Strong Start for Suns
Through two weeks in the Future’s Collegiate Baseball League, the Pittsfield Suns have continued their hot start by pushing their record to 8-1 and to the top of the West Division standings with 16 points thus far in the season. The Suns have lots of players at the top of the league’s stat leaders, especially those with local ties. Pittsfield native Kevin Donati (SUNY-Albany) leads the league with 3 home runs while batting .429. Outfielder Zack Smith (Salve Regina) leads the league in batting average at .500 and Scott Holzwasser (Northeastern) is tied for third in the league with 9 RBI’s. The pitching staff might be even better, as Drew Marino (Polk State) has thrown 13 innings without allowed an earned run and striking out 13. Cal Slepkow (Clark) is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two games started, while Austin Pope (Fairfield) is also 2-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his first two games pitched.
The Worcester Bravehearts (10 points) are in second place in the West to the Suns and led at the plate by Hopedale’s own Joseph Caico (University of New Haven) and Greg Kocinski (Marist). In the East division, fans will find a couple of Massachusetts teams looking up at the Nashua Silver Knights (12 points). The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks are just three points behind the Silver Knights despite a four-game losing streak and rely on the offense of Philip Clarke (Vanderbilt), who leads the league with 12 RBI in only 26 At-Bat’s. The Brockton Rox, on the other hand, are on a three-game winning streak and trail the Silver Knights by four points and have been lead by the offense of Ryan Sullivan (SNHU) and Cam Cook (Nichols College). The Wachusett Dirt Dawgs are currently in last place in the West Division, while the North Shore Navigators have yet to win a game in the East.
FCBL’s First Home Run Derby to Win It
On June 8, the league’s first ever Home Run Derby powered by Blast took to place to decide a winner when the game was tied after ten innings. It took place at Doyle Field in Leominster when the game between the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs and Martha’s Vineyard Sharks was deadlocked at 13-13. The Dirt Dawgs won the derby 6-5, as Zack Tower (Franklin Pierce) provided all the pop, defeating the three Sharks players who took a crack at the league’s new tiebreaker system.
Strong Attendance Start
So far this league, the FCBL is off to a strong start when it comes to attendance, averaging 1,629 fans per league game, which is up almost 500 fans compared to last summer. The Worcester Bravehearts lead the way, bringing 15,595 fans through the gates in their first six games for an average of 2,599. Despite a rough start, the North Shore Navigators are right behind the Bravehearts and average 2,268 fans per game to this point in the season. The Brockton Rox average 2,143 fans per game, up 700 from last summer while the first-place Pittsfield Suns are averaging 1,738, about the same as last summer. The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks are averaging approximately the same as last season and despite averaging the fewest number of fans, the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs have seen a slight increase in attendance from last summer.
1. Pittsfield Suns: 8-1 (16 PTS)
2. Worcester Bravehearts: 5-3 (10 PTS)
3. Bristol Blues: 3-6 (6 PTS)
4. Wachusett Dirt Dawgs: 2-5 (4 PTS)
1. Nashua Silver Knights: 6-2 (12 PTS)
2. Martha’s Vineyard Sharks: 4-5 (9 PTS)
3. Brockton Rox: 4-2 (8 PTS)
4. Seacoast Mavericks: 4-5 (8 PTS)
5. North Shore Navigators: 0-7 (0 PTS)
Games to Watch This Week
June 12: Pittsfield @ Wachusett, 6:35
June 13: Pittsfield @ Martha’s Vineyard, 6:35
June 14: Brockton @ North Shore, 7:00
June 15: Martha’s Vineyard @ Worcester, 6:35
June 16: Wachusett @ Pittsfield, 7:00
June 17: Pittsfield @ Brockton, 7:05
June 18: North Shore @ Worcester, 4:05