Morehead City, N.C. - The Morehead City Marlins have announced the signing of five players for the fast-approaching 2011 season. Two players from Indian River State College and one from each Sam Houston State, the University of Houston, and High Point University will join the Marlins to compete in the Coastal Plain League this summer.
Sophomores Sam Kimmel and Steve Howell of the IRSC Pioneers join Morehead City in the team’s second year of play and will each contribute to what is hopefully another successful squad.
Howell, a right-handed reliever at “The River,” has signed a letter of intent to pitch at Winthrop University. Howell played in the Florida League last summer, helping the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs capture the league championship. Howell, a sophomore, was also named a Southern Conference Junior College All-Star in his time with the Pioneers.
Kimmel, also a sophomore, has been a do-it-all player for the Pioneers in his two seasons. As a freshman, he was the starting shortstop and pitched as the closer. This season, however, when the team’s starting catcher went down with an injury, Kimmel volunteered to help the team behind the dish, though he had not caught since he was twelve years old. The 6-feet tall, 185-pounder, who has committed to continue his collegiate career at Stetson University in the fall, has started at catcher all season and been very impressive both on defense and at the plate. Kimmel is batting .361 and is a perpetual gap hitter, smacking seventeen doubles and three triples on the year.
The Marlins have also inked two pitchers from the state of Texas for this upcoming season. Chase Wellbrock from the University of Houston and Sam Houston State’s Caleb Smith will don blue and black uniforms for the Fish this summer.
Wellbrock, a freshman, has seen extensive playing time in just his first season with the Cougars. The Brenham, Texas native has thrown 30 innings in 15 appearances, walking only nine batters and punching out 22.
Smith, who is also a freshman, has made 16 appearances—7 of which were starts—on the mound for Sam Houston State. The southpaw wields a record of 4-2, as well as a 2.73 ERA for the Bearkats.
The Marlins have also added a pitcher from the High Point University bullpen. Kyle Wigmore, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, will hop on Highway 70 from his hometown and make the trip to the Crystal Coast to play ball for the summer. The sophomore is 2-2 in 13.1 innings pitched for the Panthers this season, holding opposing batters to a .188 batting average.
The Morehead City Marlins are a proud member of the Coastal Plain League, the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 15th season in 2011, the CPL features 15 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, as well as the Marlins’ website at www.mhcmarlins.com. Also, be sure to friend the Marlins on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mhcmarlins and follow them via Twitter (@mcmarlins).