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PC alum gets all-star nod

UNA baseball player and former Phil Campbell Bobcat Peyton Thomas has earned a selection to the Cal Ripken Collegiate League All-Star Team.

“It was an amazing experience and blessing to be named to the all-star team,” said Thomas, who is a senior at UNA. Because of COVID-19, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to players who missed their season this past year, giving Thomas another year to play for the Lions.

Thomas is the third UNA Lion to be selected to a collegiate summer league all-star team.

Thomas, who plays first base for the Lions, has a batting average of .351 with five home runs and 19 RBIs in 19 games for the South County Braves of the Cal Ripken Collegiate League. The league is based out of Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland.

“Summer league is about getting more reps as a player and getting better,” Thomas explained. “It allows me to get about a hundred extra at-bats or so each year, and it is great for development as a player.”

As part of being selected to the CRCL All-Stars, Thomas got to participate in a scrimmage against the Israel Olympic baseball team Friday.

“Playing against the Israel Olympic team will be an experience I will never forget,” said Thomas. “I got to play against five former major league baseball players. The biggest name was Ian Kinsler (who finished his major league career with the San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox in 2019). I play first base and got to have two full conversations with him. Just listening to those guys talk about the game was an experience I will never forget.”