Carte improves batting average

Former Winthrop outfielder Daniel Carte spent a week on the bench watching his Tulsa teammates play.

But during the time he was sidelined because of a wrist injury, Carte watched and learned. He had time to think about his approach at the plate.

In the first four games back, Carte was 9-for-16. And in his last 10 games, Carte batted .375 (15-for-40) with two doubles, a homer and nine RBIs. He's upped his season average to .303.

Carte was Colorado's second-round choice in the 2005 draft.

• ROUTE-GOING EFFORT: Pitcher Heath Rollins, another ex-Winthrop Eagle, turned in his best performance of the season a week ago for Class A Vero Beach.

Rollins pitched a complete-game shutout, beating Sarasota 6-0 and allowing only three hits. Rollins gave up leadoff singles in the first and second innings and a fourth-inning leadoff double. He retired 18 of his final 19 batters for his first complete game of the season.

Rollins (3-5) didn't allow a walk and struck out 10.

• SHAFFER SIGNS: Northern Kentucky junior outfielder Jake Shaffer has signed with Seattle.

Shaffer, who played his freshman year at Winthrop before transferring, was the Mariners' 15th-round pick in this month's draft.

Shaffer batted .331 with five homers, 39 RBIs and 15 stolen bases at Northern Kentucky this season. He has been assigned to the Mariners' Pulaski, Va., affiliate in the rookie advanced Appalachian League.

• AREA FLAVOR: Thursday's independent Frontier League game in Sauget, Ill., had a Rock Hill-area flavor to it as Chillicothe defeated Gateway 8-5.

Chillicothe's catcher was Kevin Butler, a Rock Hill High School graduate, while ex-Fort Mill standout Charlie Lisk caught and played third base for Gateway.

Butler was 1-for-3 with an RBI while Lisk was 1-for-4 with three RBIs. Lisk hit his sixth homer of the season and is tied for the Frontier League lead.

Washington outfielder Jacob Dempsey, who played at Winthrop, is tied for the league lead in doubles (11) and extra base hits (14).

• THURMOND RELEASED: Pitcher Ben Thurmond, who spent three years at Winthrop, was waived by Atlantic City.

Thurmond, who finished his college career at Arizona State, was 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA in three appearances.

• IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: Clayton Richard made his first Triple-A appearance a successful one for Charlotte.

Richard, just up from Double-A Birmingham, pitched seven strong innings in the Knights' 3-2 victory at Norfolk earlier this week.

Richard, the Chicago White Sox's eighth-round pick in the 2005 draft, allowed only four hits, two runs, didn't walk a batter and struck out five. He retired 19 of the final 20 batters he faced, including 17 in a row.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder, who played his college baseball at Michigan, allowed two first-inning runs, the second on a single by Tides first baseman Mike Costanzo. He then sat down 17 straight batters until Costanzo, a former Coastal Carolina standout, singled in the seventh inning.

Richard was 6-6 with a 2.47 ERA, 53 strikeouts and 16 walks.