Carson Beauchaine (Photo courtesy SVSU athletics)
The Newark Pilots continue to add to their roster for the upcoming season as a member of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL). Four players who garnered All-Conference honors from their respective conferences this past spring are landing in Colburn Park this summer. Local standout Kyle Barkley highlights the group, which includes pitcher Carson Beauchaine, shortstop Jacob Starnes, and outfielder Michael Bolling.
Penn Yan native Kyle Barkley is another local player who will suit up for the Pilots this summer. The sophomore from Finger Lakes Community College finished this season leading the Lakers in nearly every offensive category. He batted .449 with 48 hits, 39 RBI's, 12 doubles, five homeruns, and recorded a .556 on-base percentage, all team bests. He was crowned the 2011 Mid-State Athletic Conference Player of the Year. As a freshman, Barkley served as a utility player for Alfred State College. On the mound, he went 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 19 strikeouts. At the plate, he batted .345, knocking in 35 runs and scoring 32 more, earning All-Western New York Athletic Conference Second Team honors in 2010. Barkley graduated from the Penn Yan Academy in 2009, and was named the Finger Lakes East Division II Birds Eye Player of the Year following his senior campaign. He went 4-1 with an outstanding 0.64 ERA and 48 strikeouts while batting .462 with 18 RBI.
"[Barkley] had an incredible year. He's going to add some 'pop' to our lineup," said Pilots' Head Coach Chris Ebright. "It's great to have some local kids, especially one of his talent. He was a great pickup for first base."
Carson Beauchaine will step into the Pilots' starting rotation this season. The right-handed sophomore from Fraser, Michigan led the pitching staff at Saginaw Valley State University with six wins in 10 starts. He also fanned a team-high 48 batters in 61 innings pitched, and threw five complete games. Beauchaine's 2.21 ERA is the third lowest among Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference pitchers with at least 10 starts. He was named the Conference's Pitcher of the Week on May 2nd, and was an All-Conference First Team selection. At Fraser High School, Beauchaine was named to the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Division I All-State team.
"Carson Beauchaine will be our #1 starting pitcher," said Ebright. "He's going to be a guy that our younger pitchers can learn from. He's a smart pitcher and he has the stuff to go with that."
Shortstop Jacob Starnes will make the trip to Newark after being selected to the American Southwest Conference East Division Second Team for the second time in his career. The University of Texas at Dallas junior appeared in all 47 games for the Comets, starting in 46. He had a team-high 190 at bats, was tied for the team lead with 30 runs, and was second with 55 hits. Starnes batted .289 this season, but as a freshman and sophomore, his average was over .300. Defensively, he recorded 147 assists, leading his team in another category. The Comets' season came to an untimely end after they lost in the American Southwest Conference title game. Starnes played his high school baseball in Sugar Land, Texas at the Fort Bend Baptist Academy.
"Starnes is definitely going to be a regular player up the middle," said Ebright. "He's been a leader at his school for the past three years. Again, he's one of our smarter baseball players."
Michael Bolling, the speedy outfielder from Lewis University, will make himself right at home as the leadoff hitter for the Pilots. The junior led the Great Lakes Valley Conference with 31 stolen bases in 36 attempts. Before he transferred to Lewis, he was a combined 46 for 46 in stolen base attempts during his freshman and sophomore years at Triton College. Bolling led the Flyers this season with 37 runs, and was fourth on the team with a .329 batting average. His only homerun of the year was a grand slam. Originally from Chicago, Bolling spent his senior year of high school at Guerin College Preparatory High School in River Grove, Illinois. In 2008, he helped Guerin Prep win the Illinois High School Athletic Association 3A Championship.
"Bolling will be the fastest guy we have, possibly the fastest in the whole league," said Ebright. "He's not only fast, but he can read pitchers and catchers. He's definitely got some tools."
The Newark Pilots open at the renovated Colburn Park on Friday, June 17th at 7:05 p.m. against the Watertown Wizards. Single game tickets for all 2011 games are on sale now. The Pilots also have a limited amount of reserved season seats that are available. Anyone who is interested should contact General Manager Pat Brown at 315-576-6710 or check out the team's website at www.newarkpilots.com. Don't forget to "Like" the Newark Pilots on Facebook for more team news.