GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- Six University of North Dakota baseball players are continuing their seasons into the summer, playing independent ball. Jeff Campbell and Andrew Thome are veterans of the independent scene and join Dalton Leuschke, Ellery Bresnahan, Brett DeGagne' and Zach Muckenhirn in fine-tuning their skills over the summer months.
Campbell is in his second season with the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League. He was recently honored with the league's player of the night on June 22 after a 3-for-4 effort at the plate in the midst of his current 12-game hitting streak. As of Tuesday morning, he's hitting .354 with six doubles, a pair of homers and 14 runs batted in. On the mound, he's 1-0 with a 1.92 ERA and two saves.
Thome-- after spending last summer in the Cape Cod League-- is closer to home this off-season pitching for the Alexandria Blue Anchors, also of the Northwoods League. Through Monday, Thome has appeared in nine contests with a 2-0 record, 28 strikeouts in 28.2 innings and a 2.51 earned run average and a .211 opponent batting average.
UND teammate Zach Muckenhirn is also his summer teammate. The freshman phenom from this past season has thrown 18.1 innings over six appearances.
Dalton Leuschke, who played in just nine games last season after transferring from Des Moines Area Community College is getting a chance to get some productive swings in this summer also in Alexandria. Playing for former Major League Al Newman, Leuschke is batting .321 in 18 games with nine RBIs and four stolen bases.
Freshman Ellery Bresnahan is playing for the Rossville Rattlers and has returned to the outfield. Bresnahan saw action in 11 games out of the bullpen last year for North Dakota but with the graduation of centerfielder Jacob Threlkeld, may get a chance to vie for an outfield spot two years after winning the N.D. Player of the Year in his final high school season. Through just a few weeks, Bresnahan is hitting .294 with a .442 on-base percentage through 12 games.
Brett DeGagne' has recently signed on with the Hays Larks in the Jayhawk League, the same squad that Taylor Petersen played for last summer. He has made one start on the mound, going four innings with three hits and three strikeouts.
UNDsports.com will continue to monitor their progress throughout the summer and will have updates both here and on twitter @UND_baseball.