Cape Cod Baseball League
In the ever-exciting Cape Cod Baseball League, the All-Star Game is the event which shines brightest for the baseball’s future stars. Played this year at Spillane Field in Wareham, the game was a thriller, with the East team coming back to pick up a 5-3 win over the West team. Trailing 3-2 in the 7th inning, Orleans’ Jimmy Herron (Duke) hit a two-run double to give the East a lead that they would hold for the rest of the game. For his performance, Herron won All-Star East Division MVP, while fellow Duke teammate and Cotuit player Griffin Conine won All-Star West Division MVP honors. Conine hit a two-run home run to give the West a 3-0 lead before the East came roaring back. Before the game took place, the annual Home Run Contest took place, with Orleans Stephen Scott being crowned champion, beating Chandler Taylor of Brewster in the final round.
With less than two weeks left in the CCBL regular season, the playoff races are starting to shape up and teams are starting to lock up berth’s in the postseason. In the East Division, it looks as though Orleans (48 points), Yarmouth-Dennis (45), Chatham (34) and Brewster (32) appeared to headed to the playoffs to battle it out among the four of them for a spot in the championship series. The Harwich Mariners find themselves well behind with only 21 points on the season and will need a significant comeback in the last few games in order to make the playoffs. The West Division race is much less clear, with all five teams separated by only nine points, and team’s 1-4 separated by only three points. Bourne narrowly leads the division with 36 points, followed very closely behind by Cotuit (35), Falmouth (35), Wareham (33) and Hyannis (27). Each team in the West has at least nine games left on the season, and the race for the top four spots in the West Division could go any which way at this point.
Games are scheduled to last through August 3rd (weather permitting) and playoffs are scheduled to start on Saturday, August 5th. Every game is streamed online through the Cape Baseball Broadcasting Network, as each team has their own broadcasters who you will hear calling the games. Fox College Sports has two games left on their 2017 broadcasting schedule, each of which will air this week. On July 25, Bourne will visit Falmouth at 6:00 and on July 26, Orleans will visit Bourne at 6:00 before FOX packs up their bags and heads back home from the Cape for the summer. As allows, Cape Cod League Sunday Night Baseball can be heard this Sunday night on 96.3 FM WEEI on the Cape & Islands. July 30th’s match-up has a first pitch scheduled for 5:30, with the match-up of Wareham at Orleans.
Future’s Collegiate Baseball League
The long and grinding FCBL season chugs along as league team’s enjoyed a two-day break for All-Star festivities in Connecticut, before returning to their team’s to continue fighting for a berth in the 2017 FCBL Playoffs. Three teams from each division will make the playoffs, which makes the final two weeks before the season ends on August 6th vitally important to nearly every league team. In the West Division, three Massachusetts team trail the Bristol Blues, who sit in first place at 21-17 on the season. Behind the Blues are the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs (22-18), the Pittsfield Suns (22-20) and Worcester Bravehearts (18-22). Each team still has at least 14 games left in the season, which should make for an exciting finish to the regular season. In the East Division, the Brockton Rox are the only team over .500 and seem to have a comfortable lead with a 22-17 record. The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks are close behind with a 20-22 and would make the playoffs if the season ended today, while the North Shore Navigators have fallen to last place with a record 17-23.
As the one of the newest summer collegiate baseball league’s continues to grow, so do the impressive numbers put up both at the plate and on the mound. Dirt Dawg’s slugger Zach Tower (Franklin Pierce) continues to wow fans at the plate, leading the league with 13 home runs with maintaining a .316 average and 33 RBI. Navigator’s hitter Alex Brickman (St. Petersburg Junior College) leads the league in RBI with 41 on the season while also hitting .302. Rox pitcher Mason Palmieri (Bryant) has dominated so far on the mound, leading the league with a 1.09 ERA through 33 innings pitched and eight games started thus far. Navigators pitcher Austin Michel (Dartmouth College) currently leads the league in strikeouts, with 50 through 46.1 innings pitched in nine appearances and a 1.55 ERA, which is good for second in the league behind Palmieri.
The FCBL All-Star took place on July 18 at Muzzy Field in Bristol, Connecticut. The teams where divided by their respective divisions and represented the East and the West teams. The East pulled out a 2-0 victory behind a two-run home run from Joe Silva (Concordia U-Chicago) of the Brockton Rox in the 4th inning. Silva’s home run was the only offense provided all game, and that was all the East All-Star’s needed to beat the home West All-Star’s. Be sure to check out the league’s schedule online and catch a game close by as the season winds down and the playoffs are ready to gear into action.
New England Collegiate Baseball League
The NECBL’s regular season is set to end next week, with the final games scheduled for August 1st. The playoffs will begin shortly after, with the top three teams in each division (Northern and Southern), appearing in the playoffs after the conclusion of the 42-game regular season. In the Northern Division, the Valley Blue Sox have maintained their spot in second place in the division with a 19-17 record, five games behind the division leader Upper Valley Nighthawks. The Blue Sox look poised for a playoff run and their Western Massachusetts rival in the North Adams SteepleCats hope to join them. At 16-20, the SteepleCats sit in a tie for 4th place and two games behind Keene for third place in the division. In the Southern Division, the Plymouth Pilgrims are sitting pretty in second place in the division with a 22-16 on the season. They seem to have almost locked up a playoff berth barring a crazy finish, while the New Bedford Bay Sox will likely see their season end with their final scheduled game on July 29.
Fans throughout Massachusetts have been able to see some brilliant performances throughout the season, especially on the mound. North Adam’s pitcher Blake Whitney (South Carolina Upstate) continues to fan hitters left and right, leading the league with 76 strikeouts on the season, 32 more than second place, held by Plymouth pitcher Jonathan Bermudez (St. Leo College). The Pilgrims have seen other phenomenal pitching seasons, as Garrett Acton (St. Louis University) and Cameron Junker (Notre Dame) are each in the top five in the league with over 40 strikeouts on the season. Bay Sox pitcher Brent Teller in currently third in the league with a 1.67 ERA on the season, while his teammate Luke Bakula is leading the league with 46 hits on the season.
On Sunday, July 30, North Adams will host the NECBL All-Star Game as the league’s best players will come together in hopes of impressing scouts and taking the next step towards the big league’s. The day will begin with a talent showcase at 9:45, where pitching, hitting, catching and throwing rounds will take place for all prospects to show off their skills to the scouts in attendance. The team’s will participate in a brunch afterwards before they each take batting and fielding practice. Competitions will then ensue which includes a 60-yard dash and Home Run Derby, before the field will be prepped for the All-Star Game.
As the Lowell Spinners nears the half-way point, the team has struggled and find themselves in last place in the Stedler Division of the New York-Penn League. At 12-20 on the season, the Spinners have dropped 9 of their last 11 games and face an up-hill climb if they hope to match last season’s division title and playoff appearance. The Spinners are in the midst of a series in Staten Island, but will return to Lowell to face Brooklyn from July 27-29. During the season with Brooklyn, the team will host great promotion’s, including a giveaway of a Jackie Bradley Jr. bobble-head to the first 1,000 fans through the gates. Be sure to check the Spinners website for all promotions that they run, as well as their full schedule and information on how to purchase tickets.