The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


July 17, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Area pair still at it in rookie ball

Paying another visit to the variety store...

Fields of dreams

Ashtabula County's two selections in the 2013 Major League Baseball amateur draft continue to do well in their initial endeavors into professional baseball.

Zak Blair, a Jefferson and Mercyhurst University graduate, was hitting .328 for the Arizona League Cubs through yesterday's day off for the league.

That .328 mark places him 12th in the Arizona League and Blair is one of 19 guys in the loop hitting .300 or better.

The second baseman had 19 hits in 58 at-bats heading into last night's game, with four doubles, one triple and 11 RBI. Blair has an on-base percentage of .409, is slugging at a .431 rate and has an OPS (on-base percentage, plus slugging percentage) of .840. He has 25 total bases and continues to make contact, having drawn seven bases on balls and struck out only three times.

He stands ninth in the league in on-base percentage and 14th in OPS.

Blair and his AZL Cub teammates will host the AZL Diamondbacks today at 10 p.m.

Blair, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound left-handed hitter, was a 20th round draft choice by the Cubs in June.

Brandon Easton, a Pymatuning Valley graduate and a Lakeland Community College product, has made two appearances for the Gulf Coast League Twins, including one start.

The hard-throwing 6-5, 190-pound southpaw has no decisions in his two appearances, carrying a 3.60 earned run average. Easton has worked five innings, allowing four hits, two runs (both earned), with two strikeouts and one walk heading into yesterday's games against the GCL Orioles. Easton & Co. will play the GCL Rays today at noon.

Easton was a 24th-round draft pick by the Twins.

As a reminder, those wishing to follow the progress of Blair and Easton can do so by going to and typing their names into the search window.

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  • SB Heralds roll

    It may have taken a little longer than coach Mike Houser would have liked, but the St. John softball team made a few crucial adjustments. It was those adjustments that led to a 12-2 victory over Horizon Science Academy on Thursday at Massucci Field.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mustangs come up short

    The Grand Valley baseball team hasn’t had a plethora of leads to deal with so far this season. Thursday afternoon, the Mustangs got one early, but saw Ledgemont erupt for 4 runs in the fifth inning to claim a 10-8 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.

    April 25, 2014

  • Barber’s boys bounce back

    The top of the first inning of Jefferson’s non-conference clash with Champion didn’t follow a script that Falcons coach Scott Barber probably would’ve liked.

    April 25, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    St. John 12,
    Horizon Science Academy 2
    at Massucci Field

    April 25, 2014

  • Area High School Baseball Statistical Leaders:

    INDIVIDUAL BATTING (minimum 15 at-bats)
    PLAYER    SCHOOL    AVG    OB%    SLG%    AB    R    H    2B    3B    HR    RBI    SB
    Travis Kiser    PV    .647    .682    .823    17    8    11    3    0    0    1    11
    Graham Becker    Riverside    .500    .533    .500    28    5    14    0    0    0    3    1
    Matt Barber    Jefferson    .486    .565    .568    37    9    18    3    0    0    15    0

    April 25, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


    Cardinal at Edgewood (4:30)
    PV at Brookfield (5)
    Ledgemont at Madison (4:30)
    Geneva at Jefferson (5)

    April 25, 2014

  • Complete performance

    It has taken a while for the Grand Valley Mustangs to put it all together on the softball diamond this season. Wednesday afternoon, the Mustangs did just that, combining a superb pitching effort by Katie Paskey with a tight defense and opportune offense to smother the Maplewood Rockets, 8-1, in Northeastern Athletic Conference action.

    April 24, 2014

  • Pirates sail past Eagles

    The seniors on the Perry softball team wanted to talk with coach Frank Rico. They had some ideas for how their coach could help the Pirates. Rico was receptive of the players’ thoughts. It didn’t hurt that the Pirates were right on the mark in their assessments.

    April 24, 2014

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Years of wonder, indeed...

    The recent effort that appeared in this space last week about things yours truly did while growing up that prompted several replies, which were also published as a followup, brought one more into my inbox the other day.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thompson breaks own vaulting mark

    Geneva pole vaulter Ally Thompson is competing mostly with herself in the early going. She claimed a major victory in that category in toppling her own Ashtabula County record in the Eagles’ victories over Lakeside and Harvey at Spire on Wednesday.

    April 24, 2014

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