numbers like those helped him to a 2-0 record and 0.54 ERA on the week.