Winthrop baseball adds four JUCO players

Posted July 30, 2013 4:06 pm | Filed under Sports

ROCK HILL, SC–Winthrop baseball coach Tom Riginos has announced the addition of four junior college signees for the 2014 season.

The quartet includes right handed pitchers Carl Buddin from Brunswick Community College and Travis Shelley from USC-Lancaster, along with position players John Menken from Elgin Community College and Brad Kazcka from Monroe Community College.

“We are very excited to announce the signing of these four junior college players,” said Riginos. “We think these four student –athletes are going to make an immediate impact on our team this coming year.”

Buddin (6-1, 185) compiled a 2.63 earned run average and recorded 14 strikeouts for Brunswick CC last year as he helped lead his team to the JUCO Division 2 World Series. In addition to his baseball success, he was the recipient of the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award at Brunswick in 2013. This summer he pitched for the Rochester Ridgemen of the New York Collegiate Baseball League and compiled a 2.00 ERA.. He played high school baseball at St. James H.S. in Murrells Inlet, SC where he earned All-Region honors in 2011 in baseball and football.

“We are very excited to have Carl join our program,” Riginos said. “He is a sidearm pitcher that will bring a different look to our pitching staff. I am looking forward to big things from Carl.”

Shelley (6-2, 190) had a 3.60 ERA in 20 innings as a reliever and starter for USC-L last year. The Georgetown, SC native picked up a win and a save. Following his college season, he pitched in the Beach Collegiate League and compiled a 0.93 ERA in 9.2 innings of work with 11 strikeouts.

“Travis is another second side arm pitcher we have signed,. He has proven in junior college that he can start or relieve, and he is going to bring great depth to our pitching staff this coming year,” said Riginos.

Menken (6-2, 195) is and outfielder and catcher. The Bartlett, IL product his .400 with 7 home runs and 50 runs batted in last season. He also had 15 doubles, 5 triples and was 15 for 19 in stolen bases. His performance earned him several post season awards including 2013 Region IV Division II North Central District All-Region First Team and 2013 Illinois Skyway Collegiate All-Conference First Team recognition. He is currently playing for the Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League and is hitting .267.

“John is a proven hitter; He will make an immediate impact in the middle of our lineup,” said Winthrop’s coach. “He will also give us some options in our lineup since he is able to catch and play the outfield.”

Kaczka (6-0, 180) is an infielder/outfielder who hit .370 with 4 home runs and 40 RBI while leading Monroe CC to the 2013 regional championship in 2013. He also collected 14 doubles and 4 triples while stealing 10 bases. Kaczka was named to the All-Region First Team and was honored as an Academic All-American. The Pittsford, NY native is playing this summer for the Vermont Mountaineers of the New England Collegiate League All-Star and is hitting .307.

“Brad has great baseball instincts; He is another player that can play multi positions,” said Riginos. He is going to bring athleticism and speed to our team. I look for Brad to make an impact on our team this coming year.”