Merritt gets Carolina League’s year-end pitching honor
Carolina Mudcats’ left-handed pitcher Ryan Merritt has been named the starting pitcher for the Carolina League’s year-end All-Star squad. The Texas native led the League in wins this season with 13 and was the starting pitcher for the Carolina League in the annual Carolina-California League All-Star Game in June.
Merritt finished the season with a 13-3 record and led the Mudcats with 160 1/3 innings pitched, 127 strikeouts and 25 starts. He posted an earned-run average of 2.58
His 0.95 walks and hits allowed per inning pitched led all of Advanced-A baseball, as did his batting average allowed total of just over .215.
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The Mudcats finished the second half at 33-36 and were 62-74 for the season. Myrtle Beach, Salem, Potomac and Lynchburg advanced to the playoffs.
Lee, Merritt bring home Mudcats’ team awards
Left-handed pitcher Ryan Merritt received the Willie Duke Award from the Carolina Mudcats for his accomplishments on the mound during the 2014 campaign and right-handed pitcher Jacob Lee earned the Ed Hales Award for his selfless involvement in community service.
The Willie Duke award is presented annually by the Mudcats to the player who best symbolizes the spirit and dedication to baseball exhibited by Willie Duke. Known as "Mr. Baseball" for his tireless efforts promoting the game, Willie played and managed in professional baseball for nearly 20 years. He has been instrumental in organizing, promoting, and developing youth baseball programs in the Raleigh area since the 1940s.
Merritt, 22, posted 13 wins and a 2.58 ERA across 25 starts in 2014. The wins were the most by a Mudcats hurler since 2000 and he was only the second pitcher in the Carolina League to reach the achievement since 2007.
The Ed Hales award is presented by the Mudcats in recognition of the player(s) who best exemplifies unselfish spirit, dedication and commitment to the community. While a member of the Mudcats in 2014, Lee always made time to participate in various community service projects. He assisted with youth camps, attended hospital and school visits and worked with the Miracle League, a baseball league for children with disabilities.