RiverDogs set for starring roles
As a team, the Charleston RiverDogs are in the middle of a three-day vacation. Some of their teammates, however, will be on a working vacation.
The 48th annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game will be played today at 7:30 p.m. in Rome, Ga., with four RiverDogs featured on the roster, including two infielders and two of the best relief pitchers in the league.
David Robertson, a 17th-round selection from the University of Alabama, is 5-2 with an 0.84 earned run average. He has 61 strikeouts in 43 innings, allowing only 23 hits and 14 walks.
Charleston closer Jonathan Hovis leads the league with 15 saves. The non-drafted signee from the University of North Carolina is 0-2 with a 1.78 ERA and has 30 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings. He's given up 22 hits and two walks.
Third baseman Mitch Hilligoss and shortstop Eduardo Nunez will comprise the left side of the Southern Division's starting infield.
Hilligoss, a sixth-round pick from Purdue University, garnered much attention earlier this season with a 38-game hitting streak that broke the SAL record of 35 set by Scott Seabol in 1999. He was the player of the game in last year's New York-Penn League All-Star Game and was named to Baseball America's short-season Class A All-Star Team.
He's second in the league with 85 hits and has a .313 batting average. As the RiverDogs' leadoff hitter, he has 19 doubles and two homers with 27 runs batted in.
Nunez, hitting only .242, was selected from among a weak group of shortstops in the Southern Division when the ballots were cast three weeks ago. He has 10 stolen bases, 20 runs and 16 RBIs. Last season, he hit a combined .214 while splitting time between Charleston and advanced Class A Tampa.