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Bearcats in the Big Leagues: Late Summer Turnaround

In this week’s episode, Josh Harrison sings, Ian Happ rakes and Ryan Atkinson puts together an impressive outing.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at San Francisco Giants Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Harrison

With the Pittsburgh Pirates trailing the St. Louis Cardinals by just two games for the second wild card spot in the National League, Harrison has maintained his spot at the top of the lineup. Although he went just 4-for-17 in the last week, he extended his hitting streak to five games, starting off the bottom of the first inning of yesterday’s matchup with the Miami Marlins by singling to left field. Harrison is now batting .316 in the month of August, which has proven to be a much better month for him than June and July, when he hit .198 and .213, respectively. The continued turnaround has some singing, even Harrison himself.

Ian Happ

Although and 0-for-3 effort against the Jacksonville Suns on Friday night derailed a five-game hitting streak for Happ, he had a relatively strong week at the plate, highlighted by a 3-for-3 effort against Jacksonville on Wednesday. Along with making contact, Happ showed a bit more patience at the plate, recording three walks during the week to boost his on-base percentage in Double-A to .324. Getting on base more often gave him a chance to try out his wheels, as he was able to snag a pair of bags, giving him five at Double-A and 15 total this season. In 432 combined at-bats between Single-A and Double-A this season, Happ has put up a slash line of .285/.374/.440 and belted 11 home runs, stolen 15 bases and driven in 64 runs.

Tony Campana

Its been a long summer for Campana, but this week served as a bit of a pick-me-up. The 30-year-old outfielder had a pair of multi-hit games and went 4-for-11 overall, also recording his 10th stolen base of the season and fifth with the Charlotte Knights. His big game of the week came on Monday when he went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI while filling in as designated hitter in the nine hole.

Connor Walsh

In his lone appearance of the week, Walsh had a chance to record his fifth save of the season, however, he was unable to close out a win for the Winston-Salem Dash. He entered the bottom of the ninth inning in last Monday’s game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to protect a 3-2 lead. A single, sac bunt and a wild pitch put a runner in scoring position, and although Walsh did not give up another hit, a sacrifice fly to center field allowed the Pelicans to even things up. They would go on to win on a walk-off single the next inning. Walsh has blown four of his nine save opportunities but still has a respectable 3.40 ERA in 25 appearances and is striking out 9.3 batter per nine innings at Single-A.

Ryan Atkinson

Atkinson is punching out batters at an even better rate than Walsh, with 18 strikeouts in 15 13 innings this season. He helped that number greatly in another impressive relief outing for the Missoula Osprey on Thursday, striking out four batters across three shutout innings. Atkinson has a 3.97 ERA with the Osprey but a 3.52 ERA across five total minor league appearances.