With a number of NC State baseball players scattered across the country playing summer ball, three pitchers, juniors Reid Johnston, Nick Swiney and Evan Justice, stuck together to play for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Cape Cod is one of the most talented summer leagues in the country, boasting Division I baseball players from many of the major conferences, including the ACC and SEC. The league sports 10 teams that play from June 10 to August 10 while school is out.
As for the NC State pitchers, Johnston and Justice have four appearances each, while Swiney made two appearances in June before being released by the team. Swiney was 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA, giving up three hits and one run in 3.1 innings. He also punched four strikeouts.
Despite an equal number of appearances for Johnston and Justice, the players have two completely different stat lines. Justice has not been as successful, holding a 0-2 record in two starts and two relief appearances that total 12 innings pitched with an 8.25 ERA.
It looks like the Kettleers will be using Justice more out of the pen, as his stats are much better there than in relief. Justice has three walks and three strikeouts from the bullpen compared to five walks and two strikeouts starting.
However, Johnston has been incredible for the Kettleers this summer, posting a 0.52 ERA in four starts, leading to a 2-0 record. He has pitched 17 innings, of which the last three have been shutout performances, and gave up 11 hits with an 8-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Behind all the stats, the NC State ace was chosen to be a Cape League All-Star for the 2019 season, one of eight the Kettleers will send to Eldredge Park in Orleans, Massachusetts for the All-Star Game on July 21.
The Cotuit Kettleers fall in second place in the west division with a 15-11-3 record behind the success of Reid Johnston. This league is a great opportunity for college players to continue playing against the nation’s best talent and Johnston’s success is a great sign for NC State fans looking at the 2020 college baseball regular season.