Braves Sign Former Lee Hurler Cunniff

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - by David Jenkins

Brandon Cunniff, who spent the 2009 season as part of the Lee University team that reached the NAIA World Series, has returned to organized baseball as a minor league free agent for the Atlanta Braves.

Cunniff, a right-hander, spent his junior season with the Flames and compiled a 4-1 record. A native Californian, he transferred back to his home state and finished his college career at Cal State-San Bernadino, where he earned All-America status and drew enough notice to be drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 27th round of the 2010 draft.

Despite a strong debut season (2-0, 2.34, 5 saves in 18 rookie league games), Cunniff was cut by the Marlins the following spring. It did not take him long, however, to find a home in the independent Frontier League (whose president is former Lookouts general manager Bill Lee). From 2010 to the first two months of 2013, he pitched for River City, then Southern Illinois, in the Frontier League, compiling exceptional numbers: 93 games (all in relief) 7-0 record, 25 saves, 1.77 ERA.

And that's not a typo: in four pro seasons, Cunniiff (9-0) has not lost a game. 

The early part of 2013 showed a player ready to move to the next level. In 12 games, Cunniff posted eight saves with a 0-0 record and 0.00 ERA. In 12 innings, he allowed only four hits with three walks and 23 strikeouts. The Braves acquired his contract from Southern Illinois Friday and assigned him to Advanced Class A Lynchburg.

He made his Braves debut Sunday with the Hillcats, working a scoreless inning.


Strickler Powers East Hamilton Past Bradley, 17-7

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – East Hamilton, riding a two-homer effort by Alyssa Strickler, scored 12 runs in the first three innings and cruised to a 17-7 shellacking of Bradley Central in District 5-AAA softball action Monday. Strickler went 4-for-5 and homered in the third and seventh innings to lead the Lady Hurricanes’ overpowering 23-hit attack. Strickler had four RBIs and scored ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Soddy Daisy Rally Sinks Baylor, 10-3

Mayor Berke Announces Plan To Provide High-Speed Internet At A Discount Price To Those With Low Incomes

Mayor Andy Berke, in his annual State of the City Address, on Monday announced the creation of the Netbridge Student Discount program. In the partnership with EPB, he said any family of a child eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch in schools can receive 100 megabits per second Internet at a cost of $26.99 per month." Mayor Berke said, "Think about it. Our low income families ... (click for more)

DA Tells Dalton Jury Cell Phone Of Skyy Mims Was Found At Murder Scene

District Attorney Bert Poston told a jury in Dalton on Monday that the cell phone of Skyy Mims was found at the scene of the murder of convenience store clerk DK Chaudhari. He said Ms. Mims carried out the robbery in order to get Lotto tickets that she hoped would bring her money to finance her budding musical career. He said she took 80 "$500 A Week For Life" tickets. The ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The P.S. To A Sad Story

Back in the days when we were determined that the Chattanooga News-Free Press would have the best sports section in the country, I was traveling a whole lot. For example, back then I would be leaving today or tomorrow for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this after hardly recovering from a week spent at The Masters. And, as it happens with those who are constantly in search for tomorrow’s ... (click for more)