The Modesto Nuts have cracked their way to first place in the North Division of the Class A California League.
The Colorado Rockies affiliate has won eight of its past nine games and holds a 2 1/2-game lead in the North race. And one of the chief reasons has been former Winthrop infielder Matt Repec.
The Nuts third baseman has batted .450 (9-for-20) in his past five games, hitting two homers and driving in seven runs.
The right-handed hitting Repec, the Rockies' 27th-round selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, was 3-for-5 with a double and homer and drove in four runs in the Nuts' recent 10-6 victory over High Desert.
Last Wednesday night, Repec was 2-for-6 in Modesto's 8-7, 13-inning victory over Bakersfield. He had a triple in the second inning and scored when the hit was misplayed.
Then Repec gave the Nuts the one-run victory in the bottom of the 13th inning when he delivered a two-out, run-scoring single to drive home the deciding run.
For the season, Repec is batting .264 with eight homers and a career-high 49 RBIs.
• VICTORY MARK: Minor leaguers don't like to spend too much time with the same team. But for Charlotte Knights knuckleballing pitcher Charlie Haeger, it has paid off with a record.
Haeger, a right-hander in his third stint with the Knights, got a 4-3 victory over the Richmond Braves last Friday to become the Knights' all-time leader in victories with 27.
Haeger, the Chicago White Sox's 25th-round choice in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, has one more win than former Knights left-hander Heath Phillips.
A native of Livonia, Mich., Haeger won 14 games with the Knights in 2006 and five last season. He is 8-7 with a 4.02 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 123 innings for the Knights this season.
Haeger is one of seven pitchers to record at least 20 career wins for the Triple-A International League Knights.
• OH, BROTHER: The Childers brothers are having quite a season in the International League.
The two relief pitchers -- Matt Childers with Leigh Valley and Jason Childers with the Charlotte Knights -- have a combined 73 appearances and 23 saves.
Matt Childers, the younger of the two, is 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 37 games with Leigh Valley, a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate.
Jason Childers is 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA and eight saves in 36 appearances for the Knights. Jason Childers also appeared in last week's Triple-A All-Star Game.
• FAMILIAR NAME I: The name of Shoeless Joe Jackson is well known around the state of South Carolina. Many fans remember Jackson, whose major league career was cut short when he and seven other members of the Chicago White sox were banned from baseball for throwing the 1919 World Series.
The name lives on in 16-year-old Joe Jackson, a batboy for the Class A South Atlantic League Greenville Drive and rising junior catcher at Mauldin High School. Jackson is the nephew, several generations removed, of Shoeless Joe.
The younger Jackson, like Shoeless Joe, bats left-handed and hit .387 this past season for Mauldin's Mavericks.
• FAMILIAR NAME II: A couple of minor league players with familiar names to area fans have been traded by their respective organizations.
The Baltimore Orioles have dealt former Radford first baseman Mark Fleisher to the Chicago White Sox. And ex-Charlotte Knights outfielder Tom Collaro was sent to Cincinnati.
Both Fleisher and Collaro were traded for future considerations.
Fleisher was Baltimore's 14th-round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of Radford, a member of the Big South Conference. He is currently with the White Sox's Class A South Atlantic League Kannapolis Intimidators.
Collaro, who spent parts of the 2007 and the '08 seasons with the Knights, has been assigned to Cincinnati's Chattanooga team in the Double-A Southern League.
• PATRIOTS ADD PAIR: Francis Marion University has added a pair of transfers to its baseball program in outfielder Alex Lee and left-handed pitcher Jeremiah Meiners.
Lee is joining the Patriots from Clemson and Meiners is coming in from Coastal Carolina. Both will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Lee, a graduate of Blythewood High School, played in 48 games for Clemson last season, batting .250 with four extra base hits.
Meiners, a Silver Spring, Md., native, appeared in 16 games for Coastal Carolina during the past season.