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26 Titans in 26 Days. Player #2-Rich Graef

POSTED April 12, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Rich Graef- UMass Amherst- Bat (L) Throw (R) Sophomore- Outfield- Simsbury, CT

PERSONAL: Born Richard Philip Graef on Dec. 5, 1990, in Athens, Ga. ... Son of Richard and Mary Graef ... Plans to major in Sport Management. 

Titans Outlook: Graef will come to Torrington this summer as a player not unfamiliar with the surroundings he will play his home games in and is looking forward to it.

“I'm extremely excited to be playing for Torrington this summer and being apart of the new Futures League,” Graef said. “I grew up playing legion games at Fuessenich Park and it's a great atmosphere for baseball. It's going to be a great summer and I think the fans are really going to enjoy following us Titans.”
A centerfielder by trade, Graef describes himself as a scrappy ball player who prides himself in being a contact hitter.

He brings with him a summer of 2010 that he will not soon forget.

As a member of the Protocall Starz of the Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate Baseball League, Graef helped his team take home the league championship by posting a batting average of .342.

That earned him a birth on the ABCCL All-Star team and makes him just the kind of battler at the plate that Titans manager Gregg Hunt loves.

In the championship game, Graef was in the middle of everything positive that happened to his team.

An RBI single gave his team the early lead and would be followed by consecutive bunt base-hits later in the game.

His grounder to short in the bottom of the eleventh was thrown away, allowing the winning run to score from second.

His ability to put the ball in play and get on base (.384 on base percentage) and his ability to lay down a bunt will make him a key weapon for the 2011 Titans.

The final numbers from the 2010 summer were impressive. A .342 batting average included 40 hits, 22 runs scored and 14 RBI’s.

COLLEGE CAREER NUMBERS AT UMASS

AS A SOPHOMORE IN 2011: Went 2-for-4 at Connecticut (4/6) ... Against Albany (4/2) went 2-for-4 with two RBI ... At Hartford (3/31), tallied four hits in five at-bats with three runs scored, one RBI, and one double ... Went 2-for-5 vs. Bucknell (3/18) ... Scored two runs and walked twice vs. Indiana (3/16) ... Against Michigan (3/5) went 2-for-4 batting in one run.

AS A FRESHMAN IN 2010: Played in 13 games, starting twice in left field ... Hit .444 (4-for-9) with a double, an RBI and three runs scored ... Was 1-for-1 in stolen base attempts ... Started at Quinnipiac (5/11) and went 1-for-5 at the plate with a run scored and a stolen base ... Pinch ran and scored a run at Charlotte (4/2) ... In his first collegiate start against Hartford (3/24), hit 2-for-3 with a double, one run scored and one RBI ... Collected his first collegiate hit in his first at-bat at Oklahoma State (3/13) and also drew a walk in that contest.

BEFORE UMASS: Played four seasons as a pitcher and outfielder at Simsbury High School under Coach Keith Wetjen ... Helped the Trojans win the CCC-North title during his freshman and junior seasons ... Was named CCC All-Conference following his sophomore, junior and senior campaigns ... Hit .405 for his high school career with 63 stolen bases, 57 runs scored, 48 RBI and a .502 on base percentage ... Earned all-zone selections in 2008 and 2009 ... Was a member of the Connecticut Senior Team in 2009 ... Selected as team captain as a senior ... Batted .420 with 19 RBI and 20 stolen bases as a senior ... Also played soccer and basketball while at Simsbury High and served as captain of both squads.

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