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Ruffnecks Hit the Road

15U Sammy Rosenfield

On Wednesday, June 20th all three of the high school level Ruffnecks squads flew from Boston to competitive tournaments in southern states.  The 15s and 16s both participated in the 16U Black Bear Classic in Greenville, South Carolina.  This is the first time the Ruffnecks have attended the event, hosted by Prospects Select.  Meanwhile, the Senior Ruffnecks began their 16 day road trip at the 17U Music City Classic in Nashville, TN.  It is the sixth consecutive year the Ruffnecks have been to Nashville.  All three squads traveled with rosters that were shorthanded as a result of academic obligations back in Massachusetts.  Even the coaching staffs were shorthanded, as Coaches Matt Howard and Eric Chase (15U Ruffnecks) were busy with Needham High School as they marched to the Massachusetts Division I State Championship.

15U Ruffnecks Surprise in SC!

15U Pre-Game Leads

The 15U Ruffnecks embraced the instructive approach of Coach Kevin Graber and manufactured four consecutive wins in the 16U Division of the Black Bear Classic.  With only 15 players (several not a full strength), the team captured their pool to advance to the playoff round.  Unfortunately, weather and game delays forced the tournament to push the playoff round back, which resulted in a scheduling conflict with both teams’ departing flight.  As such, the Ruffnecks were forced to defer.  In the first game, Tommy Leimkuhler contributed a complete game 60+ pitching effort.  Timely hits and effective base running led to a convincing 9-2 win.  The next two games were wins in a more dramatic fashion.  A 7-6 Game 2 win was closed by Sam Hill on the mound.  The third victory was a 4-3 walk off win with four runs in the bottom of the 7th.  The team is building confidence, developing, and succeeding with good pitching, excellent catching from both Levi McAllister and Andy Pelc, and solid defense.

17U/Seniors Perform Well in Nashville

There was nothing easy about any of the opponents the Senior Ruffnecks faced in the 17U Music City Classic.  After a 7-0 opening game loss at Vanderbilt, the Ruffnecks rallied to play four consecutive strong baseball games against talented squads.  The lineup faced a steady diet of talented pitching, while strong hitting lineups from the opposition challenged the Ruffnecks pitching staff.  The ‘Necks rebounded with a convincing 7-1 Game 2 victory behind pitcher Colin McGrath.  Billy Seidl contributed a solo home run.  In Game 3 at Western Kentucky University the Ruffnecks faced the East Cobb Astros with Seidl on the mound.  The 2-1 loss was a terrific baseball game defined by effective pitching from both starters.  Seidl was consistently in the 90-92 range and was matched by his counterpart from the Astros.  Justin Lindquist contributed effective relief.  The Ruffnecks won both games on Saturday, June 23.  The 5-4 win against a strong Indiana Mustangs squad was the result of a walk-off triple by Jackson Emus in the bottom of the 7th.  Will Greer contributed significantly at the plate (double) and got the win in relief with effective work on the mound.  Evan Sleight homered in the night cap to power the ‘Necks to another one-run, 7-6 victory.  The team continues its trip in Georgia at the 17U Elite Round Robin with one game per day Monday through Thursday.  The squad will conduct on-field practices Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in addition to playing games, courtesy of our relationship with a local facility in Georgia.

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Ruffnecks Champs Again!

Champs Again!

The 14U Ruffnecks cruised through the 14U Summer Slam tournament with relative ease June 9-10.  The squad also kept their streak of 11 straight wins alive.  This time the Ruffnecks only allowed 3 runs in five games.  The pitching has been outstanding.  Now the team turns its attention to several events against older competition. During the next two weekends the 14U Ruffnecks will play in the 15U Summer Solstice and the 15U PG Super25.  They will undoubtedly get some respect in the latter, as they are the champs in the 14U division.  The challenge against older competition comes at a good time for the Ruffnecks.  Developmentally and competitively the team is poised to measure themselves.  Coaches Chaput and Calagione continue to work the players into versatile contributors.  The bonds and focus are strong.  This group is having a ton of fun!

PG Super25 Champs

Mark Henshon Deals 8-0 CG Shutout

The 14U Ruffnecks captured the 2018 PG Super25 Regional with a 3-0 Pool Play record and then swept through the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship games.  The squad achieved their success with excellent defense and superlative starting pitching.  In fact, the Ruffnecks had pitching left over at the end.  All six games were a result of complete game efforts:  Mark Henshon, James O’Connell, Josh Mirob, Harrison Milbert, John Tully and a 2-0 complete game shutout win for Jack Toomey in the championship bout.  It was an impressive run.

Henshon gave the Ruffnecks a good start as he threw a complete game 8-0 shutout in Game #1.  The offense was sparked by John Tully, Carson Walsh, and Thomas Dillon.  A full team effort in game #2 enabled the Ruffnecks to come away with a hard earned 4-2 victory.  O’Connell battled on the mound.  In the final pool play game left hander Josh Mirob went the distance in a 7-4 win.  The defense was terrific all tournament.  Antonio Rivera made a sensational play in Game #2 that was pivotal for the team.  Of course, tremendous credit goes to the catching duo of Edo Spadaccini and Aidan Kelly.  No pitching staff succeeds without good game management and focus from their batterymate-catchers!  While the roster is not terribly deep (15 players), it is balanced and possesses pitching depth.

In the playoff round, Harrison Milbert got the team through the quarterfinals with a tremendous 7-2 victory.  Milbert’s fastball and mastery of the strike zone was impressive.  John Tully pitched through a tight 5-3 game in the semifinals.  His ability to throw strikes, pitch to contact, and to allow his defense to do its job was the key to success.  Jack Toomey took the ball in the championship game and delivered a gem of a 2-0 shutout to clinch the first title of the 2018 season.  There are many shout outs to go around the diamond.  This article may be updated with more details in the next few days.

13U Ruffnecks Surprise at 14U PG

Both the 13U and the 14U Ruffnecks played a spirited and focused tournament at the 14U PG Super25 June 1-3 at the NEBC.  The 13s nearly surprised their pool by taking a 2-0 record into the final pool play game before falling 6-4 to the #2 overall seed.  Oisin Lee pitched well in the opening 7-1 win.  Hagan Ward finished with an efficient two innings.  In the second game, John Milewski gave the Ruffnecks a competitive start, going five innings.  Ben Kuechle was brilliant in relief as he shut the door in the final two frames to secure an 8-5 victory.  In the deciding pool play game the Ruffnecks got a terrific start from Matt Morin.  The defense did not have its best game, but the bats never let up and the 13U Ruffnecks almost prevailed.  Only a spectacular defensive play on a hard hit ball by Ryan Chandor saved the day for the opponents.  Overall, the youngest ‘Necks played some very good baseball.

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The Week Ahead - Notices

(Updated Thursday, March 21 at 9:30am)


13U Will not practice Thurs., March 21.
14U practice as scheduled Thurs., March 21

Thursday, March 21
14U Ruffnecks Practice
6:00 to 6:15 Report Time

6:30 to 8:30 Practice

Weekend of March 22-24
13U & 14U at Diamond Nation
Flemington, NJ
Schedules available on Team Pages

Wednesday, March 27
13U Team Hitting
7:00 to 8:30
NEBC Cages


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