CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Appalachian League announced that Bluefield’s Jack Doyle and Elizabethton’s Baker Cox were named the Player and Pitcher of the Month for July, respectively.
Doyle, 20, earned Player of the Month honors after hitting .446 (33-for-74) with two home runs and 19 RBIs in 20 games. The Ridge Runners infielder led all Appalachian League hitters in average, hits (tied) and on-base percentage (.533) and ranked second in slugging (.662) and OPS (1.195). Doyle also finished third in doubles (tied-8) and total bases (tied-49) and was fourth in RBI.
Doyle hit safely in 18 of 20 games played for Bluefield in July and finished the month with nine multi-hit games. He authored a 13-game hitting streak to begin the month (July 1-18), during which he batted .444 (20-for-45) with 11 RBIs. He recorded five multi-hit performances in a six-game span (July 8-15) during the streak, highlighted by a pair of three-hit games. After producing back-to-back three-hit games on July 21-22 and going 3-for-6 with a home run, a double, three runs scored and three RBIs in the latter contest, Doyle went 4-for-6 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs on July 23 against Burlington.
Doyle led all qualified Appalachian League hitters in batting average (.389), OBP (.491) and OPS (1.049) this season while playing in 27 games for Bluefield. The Weymouth, Mass., native produced a .788 OPS with four RBIs in 10 games this spring as a Northeastern sophomore.
Cox, 21, garnered Pitcher of the Month honors after going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA over three starts in July. The River Riders left-hander struck out 24 over 15.1 innings, allowing just two hits while walking seven. Cox finished the month with a .044 batting average against and a 0.59 WHIP, the first- and second-best marks among qualified Appy League pitchers in July.
Cox did not allow more than one hit in any of his three July starts for the River Riders. He recorded the first no-hitter of the 2023 Appalachian League season on July 3, when he struck out 10 in Elizabethton’s six-inning, rain-shortened win over Greeneville. Cox permitted one hit, struck out six and walked four over 4.1 innings in his July 10 against Bristol, and then capped his award-winning month by delivering five scoreless innings of one-hit ball with eight strikeouts against Kingsport on July 31.
The Hopkins, S.C. product lowered his 2023 Appy League season ERA from 7.90 to 3.72 in July. Overall, Cox compiled 39 strikeouts against 14 walks and 14 hits allowed in 29 innings across seven starts for Elizabethton this season. In 2022, Cox registered 34 strikeouts in 22.1 innings for the River Riders, making 13 appearances (one start). Cox is committed to UNC-Wilmington for the 2023-24 collegiate season after pitching for Spartanburg Methodist JC (S.C.) this past spring.