SHREVEPORT, La. - The Shreveport-Bossier Captains' recent theme of finishing strong came through Saturday, when the Captains had three pitchers named to the South Division team of July 21's American Association All-Star Game in Grand Prairie, Texas. Starter Logan Williamson was the Captains' fifth starter when the season began, passed over in his opening start, while relievers Jakob Cunningham and Justin Dowdy were not even on the Shreveport-Bossier roster Opening Day.
But all three have become vital parts of the Captains pitching staff and have certainly earned their selections by South manager Pete Incaviglia of Grand Prairie.
Williamson has been remarkably consistent this season since making his first start on May 23. The lefty from Pensacola, Fla., went at least six innings and allowed no more than three earned runs in each of his first nine starts, and has won five consecutive starts. He also beat first-half South Division champion Fort Worth twice in a row, on June 25 and June 29. The 24-year-old in his fifth professional season had his best two games on June 3 against Pensacola, when he allowed one run on four hits with eight strikeouts; and on July 3 at El Paso, when he rescued a tired bullpen with 8 1/3 innings while pitching on three days' rest for the second time in a row.
Overall, Williamson is 6-2 with a 2.83 ERA, giving up 69 hits in 63 2/3 innings, with 28 walks, 44 strikeouts and an opponent's batting average of .288.
Another lefty, Dowdy started the season in Double-A Midland (Texas League) with the Oakland A's organization. But he was released, and signed with former manager Ricky Van Asselberg on May 24. After working his way back to an overhand delivery after throwing sidearm part of the time in Midland, Dowdy assumed the closer's role on June 11 at Sioux City. Other than losing two extra-inning games against Pensacola that were tied, Dowdy has only blown one save in eight chances this season, in his second opportunity on June 13 because of an unearned run.
The 25-year-old from Chula Vista, Calif., has an ERA of 2.82 this season, with 29 strikeouts and 11 walks in 22 1/3 innings. He has allowed only 21 hits and eight runs (seven earned), holding opponents to a .247 batting average.
Cunningham also joined the Captains mid-season, signing out of NAIA Lubbock Christian University on June 15. Since starting his professional career with a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts, the 22-year-old righty has been nothing but excellent, allowing eight hits and two runs in 17 1/3 innings. He is 3-0, allowed both his runs in one of his 13 appearances (which he got the win in anyway), and has walked just seven while striking out 20.