Local sports digest 6/20/02

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Southeast's Purcell signs pro baseball contract

Former Southeast Missouri State University pitching standout Brad Purcell has signed a contract with the Evansville (Ind.) Otters of the Independent Frontier League. He reported to the Otters late Wednesday and is scheduled to start a game later this week.

Purcell, the 2002 Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year, went 12-3 with a 3.38 earned-run average as the ace of the Indians' staff this year.

A right-hander, Purcell was bypassed in the recent amateur draft. Southeast coach Mark Hogan said hooking up with the Otters will at least give Purcell an opportunity to be noticed by a major-league organization.

"I'm thrilled for him," Hogan said. "Evansville was in need of a starter. It's a situation where he'll get the ball and this at least gives him a chance."

The Frontier League consists of 12 teams, including the Chillicothe (Ohio) Paints, for whom former Southeast star Darin Kinsolving is one of the top hitters.

Eads hired as women's coach at Missouri-Rolla

ROLLA, Mo. -- Alan Eads, a former assistant women's basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State University, has been hired as the head coach at Missouri-Rolla.

Eads, who starts his new job on July 1, takes over for Linda Roberts, who resigned in April.

"I am really looking forward to the challenge," Eads said. "The program had success in the early 1990s so the potential is certainly there and the goal is to get it back to the top portion of the conference."

Eads, an assistant coach at Southeast the past eight seasons, was a finalist for the school's head coaching position after Ed Arnzen retired.

Before coming to Southeast, Eads was head coach at Moberly Area Community College from 1986-94, compiling a 200-37 record and leading the Lady Greyhounds to five junior college national tournaments.

Jackson Senior Legion defeats Stoddard County

Josh Parham pitched all seven innings of Jackson's 12-2 Senior American Legion win Wednesday against Stoddard County.

Parham walked one and struck out eight in the win. Brennan Gibson was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and Michael Birk was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Jackson (10-5, 4-1 district)scored six runs in the third inning to put the game away.

Junior Legion makes short work of Poplar Bluff

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The Cape Girardeau Best Mortgage/Cliff's Rent To Own Junior American Legion baseball team pounded out two run-rule wins over Poplar Bluff Wednesday, 19-2 in six innings and 13-0 in five innings.

Cape (16-11, 2-2 District 14) had 20 hits in the opener, led by Mitch Craft, Ty Craft and Sean Bard with three each. Lee Essner, Blake Essner, Brandon Cooper and Matt Hellrich all had two hits.

Pitcher Jake Welch allowed six hits and struck out two.

In the second game, Cape had 11 hits, led by Mitch Craft, Cooper and Jeremy Brinkmeyer with two apiece.

Brinkmeyer hurled a four-hit shutout, striking out five.

Cape will host an eight-team tournament Friday through Sunday, with games at Central and Notre Dame high schools.

Notre Dame grad chosen for college baseball award

Scott Eftink was chosen the most valuable freshman for his baseball team at Central Methodist College in Fayette, Mo., after the past season.

Eftink, a left-handed pitcher from Notre Dame, led at Central with an ERA of 2.95 and ranked third in the league.

He is the son of Leon and Mary Jane Eftink of Cape Girardeau.

Two from Sikeston among all-state baseball picks

Sophomore third baseman BlakeDeWitt and senior second baseman Jamie Puckett, both of Sikeston, are on the Class 3A all-state baseball team announced today by the MissouriSportswriters andSportscasters Association.

DeWitt was chosen for the first team and Puckett for the second team.

Also from the Southeast district was first-team pickMike Cole ofNorth County and second-team picks Nathan Baker of Kennett, Cody Boyer of Dexter and Craig Pryor of Salem, all in Class 3A.

Hillis drops from lead at Missouri Amateur

Steve Grooms of Raytown shot a 2-under-par 69 Wednesday for a 36-hole total of 2-under 140 to claim medalist honors on the final day of qualifying for the Missouri Amateur Championships at Twin Oaks Country Club in Springfield, Mo.

David Jenkins and Rich Gleghorn of Springfield, along with Michael Letzig of Richmond and Jay Hepler of Overland Park, Kan., finished medal play one shot back at 141. Mark McBride shot a second-round 77 leaving him seven shots behind at 147.

The third first-day leader, 19-year-old Matt Hillis of Poplar Bluff, shot a second-round 82 to finish at 151.

-- From staff reports

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