To say former Marietta College Pioneer All-American shortstop Tim Saunders is off to a fast start in his minor league baseball career would be a major understatement.
Saunders, a 32nd round selection by the Chicago Cub's in last months major league baseball draft, is hitting .471 in his first nine games for the Cubs Arizona Rookie League entry.
One of the key components of the Etta Express team that wrapped up its second consecutive NCAA Division III championship this spring, Saunders has 16 hits in his first 34 professional at bats to go along with 10 runs scored and five RBI's.
Saunders has also swiped three bases for the Cubbies who are off to an impressive 6-3 start.
Another member of the back-to-back championship team is also performing quite well in his first taste of pro-ball.
Two-time first team All-American right hander Austin Blaski has an impressive 2.08 earned run average in his first four appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers Arizona Rookie League team.
Blaski, a 21st round selection by the Milwaukee, is currently being used in a relief role for the Brewers after spending the majority of his time at Marietta College as a starter.
The 6-foot-4 200 pound Blaski, has allowed just one earned run in 4.1 innings of work for the Brewers.
Blaski is not the only former Pioneer pitcher currently pitching in the Brewers organization.
2011 graduate Mark Williams is doing very well for the single A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
The hard throwing right hander and Cincinnati native was recently named to the Midwest League all-star team after posting an impressive 2.86 earned run average thru the first half of the season.
Williams, who signed with the Brewers organization as a free agent, is 5-6 on the season in 69 innings of work.
Being used as both a starter and a reliever for the Timber Rattlers, Williams has made six starts as well as collecting a pair of saves.
Williams also threw the final four innings of a May 4 combined no-hitter for Wisconsin.
A fourth member of the championship team will be joining the other three in the professional ranks as right handed pitcher Kyle Lindquist recently signed a contract with the Rockford River Hawks of the Independent Frontier League.
As these Pioneers begin their journeys that they hope will eventually lead them to the big leagues, a member of the 2006 national championship squad may not be too far away from getting that opportunity.
Right handed pitcher Mike DeMark is currently pitching for the Triple A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks and after getting off to a slow start has pitched very well of late.
DeMark is 3-3 on the season with a 4.69 ERA for the Reno Aces, but sports a very impressive 1.38 ERA over his last ten appearances.