Coastal Plain League... The Diligent Billigen, Cornelius's Good Pace, & The Wilson Tobs Living Legacy
Hicks Field is now part of the National Register of Historic Places and it is the home of the Edenton Steamers of the Coastal Plain League. It was built in 1939 and has served as the home for minor league teams and semi pro teams such as the Edenton Colonials of the original Coastal Plain League, as well as the Albermarle League, and the Virginia League. Today, the Steamers enjoy the classic field and are not wasting the opportunity to play great baseball amongst the ghost that must inhabit its grandstand, dugouts, and base paths. Brian Billigen a sophomore centerfielder is hitting .365 as a Steamer after 74 at bats. He’s already stolen 11 bases and hit 2 homeruns as they fight with the Wilson Tobs for 1 st place in the North Division. The name of Billigen was often spoken at Cornell University this past spring. He hit .291 and had a decent season in the Ivy League. He became their official leadoff hitter as a freshman in ’09 and took a membership into the All-Ivy League 2 nd Team. In his past affiliation with the Prospects summer league he was rated as the 4 th best baseball prospect by Baseball America. The left handed ace of the Martinsville Mustangs continues his prowl on the leagues hitters.
Despite losing two games out of the 5 he’s started, his ERA is still lower than red ants on the soil. Jonathan Cornelius has now pitched 36 innings and his ERA is 0.50, his strikeouts have catapulted to 46, and opposing hitters are barely even seeing the ball with a batting average of .136. The junior from Florida Tech is keeping his walk to a minimum (2) and is showing great strides to becoming a more impacting pitcher in Florida Tech’s rotation where this spring he started 13 games and went for 90.2 innings. His 95 strikeouts show that he can hit the strike zone and pull away from the average pitchers with just a little more seasoning in the Coastal Plain League.
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The Wilson Tobs are another team with history that has an amazing place to play. Flemming Stadium was built in 1938 and it once hosted a game between the Red Sox and the Phillies that featured the famous Ted Williams. Since then many Hall of Fame players have ran, caught, thrown, hit, and sat in the legendary stadium. The Wilson Tobs will go down as one of the most classic organizations in the history of baseball. This summer, the legacy continues with a junior pitcher named Kramer Sneed. The 6’3 left hander has pitched 25.2 innings in 4 games. Many elements of his game are on display for the powerful New York Yankess who drafted Sneed in the 32nd round. They’ve held back the actual signing until they take a closer look at Sneed as a Wilson Tob, and what they’re looking at is very impressive. Working with the Yankee scouts, Sneed is developing a new pitch, the straight changeup. It will compliment his 90mph fastball very well, and as long as he keeps his walks as low as he has been (3), his strikeout count is looking good (28). Sneed’s teamate with the Wilson Tobs and at Barton College is Bryan Daughtry. The sophomore outfielder is lighting up pitchers with a .391 batting average after 64 at bats. He has 2 homeruns, 10 RBI’s, and he’s stolen 4 bases. Daughtry has the overall strongest bat on the Tobs and is a big reason that their competing so well against division rivals the Edenton Steamers. The Florence Redwolves have the best record in the entire league so far. They sit in the South Division with a record of 13-6.
By Adrian Nevarez
DFN Sports Staff Writer