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Winter Garden Squeeze

Meet the Winter Garden Squeeze All Stars

The annual Florida Collegiate Summer League All Star Game will be hosted today (July 9) at Sanford Memorial Stadium, home of the River Rats.  While there will be a private, scouts only event during the day, the festivities for the public begin at 6pm with the Home Run Derby.

The Winter Garden Squeeze will represent the West Division, along with the Leesburg Lightning and Winter Park Diamond Dawgs.  The East Division includes the Deland Suns, Orlando Snappers and Sanford River Rats.  There are nine Squeeze players and four alternates selected to this year’s game, second most only to Sanford.

Representing the Squeeze in the Home Run Derby are Ben Maskin and John Smith III.

League Leaders

Currently in second place at 15-11, Winter Garden sits just one game behind the Leesburg for the FCSL lead.  Statistically speaking, Squeeze players are showing on the leader board.  Offensively, Garrett Byrd is third in batting average (.394) with Titan Kamaka just behind in fifth (.368).  Kamaka leads the entire FCSL in RBIs with 24.  In terms of pitching, Micah Takac is tied for the lead with four wins and is second in ERA (1.80).  Tommy Groom and Nolan Maroth are top two in strikeouts, with 33 and 28 a piece.  Jacob Iverson places fifth overall in both strikeouts (24) and ERA (2.41).  It’s fair to say that the Squeeze rosters in making a major impact across the FCSL this season.

Here’s a look at the entire Squeeze roster that was named to the 2024 All Star Game.  For the entire league list visit the Florida Collegiate Summer League website.

Starters

Pitcher: Micah Takac (Mercer)

Takac got the nod as the starting pitcher for West All-Stars and it is well deserved. The Mercer Bear is tied for the league lead in wins with four and has yet to record a loss. Takac is third in the league among qualified pitchers in ERA with an impressive 1.80 in his 25 innings pitched. Takac holds a 5.25 K/BB ratio as well that shows his ability to fill the zone. Takac has been a star for WInter Garden and he will get the opportunity to shine Tuesday night.

Shortstop: Titan Kamaka (Undecided)

Kamaka has been an offensive catalyst for the Squeeze all year long. He’s tied at the top of the league in RBIs with 24 and leads the league in doubles (12) and triples (4). Not only has he hit for power and driven in the runs, he has proved to hit consistently with a .368 average, second on the Winter Garden squad. Kamaka has been simply reliable for the Squeeze all summer.

Outfield: Garrett Byrd Valdosta State)

Byrd has been a phenomenal fielder and an outstanding bat for the Squeeze. Byrd leads the team in average (.394) and on-base percentage (.518). He is a patient hitter that has drawn 18 walks, another team lead, and a base threat stealing ten bags on 13 attempts. The outfielder has roped seven doubles as well on what has been a phenomenal summer for a guy who sat out his collegiate season with an injury

Outfield: Zack Stokes (West Florida)

Stokes is the final starter in the game that will represent Winter Garden and he is quite deserving of that spot. Stokes has improved in every statistical category from last summer, holstering a .340 average while driving in the second most RBIs on the team with 15. Stokes has been able to knock five doubles and has walked 17 times opposed to just 7 strikeouts. It will be Stokes’ first All-Star appearance in his third summer in Winter Garden.

Reserves

Pitcher: Andrew Furey (Florida Southern)

Furey is one of the many pitchers from Winter Garden to get the nod as a reserve and it’s even more impressive since Furey hasn’t played a single inning of collegiate ball prior to the summer. The incoming freshman at Florida Southern holds a 3.00 ERA in his 18 innings pitched. Furey has struck out 15 hitters and just given up six earned runs all summer.

Pitcher: Jacob Iverson (Emory & Henry)

Iverson has been a dominant bullpen arm for the Squeeze, notching 24 strikeouts in 18.2 innings pitched. Iverson holds a 2.41 ERA giving up just five earned runs all summer, of which three of those runs came during one of his nine outings. Hitters are hitting a measly .214 against Iverson in what has been a spectacular summer for the right-handed arm.

Pitcher: Tommy Groom (North Florida)

Groom has been a strikeout machine for Winter Garden with 33, tied for most in the league. Groom has tossed 21.2 innings for the Squeeze and holds a 3.73 record. The righty’s fastball sits in the low 90’s and ramps up to 95. The flamethrower will get a shot to show his strikeout stuff Tuesday night.

Pitcher: Nolan Maroth (Undecided)

Maroth has shown up for the Squeeze in his six starts, striking out 28 hitters which is the third most in the league. His ERA isn’t a direct indicator of his summer as two starts where he gave up 11 combined earned runs have inflated the number to 4.76. In the other four starts, Maroth has tossed 19 innings giving up just four earned runs, including six-innings of no-hit ball against the Snappers. Maroth has been phenomenal, especially for a guy who played club baseball last spring at Tennessee proving he belongs.

Catcher: Mees Robberse (Winter Garden/Allen County CC)

In my opinion, Robberse has been the best defensive catcher in the league. He has a cannon behind the plate and guns runners out just about every single time he gets tested. Robberse has been a solid bat for Winter Garden hitting .265 and driving in 11 runs. The Netherlands native has been a great backstop all summer long for Winter Garden

Alternates

Pitcher: Mark Chapa (Texas A&M International)

Chapa has been moved up to a reserve and will get to play in Sanford Tuesday night. The closer for Winter Garden has been arguably the best arm of them all, tossing 12 innings without allowing an earned run. Chapa has struck out 20 hitters and notched three saves. Chapa will get to use the wipe out 12-6 curve and show why he should’ve been a reserve all along.

Catcher: Cole Resetar (Pace)

Resetar has been a great bat for Winter Garden. The left-handed hitter is currently sitting at a .290 average with six runs, four RBIs and three doubles. He has been a great defender for Winter Garden as well when his name gets called to do the catching duties. More importantly, Resetar has great character and the Squeeze are proud that he is getting the recognition as an alternate.

Infield: Todd Clay (UAB)

Clay has done it all for Winter Garden and been a base threat all summer. Clay has scored 19 times and stolen a team lead 12 bags. The UAB Blazer has driven in 15 RBIs and holds a .420 OBP. In the field, Clay has bounced around the left side of the infield and has committed just two errors in his 62 innings in the field.

Outfield: Brody Pezza (Florida SouthWestern)

It is nice to see Pezza get a nod as an alternate although he doesn’t have too many innings under his belt due to a small injury that held him out for about two weeks. Pezza is hitting .348 in his 23 at-bats hitting four doubles and four RBIs as well. Pezza also holds a .483 OBP in what has been a great summer despite the minor setback mid-season that he has since returned from.

This section was wirtten by Squeeze intern Riley Kelton (Auburn University).

The Winter Garden Squeeze are a wood bat league for college students. The Squeeze are a community-minded, summer collegiate baseball team in Winter Garden, FL. They are proud members of the Florida Collegiate Summer League. Est. 2014

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