WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue baseball's Kyle Johnson and Kyle Wood helped their respective wood bat summer league teams win their league's championship titles after being the top seeds in the Coastal Plain and Northwoods League playoffs.
Johnson and Wood both were the starting designated hitters in the two games their teams won in the finals round of the playoffs to clinch the league titles.
In the Coastal Plain League of the Carolinas and Virginia, Johnson was part of a Peninsula Pilots team (Hampton, Va.) that had a league-best and franchise-record 41-15 overall record before going 6-3 in the playoffs. Coincidentally, Johnson was in the starting lineup for all six games Peninsula won in the playoffs and did not play in any of the three losses. The Pilots lost game one of the best-of-three championship series, but won games two and three at home by a combined margin of 20-6.
In the Northwoods League of the Upper Midwest, Wood was part of a Lakeshore Chinooks team (Mequon, Wis.) that posted a league-best 50-21 overall record and a perfect 4-0 mark in the playoffs. In the divisional round of the playoffs, Wood went 4-for-5 and scored the game-winning run in the 10th inning of the series-clinching victory. Lakeshore won game one of the championship series on the road in 13 innings, with Wood driving in the go-ahead run after the left fielder misplayed a ball with a man on third base.
In the summer of 2012, Wood was also part of a summer league championship with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen in the Midwest Collegiate League. Brandon Krieg was also a member of that team.
There were Boilermakers in both dugouts for the divisional round of the Northwoods League playoffs this year. The Wisconsin Woodchucks (Wausau, Wis.) featuring pitchers Patrick Kenney and Tim McElroy finished second to Lakeshore in the South Division with a 42-30 overall record this summer. Both pitched well out of the bullpen during the second half of the summer as the Woodchucks went 24-14 to qualify for the playoffs. McElroy worked two innings of one-hit relief in the 10-inning playoff game with Lakeshore. Wood accounted for the only hit he allowed that night.
Johnson was 5-for-18 with two doubles, four walks, three RBI and seven runs scored during Peninsula's playoff run. Wood finished the playoffs 5-for-15 with three walks and two runs scored after posting a .284 batting average and .440 on-base percentage during the regular season. He also made 10 relief appearances on the mound, striking out 17 while compiling a 2.57 ERA in 14 innings.
Earlier this summer, Matt Frawley and Adam Dressler were part of a deep playoff run in the Midwest Collegiate League with the DuPage County Hounds (Lisle, Ill.). Frawley surrendered just one unearned run over eight innings of three-hit ball in a July 30 win that sent DuPage County to the championship round. Dressler started game two of the championship series against the Southland Vikings, which swept the best-of-three series.
Brett Carlson, who redshirted at Purdue in 2014 as a transfer from Austin Peay, enjoyed a strong summer in the Great Lakes League of Ohio and Michigan. He batted .333 during the regular season to help the Lima Locos (Lima, Ohio) post a league-best record of 27-13 during the regular season. The infielder was 6-for-12 with three RBI in the playoffs, but Lima lost two-of-three in a semifinal series with the Licking County Settlers, which went on to win the league title.
Gavin Downs, Brian Ghiselli and Matt Gibbs also pitched in the Great Lakes League this summer. Downs and Ghiselli were teammates with the Lake Erie Monarchs (Flat Rock, Mich.), helping their summer team qualify for the playoffs. Downs finished the regular season with a 1.17 ERA, surrendering only 16 hits over 23 innings. Ghiselli, another redshirt in 2014 as a transfer from Miami (Ohio), was selected for the Great Lakes League All-Star Game after compiling 0.72 ERA through July 4. Gibbs pitched for league champion Licking County, but was shut down for the summer in mid-July due to injury.
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2014 petit cup champions🙌 pic.twitter.com/OnIUnz0IDW— Megan Vick (@litttlevick) August 17, 2014