The big news this week as far as former Florida Gators baseball players playing professionally was the debut of Nolan Fontana. In his first game, he drew five walks while getting a hit in his only official at-bat.
Several former Gators had big weeks as GatorCountry.com continues its weekly Down on the Farm notebook, which appears each Monday.
Here’s a look at how the three former Gators performed in the majors:
Darren O’ Day (UF, 2005), pitcher Baltimore Orioles. O’Day appeared in two games last week, picking up his fifth win of the season. O’Day pitched just one inning in the two outings and only allowed one run. The Orioles are currently leading the wild card race in the American League.
Mark Ellis (UF, 1999), infielder, Los Angeles Dodgers. Ellis returned to action for the first time since May this week and appeared in four games. Ellis went 3-for-12 in the four games while scoring one run for the first place Dodgers.
David Ross (UF, ’98), catcher, Atlanta Braves. Ross appeared in just one game last week for the third place Braves. In that game Ross went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
The Gators are also well represented in the minor leagues with 16 former players spread across different leagues. Here’s how those players performed this past week:
Matt Laporta (UF, ’07), first baseman, Columbus Clippers, AAA, Indians. Laporta was named to the International All-Star game this week. Last week Laporta appeared in five games. He had one home run and drove in four runs for the second place Clippers.
Bryan Augenstein (UF, ’07), pitcher, Durham Bulls, AAA, Rays. Augenstein appeared in two games last week, pitching 5.2 innings and giving up three runs for the third place Bulls.
Cole Figueroa (UF, ’08), second baseman, Durham Bulls, AAA, Rays. Figueroa appeared in four games last week going 5-15 with two RBI’s and a double for the third place Bulls.
Brian Jeroloman (UF, ’06), catcher, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, AA, Blue Jays. On the disabled list.
Matt Den Dekker (UF, ’10), outfielder, Buffalo Bisons AAA, Mets. In five games last week Den Dekker collected five hits with two home runs. Den Dekker also had six RBI for the fourth place Bisons.
Kevin Chapman (UF, ’10), pitcher, Corpus Christi Hooks, AA, Royals. Chapman appeared in one game last week, pitching 1.1 innings while giving up two hits and striking out three.
Patrick Keating (UF, ’09), pitcher, Northwest Arkansas Naturals, AA, Royals. Keating did not appear in a game last week for the Naturals.
Bryson Smith (UF, ’11), outfielder, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, AA, Indians. In four games last week Smith went 4-for-13 and scored two runs for the first place Wahoos.
Ben McMahan (UF, ’11), catcher, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, McMahan appeared in five games last week and had six RBI’s while collecting five hits for the sixth place Rattlers.
Josh Adams (UF, ’11), infielder, Greensboro Grasshoppers, A, Marlins. Adams appeared in five games, going 5-for-20 with two doubles and two runs scored.
Tommy Toledo (UF, ’11), pitcher, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, A, Brewers. In two games last week Toledo pitched 2.2 innings and picked up a save for the sixth place Rattlers.
Alex Panteliodis (UF, ’11), pitcher, Savannah Sand Gnats, A, Mets. Panteliodis started one game last week, going three innings and allowing only one run on three hits for the sixth place Gnats.
Anthony DeScalfani (UF, ’11) , pitcher, Lansing Lugnuts, A, Blue Jays. In one start last week DeScalfani went five innings, giving up three runs in a no decision for the Lugnuts.
Nick Maronde (UF, ’11), pitcher, Inland Empire 66ers, A, Angels. Maronde started one game last week. He pitched four innings and only allowed one run for the 66ers.
Nolan Fontana (UF, ’12) shortstop, Lexington Legends, A, Astros. Fontana made his career debut this week and posted a .417 batting average in four games. He scored four runs and had a on-base percentage of .667.
This week’s Gator Country Player of the Week is Nolan Fontana.