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Area pro ballplayers struggling at season's start

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Two South Central High School graduates have started their seasons in professional rookie leagues.

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Tanner Bushue and Spencer Patton opened their seasons in late June, but have both struggled thus far.

Bushue, a Houston Astros prospect who was demoted from the Class A Lexington Legends in May, was 0-2 with a 4.70 earned-run average in four relief appearances for the Greeneville Astros, who are based in Greeneville, Tenn.

He has struck out six in 7 2/3 innings pitched.

Drafted as a starter in the second round of the 2009 draft, Bushue has struggled with injuries throughout his professional career and was moved to the bullpen this season after making three starts in Lexington.

Greeneville is 12-8 and tied for first place in the Appalachian League West Division.

Patton, who was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 24th round of the 2011 draft, is 0-3 through four starts with the Idaho Falls Chukars, who are based in Idaho Falls, Id.

He has struck out 21 batters in 17 innings of work, but has an ERA of 6.88.

Patton is in his second season with the Chukars. Last year, he was 3-1, pitching primarily as a reliever.

He made two starts, but his prize stat was 56 strikeouts in just 39 2/3 innings of work.

The Chukars are 10-12 and four games out of first place in the Pioneer League South Division.

Logan Mahon, a St. Elmo High School graduate, has pitched in 16 games for the Gateway Grizzlies of the independent Frontier League.

Mahon is 0-1 with a 2.29 ERA, and he has struck out 13 batters in 19 2/3 innings of work.

The Grizzlies are 25-23 and four games out of first place in the West Division.