By Darren Headrick / Carolina Mudcats (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wilmington, DE June 15, 2014 — Wilmington Blue Rocks manager Darryl Kennedy named Carolina Mudcats pitcher Ryan Merritt the starter for Tuesday’s Carolina/California League All-Star Game at Daniel S. Frawley Stadium.
Merritt finished the first half tied for the most wins in the CL (6) and led the circuit with a 1.66 ERA, the best among qualifiers. The left-hander owns eight quality starts in 12 outings. His 76.0 innings pitched rank among the top ten, his .208 batting average against is third best and his 0.97 WHIP sits atop the league.
“The guy’s leading the league in pitching,” Kennedy said. “For me, that’s deserving of getting the start.”
Pitching coach Steve Karsay is proud of the job his 22-year-old pupil has done to earn the opportunity.
“The way he’s pitched this year, it’s a great honor to start the All-Star Game,” Karsay said. “He’s put in a lot of hard work and continues to do the right things to get better. No matter what level you’re at, it’s an honor. Well-deserved.”
Merritt was one of three Mudcats voted to the 2014 Carolina League All-Star squad. He joins Erik Gonzalez who will start at third base. Anthony Gallas was named an All-Star outfielder before earning a promotion to Double-A Akron.
First pitch for the Midsummer Classic is set for 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17. Fans wishing to hear the broadcast can tune in through the audio link on bluerocks.com or wgls.rowan.edu.
The Mudcats return home to host the Frederick Keys and Myrtle Beach Pelicans in a six-game homestand after the All-Star Break. The series with the Keys begins on Thursday, July 19, with Thirsty Thursday presented by Natty Greene’s Brewing Company. Tickets and other information are available by calling the box office at (919) 269-2287 or by logging on to carolinamudcats.com.