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Early Season Games Get Played!

Spring Joy!

There is no question about it.  Young Ruffnecks are fortunate to have access to the NEBC as their home field and training facility.  The primary benefit… getting on the field!  Getting games in during a cold, wet, and sometimes snowy, early spring is another matter.  Game experience provides an opportunity to put the drill work, skill work, and team concepts to the test.  This is important for all baseball players and teams.  Major League players start exhibition games after just a week to ten days of work at Spring Training.  For Ruffnecks the process is longer, but nothing approaches the situations that arise through game experience.

A Cold & Focused Bench!

Throughout the winter, the 13s and 14s take reps with Ruffnecks players from the high school classes in the expansive Harvard Bubble.  Once the spring begins in early March the 13s and 14s practice, and often scrimmage together.  That arrangement is beneficial, but nothing approximates facing a different opponent.  This spring has been particularly cold.  Nevertheless, the 13s and 14s have been outside, on the fields of the NEBC regularly.  Chilly and windy conditions during mid-week practices harden and prepare the players for potentially uncomfortable weather during games.  The practice conditions also help to build skills, confidence, and the ability “to make routine plays routine.”  What impresses the most, is the desire and interest of the players to get out there, take reps, and really enjoy themselves.  “These kids are committed,” says new coach Ted Christie.  Indeed, the program is fortunate to attract such players.

As of the first weekend in April, the 13U Ruffnecks played seven games!  The 14s have played four.  This is a credit to the partnerships with several terrific opponents who share the objectives of getting games in, and getting out on a field.  Both teams prepare for the Patriot’s Day Bash weekend tournament at the NEBC to kick off the public school vacation week.  The tournament provides a chance to play in an early season event while logging four games (weather permitting).  Of course the turf of the NEBC helps! With a little cooperation from Mother Nature, the players may find warmer conditions a part of the routine.

Posted in 13U, 14UComments Off

16U Ruffnecks Achieve With Purpose

Infielders Hass and Taylor

The 16U Ruffnecks continue to attract a lot of attention from college recruiters.  As the team prepares for the 16U Perfect Game WWBA in Emerson, GA, Coach Fredericks and his staff of Jim McNamara and Mike Mocerino continue to work with a sense of purpose.  The long summer has few off days, and while there are many games, Coach Fred continues to teach, coach, and practice the team.  The work occurs in the batting cages, before games, during games, and on practice fields the organization sets up while traveling in Tennessee or Georgia.  The purpose is to teach and develop.  Of course, exposure is important.  The players know that they are in places where they will be seen.  And Coach Fredericks never changes his tune about the value of solid preparation and purpose, both of which lead to attention from college recruiters.  The 2017 16U Ruffnecks (primarily 2019 grads) has certainly turned some heads.  Deep pitching and solid defense provide opportunities to stay in games, regardless of whether or not the bats are hot.

Among the most important elements to the team success has been the strong catching duo of JP Olson and Danny Cooke.  Both manage the game very well, controlling the running game with strong arms and intelligent game-calling.  The pitching staff is led by Billy Seidl, a hard throwing right hander.  LH pitchers Jake McOsker, Josh Gruenberg, and LHP Ben Reyes (2020) provide depth from the left side.  RH pitchers Jackson Emus, Jeff Price, Colin McGrath, Will Greer, Seamus Barrett, and Teddy Goss, give terrific depth to the starting ranks and to the bullpen.  And pitching coach McNamara manages the staff well.  All are part of the plan.  Both Seidl and Price have hurled perfect games this summer.  Price delivered his gem in the championship game of the 17U PG Super25 at NEBC.

Catcher JP Olson Blocks

Defensively, the Ruffnecks are led by Virginia-commit outfielder, Evan Sleight, along with outfielders Colin Blasco, Josh Gruenberg, Jake McOsker, and Jackson Emus.  The infield is manned by James Dillon (3B), Dante Taylor (IF), Jack Flynn (IF), Andrew Hass, and Will Greer (SS).  First base is platooned by Seidl and Price.  “It is a good group,” remarks Coach Fredericks.  “As long as they keep working to get better, good things will happen.”

With a long trip in front of the team, the coaches and squad intend to remain focused.  The squad has played nearly 30 games in the past month, and they are on a pace to play as many a 50 to 60 before it all ends the first week of August.  “These are dedicated ballplayers,” says Coach McNamara.  “I have always enjoyed my summers working with Ruffnecks kids.  They embrace coaching, and work hard to get better every day.  Plus, it is great coaching with Fred (Coach Fredericks).  He teaches so much.”

Posted in 16U, Home - Content, Home - Photo GalleryComments Off

Important Notices

(Updated Sunday, May 20 at 7:00pm)

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:
None

Monday, May 21
13U/14U Combined Roster
at St. Mark's JV
3:30 Report
4:30 Game

Thursday, May 24
13U & 14U Ruffnecks
Practice at NEBC
6:00 - 6:30 Report
6:30 - 8:15 Practice

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