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Never too late for another call up

By NANCY MORGAN
Published May 6, 2007


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Greg Jones (Seminole/Pasco Hernando CC) hopes to return to the mound for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Signed by Angels scout Tom Kotchman in 1997, Jones was called to the majors on three occasions - in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

"In this organization, I need to create a chance to get up there again, " said Jones, 30. "If I get that window of opportunity, then I need to show my consistency in throwing strikes.

"The Angels' bullpen is strong and one of the best in Major League Baseball, so it'll be a challenge to get into the mix. I think the best thing I bring to the mound is my ability to throw strikes."

Since joining the Angels' minor-league system 10 years ago, the right-hander has advanced from rookie ball to the Triple-A Salt Lake City Bees the past four seasons. Through last month, Jones had a 6.75 ERA.

"No doubt the biggest thrill for me was when I was called up the first time in 2003 and both my parents were there, " Jones said. "It was at home in August against Toronto."

Jones started playing baseball earlier than even T-ball age and never stopped, even while playing basketball and football in high school. Jones played catcher through his sophomore season at Pasco-Hernando Community College and pitched just one inning there.

"Pitching was never in the fold for me in either high school or at Pasco-Hernando, but for the last 10 years that's what I've done, " Jones said. "When Tom approached me in my sophomore year, he said the Angels had a lot of interest in me as a pitcher. When I saw the opportunity to play professionally, I took it."

Jones has settled into the middle reliever position and despite hand and elbow injuries in 2001, shoulder surgery in 2004 as well as bone spurs the same year, he has felt at full speed the past few years.

"I don't have a timeline on how long I'll play baseball, " Jones said, "but when the time comes, I'll be ready to shift gears. If not in baseball, I'll be teaching and coaching football. That's another love of mine and I'd especially like to work with children."

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Junior Marshall Hampton (Admiral Farragut) leads Case Western Reserve in hitting average (.345), runs (17), hits (33) and RBIs (18). Last month against John Carroll, Hampton connected for two triples and a double, driving in three runs and scoring three in an 11-9 win. Hampton was UAA Co-Athlete of the Week.

- Bill Manion (East Lake/Central Florida CC) connected for two hits and an RBI in a 9-8 High Point win over UNC Asheville. The junior outfielder is second on the team in average (.338) with 45 hits and 17 RBIs.

- Florida Gulf Coast freshman Pete Woodworth (St. Petersburg Catholic) has collected a 4-1 pitching record and a 3.95 ERA.

FOOTBALL: Senior wide receiver Trey Schmidt (Shorecrest) led Wake Forest in receiving yards with 45 in the ACC defending champions' spring football game. Redshirt senior wide receiver Kevin Marion (Dixie Hollins) collected 44 and redshirt junior wide receiver Chip Brinkman (Clearwater Central Catholic) posted 34.

TRACK: Senior Ashlee Kidd (St. Petersburg) led Georgia Tech to a fourth-place finish in the ACC Outdoor Championships with a win in the 400 meters. Kidd was second in the 200 and fourth in the 4x100-meter relay.

- Florida sophomore Kallinka Pitt (Seminole) was 11th in the 110 hurdles at the Pepsi Florida Relays last month and first in the shuttle hurdle relay.

SOFTBALL: Sophomore Allison Kidman (Countryside) has career highs in hits (21) and RBIs (12) for Michigan. The outfielder is averaging .269 at the plate.

- Senior Shauna Hawthorne (Seminole/Daytona Beach CC) played in 13 games for Farleigh Dickinson.

[Last modified May 5, 2007, 18:32:09]


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