Tindall's star is rising at top-ranked Tampa

News-DemocratMay 2, 2014 

Former O'Fallon High School catcher Nick Tindall may be creating a second opportunity to be drafted by a major league baseball team with a strong season at the University of Tampa.

Playing for the nation's No. 1-ranked NCAA Division II team, Tindall is hitting .345 with a team-leading 11 home runs.

He also has 13 doubles, one triple and his 40 RBIs rank second on a 45-2 team.

A 17th round pick by the Minnesota Twins in the 2009 draft after his senior year at O'Fallon, Tindall signed but battled injuries before being released after parts of two minor league seasons.

Able to continue his collegiate career at a Division II or NAIA school, Tindall went to Quincy University last season and was voted the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year and ABCA/Rawlings Midwest Region Player of the Year.

In 2011, Tindall suffered a foot injury in a jet ski accident but has battled back in a big way since then.

After starring at Quincy, he transferred to Tampa in January and has been tearing up southern pitching ever since.

Tindall was recently named Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week. During a three-game sweep of Nova Southeastern, Tindall was 4-for-8 with two doubles, a triple and a home run with five RBIs.

O'Fallon High coach Jason Portz said it took a ruling by Major League Baseball but Tindall is eligible for the draft in June.

* Freshman outfielder Aaron Meyer (Belleville West) has started in 22 of his 34 appearances for Missouri State and is hitting .226. Meyer has three doubles and two RBIs.

Freshman outfielder Blake Graham (Edwardsville) has started 11 of his 22 appearances and is hitting .190 with two doubles, one homer and two RBIs.

* Granite City graduate Cody Daily is the top hitter for Southern Illinois University Carbondale, compiling a .317 average in 44 games with 13 doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs.

* Southeast Missouri sophomore pitcher Alex Siddle (Belleville East) is 2-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 16 relief appearances. He has 19 strikeouts and 15 walks in 21 2/3 innings.

* Jake Degener (Waterloo) is hitting .314 with seven doubles, one homer and 25 RBIs for Lindenwood-Belleville (34-12), which is headed for the Association of Independent Institutions (AII) Conference Tournament in Lynn, Mass.

Lindenwood, which has the No. 5 seed, will face No. 2 LSU-Alexandria at 1 p.m. Friday.

The Lynx are 14-1 in their last 15 games and 26-4 in their last 30.

Michael Sabatino (Wood River) is tied for the staff lead with eight wins (8-3) and has a 4.11 ERA. Senior Joe Phelps (Marissa) also has eight wins (8-3) with a team-leading 1.85 ERA and seven complete games along with 79 strikeouts in 78 innings.

Mike Wuelling (Valmeyer) is 4-3 in 11 starts with a 5.32 ERA. David Parkinson (Marissa) is 4-0 with a 4.54 ERA, making starts in five of his seven appearances. Reliever Ty Grotefendt (Triad) is 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA and team-leading three saves.

Joe Dunn (Alton) is hitting .459 with four RBIs in 10 games.

*Knox College sophomore infielder Austin Bevenue (Althoff) is hitting .288 for the Knox College Prairie Fire (13-17) with one, double, one triple, two home runs and 17 RBIs in 24 games. Junior infielder Austen Lake (Central) is hitting .222 with five RBIs in nine games for Knox.

* Blackburn College senior outfielder Donny Fuhrhop (Triad) is having another strong season after being named 2013 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

This season, Fuhrhop leads Blackburn with a .405 average that includes five doubles, three homers and 18 RBIs.

Vinnie Birk (Belleville East) is hitting .361 for Blackburn with four doubles, two triples and 14 RBIs. The junior infielder has also pitched in nine games and is 1-4 with a 5.23 ERA.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or follow him on Twitter: @NormSanders

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