Cape Cod Baseball League
On June 12, 10 former CCBL players where drafted in the first round of the the 2017 MLB Entry Draft and just two days the new season kicked off with five games across the Cape. Through one week of play, the Chatham Anglers lead the East Division while the Cotuit Keetleers lead the West Division, each team with a record of 4-1. Looking for their fourth title in a row, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox had started out the season strong at 3-1. Over the course of the next six days, each league squad is scheduled to play seven games, and the standings are likely to shift greatly as the season chugs along.
Every week the CCBL will award one pitcher and one position player with the Coca Cola Pitcher/Player of the Week. After Week #1, Pitcher of the Week was given to Connor Higgins (Arizona State) of the Brewster Whitecaps after he threw five innings of two-hit ball in a June 14 win against Orleans. Player of the Game was given to Nick Patten (Delaware) of Chatham who has been tearing it up so far for the Anglers, batting .538 with two home runs, five RBI’s and five runs scored. Marty Bechina (Michigan State) has arguably had the most explosive bat to this point in the season, hitting .333 with three home runs, seven RBI’s and six runs scored while playing for Falmouth. While many pitchers have yet to allow an earned run, Joey Matulovich (Cal) has thrown nine innings over two games so far for Wareham.
The game to watch this week will be Thursday night the 22nd at 5:00, when first-place Cotuit travels to play the three-time defending champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. The June 25 matchup between Chatham and Hyannis will have a first-pitch time of 5:30 and can be heard on WEEI 96.3 FM in the Cape and Islands.
Future’s Collegiate Baseball League
After starting out the season on an absolute tear, the Pittsfield Suns have encountered a long losing streak and fallen back to 8-8 on the season, but have maintained their spot in first place in the West Division. At 16 points they hold a two-point lead over the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs and Worcester Bravehearts, who each sit at 14 points on the season. In the East Division, the Brockton Rox have won 8 of their last 10 games and surged ahead to first place with 18 points on the season. The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks are right behind the Rox with 17 points so far this season, while the North Shore Navigators continue to struggle, with only five points on the season so far.
Teams from Massachusetts continue to see their players near the top of the league’s statistical categories, both in batting and pitching categories. Kyle Simon (Palm Beach Atlantic) has been on a tear for the Rox, batting .500 with 19 RBI and 11 runs scored through his first 11 games of the season. Teammate Chris Berry (North Florida) is right behind him, coming in at third in the league with an average of .405. The best pitcher of season thus far has been has also been pitching for Brockton in Zach Martin (Notre Dame). Martin has compiled a 3-0 record while coming into a game in relief three times for the Rox, having not allowed a run in 13 innings. Billy Devito (Hartford) has been the next best pitcher in Massachusetts, with a 2-0 record and 0.50 ERA after 18 innings for the Bravehearts. Joseph Caico of the Bravehearts (New Haven) lead the FCBL in home runs, with five on the season while knocking in 16 RBI’s as well.
On June 20 at 6:35, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks will travel to Brockton to take on the Rox in a matchup that will determine first place in the East Division. At the same time the Pittsfield Suns will host the Bristol Blues with the hopes of snapping their losing streak and maintaining a hold on first place in the West Division. The Bravehearts and Rox will face off in a double-header on June 22 that could turn the standings depending on the results. On June 25 at 4:30, the Bravehearts will face off against the Dirt Dawgs in a game important for positioning in the West Division.
New England Collegiate Baseball League
After a 4-1 start, the North Adams SteepleCats have suffered a four-game losing streak and fallen to 4th place in the Northern Division while their division counterparts in the Valley Blue Sox have won six in a row and taken second place in the in the Northern. In the Southern Division, each of the Bay State’s team are sitting in second place with a winning percentage of .500, with the Plymouth Pilgrims at 5-5 and New Bedford Bay Sox at 4-4. Overall, the four Massachusetts NECBL teams are at a combined record of above .500.
The four teams continue to see their players at the top of various statistical categories. Andrew Rouse (Marist) is currently second in the league in batting average, hitting .444 for the Blue Sox. Bay Sox player Luke Bakula (Kansas) is second in the NECBL with 14 hits to this point in the season, while teammate Corey Joyce (North Carolina Central) leads the league with 11 runs scored. Chas Hadden (Belmont) has walked an incredible 14 times through nine games for the Blue Sox. Jonathan Bermudez (St. Leo) of the Pilgrims has throw 12 innings without allowing an earned run, while Bay Sox pitchers William Chillari (Duke) and Jacob Lamb (Richmond) have also yet to allow an earned run this season. SteepleCats pitcher Blake Whitney (South Carolina Upstate) is second in the league with 18 strikeouts on the season.
This week will consist of some big games as the Bay State’s teams will look to properly position themselves in the standings. On June 20 the Pilgrims will travel to New Bedford to take on the Bay Sox to break the second place tie in the Southern Division. The two teams will then face off again at Paul Walsh Field on June 22. The Bay Sox won the first meeting 6-0. The Blue Sox will host the Upper Valley Nighthawks on June 22 @ 6:35 while they sit right behind the Nighthawks in second place in the Northern Division. The very next night, the Blue Sox will host the SteepleCats in a budding rivalry between the Western Massachusetts squads.