Cape Cod Baseball League
Looking for their fourth CCBL championship in a row, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox are off to a strong start through the first two weeks of the season. Through 11 games on the season, Y-D has started off 7-3-1 and leads the East Division with 15 points. They lead the league in run differential (+14) and are third in the league in ERA with a mark of 3.22. Their offense is led is Carlos Cortes (South Carolina) who is near the top of the league in batting average with a mark of .400 while playing in every game so far this season. The Red Sox best pitcher so far this season has been Kris Bubic (Stanford), who has a 2-0 record with 1.39 ERA and 13 strikeouts through his first two starts. The Red Sox have a busy week ahead, including a doubleheader on June 29 against the Bourne Braves, who are currently in first-place in the West Division.
Many players have stood out through the first two weeks of the season, putting up impressive numbers. Perhaps the most notable is Wareham pitcher Justin Montgomery (Cal Baptist), who has yet to surrender a run through 12 innings of work while compiling a 2-0 record with 14 strikeouts. Hyannis pitcher Michael Brettell (Central Michigan) has been nearly just as good, with a 0.73 ERA with a 3-0 record through 12.1 innings pitched on the season so far. At the plate, Hyannis’s Reece Hampton (UNC-Charlotte) leads the league with 21 hits and currently has a batting average near the top of the league at .420. Marty Bechina (Michigan State) has been the league’s best power hitter while playing for Falmouth. Through 13 games played, Bechina leads the league in home runs (4) and RBI (15) while batting at a clip of .304.
While the Y-D-Bourne doubleheader is likely the biggest games of the week, fans can hear a game on the radio this coming Sunday night and soon after Fox College Sports will begin broadcasting. On July 2 at 5:30, WEEI 96.3 FM on the Cape and Islands will hear the Chatham at Harwich match-up in Cape League Sunday Night Baseball. Just two days later, Fox College Sports will begin their TV coverage of the CCBL, with the first broadcast taking place on July 4 at 7:00 when Chatman visits Orleans. Fans will not have to wait much longer, as on July 5 at 5:00 they can watch the match-up between Harwich and Brewster.
Future’s Collegiate Baseball League
Through three weeks of play in the FCBL, teams are approaching the mid-way point of the season and are beginning to separate themselves in the standings. Massachusetts squads continue to see great success, with teams at the top of both the West and East divisions. The Wachusett Dirt Dawgs have climbed to the top of the West with 26 points and the Brockton Rox to the top of the East with 24 points. In the West, the Pittsfield Suns (21 points) and the Worcester Bravehearts closely trail the Dirt Dawgs for first place. Over in the East, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks sit at 19 points while the North Shore Navigators continue to struggle with only 13 points on the season.
On June 25, Doyle Field in Leominster saw one of the most exciting games of the season, when the Dirt Dawgs defeated the Bravehearts 16-14 in one of the more exciting baseball games one will ever see. The game saw 30 total runs, 39 hits, 8 home runs and 8 stolen bases. The Dirt Dawgs jumped out to an early 8-0 lead after 3 innings, but the Bravehearts battled back and took a 14-12 lead during the 7th inning. The Dirt Dawgs scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th to capture the game and maintain their grasp on first place. During the game, Bravehearts Joseph Caico (New Haven) hit his 7th home run of the season to maintain his grasp on the league lead in home runs.
On the season so far, Rox pitcher Zack Martin (Notre Dame) has been mowing down batters and has arguably the best pitcher in the league to this point in the season. Martin leads the league in both ERA (0.89) and strikeouts (32) in five appearances and 20.1 innings pitched with a 3-0 record that is tied for the league lead. Martin’s Rox will host the Nashua Silver Knights on June 27 at 6:35, in a battle of the two top teams in the East division. The first-place Dirt Dawgs will have a busy week as well, which includes a visit to the Silver Knights on June 29. The highly anticipated rematch between the Dirt Dawgs and Bravehearts will take place on July 4 at 1:05 in Worcester.
New England Collegiate Baseball League
As the NECBL season continues along, the Valley Blue Sox have established themselves as one of the top teams in the league. Winners of nine of their last ten, the Blue Sox sit at 10-4 on the season at the top of the Northern Division. The team has been very balanced so far this season and not dependent on the performances of individual players. Andrew Rouse (Marist) is the only player near the top of any statistical categories for the Blue Sox, with a batting average of .375. In the Northern Division, the other Bay State team in the North Adams SteepleCats has stumbled after a hot start and currently at 6-7, 3.5 games behind the Blue Sox. In the Southern Division, everyone is looking up at the Ocean State Waves, who lead the division with a record of 10-1. The New Bedford Bay Sox sit in second place in the division, with a 7-6 record and 4 games behind, while the Plymouth Pilgrims are 5 games behind with a record of 7-8.
The NECBL will give out an award for the Player and Pitcher of the Week every Monday. Bay State teams continue to dominant the weekly award, as one player from each Massachusetts team has won the award so far. This past week it was Bay Sox shortshop Connor Joyce (North Carolina Central) and SteepleCats pitcher Blake Whitney (South Carolina Upstate) who earned the honors. During the past week Joyce went 11-19 with six RBI, four runs scored, five doubles and one stolen base. Whitney tossed a gem for North Adams back on June 20, when he threw seven innings of one-run ball while striking out 11 in a 4-1 win over Vermont.
The budding rivalry between the Pilgrims and Bay Sox will continue on June 27 when the Pilgrims head to New Bedford for a match-up between Southern division foes. Later in the week, the Pilgrims will head to the Berkshires for a match-up with the SteepleCats, to take place on July 1 at 6:30. On July 2, the Bay Sox will host the first-place Ocean State Waves with the goal of catching up with them in the standings after the Waves super fast start. The first place Blue Sox have a busy week ahead of them that including trips to Newport, RI and Keene, NH as well as hosting a doubleheader on June 29.
For the first time in its league history, over 100 NECBL alumni where selected the 2017 MLB Draft.