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Promising McDougall rebounds



Published: Wed, August 14, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The former Athletics prospect should be in Akron by the weekend.

By JAYME RAMSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

NILES -- If Marshall McDougall's past game experiences are any indication of his future in the Cleveland Indians' organization, Tribe fans have reason to be excited.

McDougall, an infielder acquired from the Oakland Athletics for left-handed pitcher Ricardo Rincon in July, has been with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers rehabilitating a strained hamstring that has hindered him for more than a month.

"I was caught off guard a little bit," McDougall said of the trade. "I was just sitting in the dugout and they came over and told me. I really didn't expect it, but I guess that's how baseball works."

One of the highlights of McDougall's stellar collegiate career at Florida State University was a six home-run game in 1999. His NCAA record performance included 16 RBIs and 25 total bases. McDougall also earned All American accolades and was the College World Series MVP that year.

McDougall's most memorable single game feat occurred in a California League game last year when he earned the win on the mound and got the game-winning hit.

"I don't think I'm allowed to pitch anymore," McDougall said. "I pitched because we had played two games in a row in extra innings and I was the last man standing."

Fans who attended the Scrappers game Tuesday night at Cafaro Field caught a glimpse of the heralded prospect.

Designated hitter

McDougall, a native of Valrico, Fla., was 1-for-3 as the designated hitter, reaching base on an infield single.

"The team played well, they came up with some good base hits late in the game," McDougall said about the Scrappers' 11-7 loss to Jamestown. "They kept fighting like you're supposed to do throughout the game. We just got off to a slow start."

McDougall will return to AA baseball later this week with the Akron Aeros. Prior to his injury, he was batting .303 with nine home runs and 56 RBIs with Oakland's AA affiliate at Midland.

"[My hamstring] is all right. I just take a few ground balls to test it out," McDougall said. "I don't think I'm totally 100 percent yet, but we'll see."

McDougall was traded to the Indians as a prospect, and his future in baseball will depend on his development and consistency on the field.

"Hopefully it [his future] looks pretty good," McDougall said. "As long as I take care of myself and get healthy and just do what I'm supposed to do it should be all right."

jramson@vindy.com




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