Nick English, Blake Gillespie take home Appalachian League Weekly honors

English and Gillespie named Appy League Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively
Appy League POTW June 24-30

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Appalachian League announced that Bluefield’s Nick English and Blake Gillespie were named Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for the period of June 24-30.

English, 19, earned Hitter of the Week honors after batting .417 (5-for-15) with two home runs, two doubles, three RBI and four runs scored in four games for the Ridge Runners. He led all qualified Appy League hitters during the period in slugging (1.083), OPS (1.616), home runs (tied) and total bases (tied-13), and finished third in OBP (.571).

English posted two multi-hit performances and recorded at least one hit in three of four games for Bluefield. The catcher/outfielder was 2-for-4 with a double and scored a run against Elizabethton to begin the week. He hit a solo home run, his first of the season, at Danville on June 27, finishing 1-for-4 with a walk. He homered for a second straight game Saturday against Burlington, hitting another solo shot along with an RBI double in a 2-for-2 performance that included a walk. Serving as the Ridge Runners’ designated hitter Sunday, English was 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

English is batting .375 with a .483 OBP and .708 slugging (1.191 OPS) through his first seven games with Bluefield in the Appy League. He’s reached base safely in six contests for the Ridge Runners and has recorded a hit in five games, led by three multi-hit efforts. The Olathe, Kan., native appeared in 58 games for Kansas State as a true freshman in 2024, producing a .249/.340/.369 batting line with three home runs, 17 doubles and 37 RBI.

Gillespie, 20, was named Pitcher of the Week after he posted five scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in his June 26 start for Bluefield against Elizabethton. The right-hander faced one over the minimum in the outing, allowing one hit on 63 pitches (45 strikes) in the no-decision. He retired seven straight batters to begin the game and the final eight to conclude the start. Overall, Gillespie led all qualified Appy League pitchers during the period in ERA (tied-0.00) and WHIP (0.20). He also ranked first in opponent average (.063) among starting pitchers who logged at least five IP for the week.

The Lucan, Ontario native has not allowed a run in 7 2/3 innings for Bluefield, allowing just five hits while striking out eight across his two starts in the Appalachian League. He worked 2 2/3 scoreless frames, yielding four hits with one strikeout, during his Appy League debut at Burlington on June 19. Gillespie is currently in the transfer portal ahead of the 2025 season after making 17 appearances, including four starts, as a Georgia underclassman during 2023-24.

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