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Suns third baseman Skole named SAL MVP

August 30, 2012

Matt Skole is still making an impression 2 1/2 weeks after leaving the Hagerstown Suns.

After the season he put together in the South Atlantic League, he was hard to forget.

Skole was voted the South Atlantic League’s Most Valuable Player on Thursday in a vote of league managers, general managers and media members.

The third baseman compiled a league-leading 27 home runs and drove in 92 runs in 101 games with Hagerstown before being promoted to Single-A Potomac on Aug. 14. He is hitting .327 with 10 RBIs in 13 games with Potomac.

Skole, who was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 2011 draft, was the center of the offense during his stay in Hagerstown.

He led the SAL in home runs, walks (94), slugging percentage (.574) and on-base percentage at the time of his promotion. He was second in the league with 92 RBIs and was averaging a home run every 12.7 at-bats.

Skole, who played at Georgia Tech, accounted for 25 percent of Hagerstown’s home runs as the Suns were 25-2 when he hit one out of the park. He had three game-winning walk-off hits in Hagerstown, including a grand slam on Aug. 3 to complete the Suns’ come-from-behind victory over Lexington.

Skole also represented the Suns at the SAL All-Star game, playing for the Northern Division.

Despite an 80-51 record, Skole was the only member of the Suns to be selected to the SAL’s postseason all-star team.

Asheville, which won the Southern Division’s first-half title, and Lexington had three players voted to the team, while West Virginia and Greensboro garnered two players each.

Lexington’s Mike Folty-newicz was named the league’s most outstanding pitcher with a 14-3 record and a 2.91 ERA.

West Virginia’s Greg Polanco was named the SAL’s most outstanding player — considered the league’s top Major League prospect — by hitting .325 with 137 hits, including 15 home runs, in 111 games.

Ashville manager Joe Mikulik was named the SAL’s manager of the year for the fourth time, while Lexington’s Josh Bonifay was selected the league’s coach of the year.

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