Steamers reinstate arms

Published 8:42 am Tuesday, May 10, 2022

EDENTON – The Edenton Steamers have strengthened their pitching staff with three additions from last summer. RHP Michael Allen (Lenoir-Rhyne University), RHP Tyrus Baumgardner (West Virginia State University), and RHP/UTL Gage Riddick (Eastern Mennonite University) will all wear teal and black this summer.

Riddick is a native of Gates County.

Allen is returning for his third season with the Steamers. The native of Manteo was a consistent presence out of the pen a season ago. Last summer, Allen went 2/2 in save opportunities, had 20 strikeouts (fifth on the team), a 2.84 ERA, and only one walk in 12.2 IP. He’s had an even stronger spring season with Lenoir-Rhyne. The redshirt junior has 12 strikeouts, a .262 opponent’s batting average, and only four walks in 17 IP. Over his 19 appearances he’s only allowed an earned run in four of them.

“Michael has been a key arm out of the bullpen for us for the last two seasons. He’s a quiet guy that turns into an animal when he gets on the mound,” said Steamers’ general manager Tyler Russell. “He’s a super competitor that can get guys out with his solid three pitch mix.”

Baumgardner was another important piece in the bullpen last season for the Clams. He appeared in eight games in 2021, picking up 17 Ks across 12.1 IP for the Steamers. He only pitched out of the pen last summer, but has shown the ability to start as well this spring. He has a pair of starts to go along with four relief appearances with West Virginia State in 2022. Over those six appearances he has five strikeouts and 9.0 IP for the Yellow Jackets.

“Tyrus settled in with us last summer and really became an effective bullpen arm for us down the stretch,” Russell said. “Given what he has done at WVSU this spring, we think that we could use him in a swing role this summer and have him make appearances as a starter and a reliever.”

Riddick rounds out the trio of returners. He has childhood connections to Edenton, growing up in Corapeake and attending the Steamers summer camp as a kid. His stint last summer was cut short due to injury, only appearing in the field in one game. He’ll bring a lot of versatility to the Steamers this season, with experience as a pitcher, and the ability to play corner infield and outfield. On the mound, Riddick has collected 19 strikeouts in 29.2 IP for EMU (his career high in IP over a spring season). At the plate, he’s tallied 16 hits and nine runs batted in for the Royals.

“In his words, this is a guy that is ecstatic to have the opportunity to live out a childhood dream this summer and suit up for the Steamers,” Russell said. “We were looking forward to having Gage with us last season, but he had an unfortunate injury that cut his summer short. We are excited to see what he can bring for us on the mound this summer.”

These three bring a lot of versatility to Edenton this summer and can be used in multiple ways. They also continue a trend of familiar faces returning for another season with the Clams.

“Coach Hill will have a lot of options with this trio this summer. Whether he needs a start, a middle relief appearance, or a lock down closer, these guys can do it all,” Russell said.

The Edenton Steamers are celebrating their 25th season of summer collegiate baseball in 2022. The Steamers will open their home schedule against the Boone Bigfoot on Saturday, June 4, at Historic Hicks Field.

The Steamers have had over 110 alumni drafted, and 20 to make it to Major League Baseball. Be sure to follow the Teal and Black on social media to stay up to date with all things Steamers. You can find the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @edentonsteamers.

For more information visit edentonsteamers.com or call (252) 482-4080.