The M.I.N.K League..McComack Leads The Pack & Montgomery Shines In First 2 Starts
The depth and history of baseball as a game and as an industry is far richer than many fans ever realize. The history of minor league baseball can go back to the 1st decade of the past century, and the survival of many leagues have found solid ground in becoming collegiate summer leagues. The original M.I.N.K League began in 1910, and after losing its MLB affiliation in 1913, it’s grown into a ten team Summer Collegiate League. It’s split up into two divisions (North and South); they play 34 games which are followed by a playoff tournament between the divisions. The name is an acronym for the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas League. In this new 2010 season, there are a couple of players heating up the Midwest with slick hitting, and some sharp pitching. Infielder Travis McComack is an infielder off to the best offensive Collegiate Summer start in the country only counting hitters with a minimum of 24 at bats. In his first 7 games with the Sedalia Bombers, he’s had 24 at bats and is already hitting .500. McComack also leads the entire nation in on base percentage (.552), and slugging percentage (.667). This past spring he played for Missouri State as a sophomore and even though he struggled there with a batting average of .271, McComack inspired faith in his coaches as he played in all 55 games.
The Coastal Plain League claims the hottest pitchers at the moment, but the M.I.N.K League does have a pitcher worth mentioning. Weston Montgomery is playing for the Nevada Griffons and is off to a great start. He’s won his first two starts in a dominating fashion. In one outing he had a no-hitter going into the 5th inning. He finished the game by striking out 9 batters in six innings and allowing 2 hits. In his second game he struck out 8 batters in five innings giving up only 1 hit. He’s now 2-0 with an ERA of 0.64, and opposing hitters are only batting .088 against him. This is good new for those watching from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Earlier this year during the scholastic season, Montgomery was far stronger with the bat than on the mound. He hit .303 in the 52 games he played at Corpus Christi, while as a pitcher he only pitched in 3 innings and gave up 7 runs.
> Follow all of the 2010 College World Series & browse a selection of college apparel, NCAA Snuggies & more online through College Sports Fans!
This year in the M.I.N.K League Weston Montgomery is looking to improve his pitching skills, and so far it looks like it’s working. Another league pitcher showing spark is Clarinda A’s pitcher Jake Hovis. His team is currently undefeated and leads the entire M.I.N.K League with 11 wins. Hovis starts the year with a record of 2-0 and working with 0.60 ERA. The strike out punch and dominance may not be as evident, but Hovis went for 6 innings in his first start against the Sedalia Bombers he gave up a run on 6 hits. In his next game against the Omaha Diamond Spirits, he showed improvement as he only gave up 3 hits and no earned runs in 5.2 innings. He lacked some control as he walked 3 batters, but he pitched himself out of it and strolled away with another solid performance. As of right now, the St. Joseph Mustangs lead the North Division of the M.I.N.K League and are unbeaten after 11 games, but the Clarinda A’s are right behind them with a record of 10-2. In the South division, the Sedalia Bombers are in first place with a record of 7-1.
By Adrian Nevarez
DFN Sports Staff Writer