The Newport Gulls remain in control of the Eastern Division, but will have their hands full with New Bedford surging and sitting just three games back … Last Tuesday Yale Rosen (Washington State) broke the Gulls single-season home run record when he launched his 12th long ball of the year against Keene. The previous record was set in 2006 by Chris Dominguez. Rosen went 2-for-3 with a home run and RBI for the East in Sunday’s All-Star Game. Despite dropping over 30 points on his batting average in the past two weeks, he will be in the discussion for league MVP at season’s end. More importantly, Newport will need him to continue doing what he’s done in order to maintain the top seed in the East.
It will be a very interesting finish for the New Bedford Bay Sox, who can make a statement by taking down the Gulls directly, as they will face Newport three more times before the end of the season … Zach Stone (Millersville) continues to pace the offense with a league-leading .394 batting average and 39 runs scored. He is only three runs off of the all-time league mark of 42, set by Jason Maule of the Middletown Giants in 1997. Stone is also looking to become the first player to finish the season batting over .400 since 2008 when Anthony D’Alfonso of the Sanford Mainers hit .426.
The Laconia Muskrats (14-22) and the Sanford Mainers (11-18) will round out the Eastern Division playoff qualifiers, as the Mystic Schooners (5-27) are pretty much sunk at this point.
In other record setting news from the East, Laconia’s Danny Collins (Troy) made history when he belted his 15th home run of the season against Danbury last Friday. He bested the previous season home run total of 14 set back in 1998 by Gil Barkman and Aaron Fera.
Over in the Western Division, the Keene Swamp Bats (23-10) have dropped six of their last ten games, allowing Danbury, North Adams and Vermont to all pull within 5 ½ games or less. The Holyoke Blue Sox (14-21) are the only team under .500 in the division and will most likely miss the playoffs after making the Divisional Finals a year ago.
The Danbury Westerners have been on a roll at the right time, winning eight of their last ten, including two thrilling extra-inning victories at the end of last week that vaulted them into second place, a half-game ahead of North Adams. Tim Healey of the NewsTimes.com recaps a 12th inning walk-off over Newport here…Brian Houseal (Marist) continues to be the workhorse for the pitching staff, logging league-highs in innings (58 2/3) and wins (6). He also picked up the “W” for the West in the All-Star game, throwing one scoreless inning, allowing just one walk while striking out two batters.
Another team surging at the right time is the Vermont Mountaineers, who have won their last five games to put them at 17-16 on the year…Alex Haines (Seton Hill) has a league-best 0.51 ERA and Casey Delgado (Austin Peay) is third in the league with a 1.80 mark…Never one to shy away from the stolen base, the team has 101 swipes on the season. They set a league record a year ago with 118…The Mountaineers were also gracious hosts of Sunday’s All-Star game, even going to far as to provide much of the offense for the West who won 11-6. Four Vermont players combined for eight RBIs and Johnny Mishu (Princeton) was named the game’s MVP after going 2-for-2 with four RBIs,
In the skills competitions held prior to the All-Star Game, Vermont’s Austin Green (San Diego) won the catcher's throwing contest and Danbury's Zach Shank won the outfield throwing contest. Vermont’s Aaron Barbosa (Northeastern) won the 60 yard dash with a time of 6.45 seconds and fittingly, recently crowned NECBL single-season home run king Danny Collins took the Home Run Derby title, hitting seven bombs in the first round and five more in the finals.
Pitchers of the Week
Week ending 7/21- Steven Rice (Vanderbilt), Sanford Mainers
Week ending 7/14 – Matt Longfield (Villanova), North Adams SteepleCats
Week ending 7/7 – Yale Rosen (Washington State), Newport Gulls
Week ending 6/30 – Frank Schwindel (St. John’s), Keene Swamp Bats
Week ending 6/23 – Jeramy Matos (Central Florida), Mystic Schooners
Week ending 6/16 – Danny Collins (Troy), Laconia Muscrats
Week ending 6/9 – Nolan Snell (Colorado Mesa), Vermont Mountaineers
Players of the Week
Week ending 7/21 - Grant Kay (Iowa Western CC), Keene Swamp Bats
Week ending 7/14 – Danny Collins (Troy), Laconia Muskrats)
Week ending 7/7 – Alex Haines (Seton Hill), Vermont Mountaineers
Week ending 6/30 – Brian Derner (George Washington), New Bedford Bay Sox
Week ending 6/23 – Kevin McAvoy (Bryant), Ryan Horstman (St. John’s) & Tyler Gauthier (Southern N.H.), Keene Swamp Bats
Week ending 6/16 – Drew Duncan (Kennesaw State), Holyoke Blue Sox
Week ending 6/9 – Connor Biggio (Notre Dame), North Adams SteepleCats
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