Both Brian Lambert and Michael Earley were been selected to participate in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League All Star Game in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 15 (Thanks to a reader for the tip!). They both represented the Blue Team in their 5-4 victory. Earley, who came into the game with a .314 batting average, 11 RBIs, 10 runs scored and 7 stolen bases, started the game at catcher and went 1-2 with a stolen base. Lambert, who earned his spot on the roster with a .329 batting average, 8 RBIs, 15 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases, came off the bench to play left field and went 0-2 with an error.
Lambert and Earley have each been playing very well thus far, and it is a great honor to have them represent Indiana University in the Great Lakes All Star Game. Lambert's summer should come as no surprise to those who followed IU baseball this season as he played an instrumental role in their late season surge and finished with the third highest BA on the team at .345. I'd look for him to be a lock to start the season in the outfield for the Hoosiers.
Earley, on the other hand, is not primarily known as a catcher. If I remember correctly, I believe he only caught 1 inning the entire year and most still thought of Earley as a 1B/DH. With Jerrud Sabourin and Alex Dickerson in your lineup at those 2 positions, it is very tough for anyone to get playing time over those two talented players. However, it looks as Earley might have found himself a position at catcher.
Indianapolis native Josh Lyon could be the biggest barrier to Earley earning a starting catcher spot for the Hoosiers, but has not put up the numbers Earley has thus far during the summer season. But, Lyon's batting average has been creeping up steadily throughout the summer and his summer league is more highly touted. If he can get his strikeouts down, it might be difficult to keep both him and Earley out of the lineup when the season rolls around. It should be noted that both Dylan Swift and Wes Wilson will also return as potential options behind the plate, and Swift may be the best defensive catcher on the roster.
If the adage "competition breeds success" holds true, we could have another great year for Indiana University baseball. Go Hoosiers!