The New England Baseball Complex is making a difference for baseball in New England. A front page article in the Boston Globe on April 2 hailed the complex as haven for collegiate and high school baseball during this extended winter and difficult spring. The NEBC has been equally important to the New England Ruffnecks program. The 13s and 14s have been outside and practicing for several weeks. In addition to the practice opportunities, the NEBC has been the site for the Pre-Season Warmup and the NEBA Jamboree. The young ‘Necks played in both events, getting valuable game experience to go with the practice time. Most important however, is the professional atmosphere and expanse of resources for workouts and practices… The advantages show in the play of the youngest Ruffnecks teams.
Responsibility & Work Accompany Privileges
The 13s and 14s are learning that the privilege of the NEBC comes with added responsibilities. Players from both rosters work each weekend doing chores around the NEBC. The chores include field preparation, bagging trash, and lugging protective screens, platforms, and batting cages. Prior to the Pre-Season Warmup the 13U team helped with clearing the snow off the field in the morning. The young Ruffnecks are quickly learning the responsibilities that accompany “home field advantage.” As one parent recently stated, “I like the discipline as much as the baseball! It is great to see that chores are not just lectures from mom and dad.”
13U Ruffnecks Get First 2 Wins
The 13U Ruffnecks had the privilege of being the first Ruffnecks team to play a tournament game at the NEBC. They made the best of the opportunity with a convincing 7-3 win against their opponent. Randy Reyes pitched well, with Myles McDermott, and Peter Chandor contributing in relief. The offense was led by Kai Grocki with a 2 RBI double. Leadoff hitter, Lucas Stowe, was on base most of the day, gaining experience and confidence running the bases with each plate appearance. Defensively, the Ruffnecks infield played outstanding baseball behind Jack Palfrey (SS) and Zack McCarthy (2B). Palfrey made a web-gem play to end the second game. Grocki (3B) and Tommy Clark (1B) anchored the corners in Game 1, while McDermott played 1B in Game 2. Eric Foster returned from the DL with a solid game at SS and 3B. The catching duties were split in both games between Donald Sivolella and Holt Fletcher. The outfield play improved as the day progressed. Kevin Skagerlind, Will Figueroa, and Stowe started the first game. Stowe, Reyes, and Chandor played OF in the second game with Chandor making an outstanding catch. Tommy Clark, Kevin Skagerlind, and Kai Grocki combined to pitch in the 7-1 Game 2 win. The 13U Ruffnecks are now 2-2 on the season… all against 14U competition.
Meanwhile, the 14U Ruffnecks rolled through a cold, nighttime win by a score of 13-2. As referenced earlier, the 14s graciously accepted the “short straw” in order to accommodate the players, coaches, and families of other teams to play in the first-of-the-season event at the NEBC.