FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. –The phrase in baseball is “Pitching and Defense win championships.” The SwampDogs are counting on significant contributions from four pitchers in the Petitt Cup chase. Cody Smith of Chowan, Tyler Hughes of UNC-Asheville, Brandon Withers and Logan Corrigan of James Madison provide the SwampDogs with skill, depth, and versatility.
Smith has been incredible this spring for Chowan, rattling off nine straight wins with a paltry 3.30 ERA. Chowan has won the last ten games that Smith has appeared in, not allowing more three runs in in that stretch. Also in that span, Smith has tallied 72 of his 73 strike outs in just 58.1 innings. Hitters have struggled to muster much against the power lefty, managing to hit just .179 against him. A workhorse, Smith will likely slot into the rotation for the SwampDogs this summer.
Hughes is a tall righty for the University of North Carolina-Asheville where he made 13 appearances out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs. Hughes is successful at creating easy work for his defense allowing just under a hit per inning. He will add valuable depth to the SwampDogs’ bullpen with the ability to be effective for multiple innings in relief.
Withers has moved into a starting role for James Madison University which has allowed him to find his groove, improve his command, and cut down on the walks. Withers was a very successful right-hand starter during his high school career in Virginia where he was a part of a post-season rotation each of his varsity campaigns. The righty provides the SwampDogs with starting and relieving experience.
Corrigan missed most of the spring at James Madison with a thyroid injury but will be at full strength when he suits up for the SwampDogs this summer. When healthy, Corrigan spent most of his time for the Dukes as a first basemen, hitting .271 with 5 doubles. Corrigan is also an excellent left-handed arm out of the bullpen, posting a 2.25 ERA in four appearances.
With these signings, the SwampDogs flesh out most of their pitching staff and provide balance with two more lefties and two more righties. The collection of arms also gives Manager Anthony Williams a stable of versatile pitchers who can be used in a variety of roles with successful track records against top competition.
The Fayetteville SwampDogs home opener for the 2016 season is Wednesday, June 1st. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 910-426-5900, or by visiting www.goswampdogs.com/tickets.
About the SwampDogs:
The Fayetteville SwampDogs enter their 16th season playing in the Coastal Plain League. The SwampDogs are one of the most successful franchises in the league’s history, making the Petitt Cup Playoffs eight times in the past 11 seasons, reaching the championship round three times. The SwampDogs boast 90 alumni taken in the draft and have produced six players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball including slugger Mark Reynolds and David Aardsma. For more information on the Fayetteville SwampDogs, visit their team website at www.goswampdogs.com and follow us on Twitter @GoSwampDogs and like us on Facebook at Fayetteville SwampDogs Baseball. Where baseball is fun!
About the Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 20th season in 2016, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 81 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.