Originally posted on Summer Ball  |  Last updated 4/23/12
From the CPL The Forest City Owls are excited to announce the addition of three players from the Liberty Flames in infielder Bryan Aanderud (pictured L-R, courtesy of Liberty Sports Information), first baseman/catcher/right hander Alex Close, and right-hander Carson Herndon. All three players have been major factors in a record setting year for the Flames, who currently sit at 30-9 overall and are considered the frontrunners to win the Big South Conference.
^^^ Aanderud is a 5-10, 195-pound junior infielder who has taken advantage of his first season as a starter. A native of Fullerton, Calif., Aanderud is among the NCAA leaders in several categories. He currently ranks 14th in the nation in batting average with a .421 clip, and fourth in the nation in hits with 53. As the leadoff hitter for the Flames, he has a team high 39 RBIs and has started all 41 games for the Flames this season.
“Bryan is a middle-infielder who has hit over .400 for most of the season,” said Owls head coach Phil Disher. “He is an extremely talented player and he will play a huge part in our lineup and defensively. As you can expect, we are very excited to have him.”

Close is a 6-3, 225-pound true freshman from Hoover, Ala., who was brought along slowly during the Flames 2012 season, but simply produced too much to be left on the bench. Now in the starting lineup, Close offers versatility as he can play first base, catcher or designated hitter, and he is also a talented right-hander out of the bullpen. For the season he has started 30 games and hit .290 with 24 RBIs and a team high six home runs. Close has also made two appearances out of the bullpen, and he is a player who could fill multiple roles with the Owls this summer.

“Close is a two-way guy as a freshman that [head] coach [Jim] Toman said is an extremely good pitcher, first baseman, catcher and designate hitter for the Flames,” said Disher. “He is going to do a little bit of everything for us, and he will also provide a power-bat in our lineup.”

Filling out the talented trio of players from Liberty is the 6-4, 215-pound righty Herndon. Hailing from Salisbury, N.C., Herndon is a freshman that has made appearances both as a starter and out of the bullpen for the Flames. He has appeared in nine games this season, with three starts, and has gone an impressive 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA and 16 strikeouts.

“Carson Herndon is one of Liberty’s main guys out of the bullpen,” said Disher. “Coach Toman has said nothing but good things about him, and he has been a very dependable player for the Flames this year. He looks to play a similar role for us this summer.”

Forest City continues to build to a talented roster under Disher, and the addition of three players from a successful program such as Liberty exemplifies that. Aanderud, Close and Herndon figure to play prominent roles for the Owls as they seek to win their third CPL Championship in the past five years.

Owls Opening Night is set for May 29th versus the Asheboro Copperheads. A limited number of season tickets are still available for the 2012 season. Season tickets begin at less than $5 a game. For more information about any of the Owls ticket plans, please call the Owls front office at (828)245-0000 to speak to a friendly ticket sales representative. Or please visit us at http://www.forestcitybaseball.com.

The Forest City Owls are a proud member of the Coastal Plain League, the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 16th season in 2012, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives college players a chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had more than 930 alums drafted and 48 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander - make their major league debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at http://www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on facebook (at http://www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via twitter (at cpleague).




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