Sports

Rollins has streaky first season

It's been a streaky season for former Winthrop pitcher Heath Rollins, who is in his first full year of professional baseball.

Rollins, pitching in Columbus, Ga., won his first six decisions of the season. Then he lost three straight. Now he's won three in a row for the Catfish, moving his record to 9-3.

Rollins pitched six shutout innings in a 3-1 victory over Rome last week. He scattered five hits, walked three and struck out three, running his league-leading whiff total to 99 in 102 1-3 innings.

Rollins, the Devil Rays' 11th-round pick in the 2006 draft, was matched against R-Braves pitcher Tanyon Sturtze, who was on a rehab assignment following rotator cuff surgery. Sturtze, who was signed by Atlanta as a free agent last year, has appeared in the big leagues with six different teams and is also a former Charlotte Knight.

• BIT OF HISTORY: Ex-Fort Mill High School pitcher Brandon Williams became a part of Pittsburgh history recently.

Williams, who was pitching for the Pirates' short-season New York-Penn League team in State College, Pa., was moved up to Double-A Altoona. He made his first appearance for the Curve July 4 and became the first player to play for each team.

State College and Altoona are located about 40 miles apart. State College is in its first year as an affiliate of the Pirates and sister franchise of the Curve.

Williams, a 6-foot-6, 233-pound right-hander, pitched in two games for the Curve, but was sent back to State College last week. In two games with the Curve, Williams was 0-0, pitching 3 1-3 innings, giving up six hits, four runs, walking three and striking out three.

Williams was the Pirates' 29th round selection out of USC Upstate in 2006.

• BSC DRAFT PICKS: The Big South Conference fared well in last month's draft with 14 players from five league members picked. That number is second only to the 16 selected in the 2005 draft.

Since 2000, 78 Big South players have been picked by major league teams.

Coastal Carolina led this year's draft with a league-record seven picks. Chanticleers chosen were pitcher John Mariotti (Baltimore), pitcher Andy De La Garza (San Francisco), pitcher Pete Andrelczyk (Baltimore), outfielder Dom Duggan (San Francisco), pitcher Austin Hinkle (Tampa Bay), first baseman Chris Raber (New York Yankees) and catcher Dock Doyle (Atlanta).

High Point pitcher Eammon Portice was the first BSC player chosen, going in the 12th round to Boston. Pittsburgh took another Panthers pitcher, Tom Boleska, in the 35th round.

Other BSC players chosen were infielder Chris Carrara, Winthrop, (New York Yankees); pitcher Michael Solbach, Liberty (Arizona); infielder Chad Rice, VMI (Pittsburgh); pitcher Corey Bachman, VMI (Chicago Cubs); and outfielder Garrett Young, Liberty (Boston).

• KNIGHT PROMOTED: Knights knuckleballer Charlie Haeger was recalled by the parent Chicago White Sox.

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