Posted on 16 June 2015.
The entire Ruffnecks program is now officially under way. A full weekend of activity, June 12-14, greeted over 90 players on the five Ruffnecks squads. And the action is just beginning. With the delay in high school playoffs a few players remain involved with their school teams, but most are under way with Ruffnecks baseball. The program wastes no time hitting the road! All of the college prep Ruffnecks squads (15U, 16U and Seniors) have already been on the bus and beyond the boundaries of New England. A combination roster of 16U and Senior players traveled to southern Connecticut and New York for Battle at the Border, June 5-6. The Ruffnecks attend this event annually with the sole objective to play their Pool games and get some early season exposure to college recruiters. The combined roster played exceptionally well, winning their Pool and allowing a mere 2 runs in the process. The highlight of the weekend was the pitching performance of Senior left hander, Holden White, who faced 13 batters and struck out 12. The lone base runner reached via a walk. It was a stunning performance that had many heads turned!
14U Ruffnecks Take Cape Cod Wood Bat Championship
Summer is Here
The weekend of June 12-14 saw all Ruffnecks teams in action in various locales. The 13U and 14U Ruffnecks both traveled to Cape Cod for the 14U Cape Wood Bat tournament. The 13s played very well against the older competition going 1-2 with every game close and competitive. The 14U Ruffnecks followed their exciting Perfect Game Super25 Regional Championship with a second consecutive weekend championship. The 14s rocked through Pool Play before encountering a determined opponent in the semifinals. Indeed the ‘Necks found themselves facing a 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the 7th inning. They rallied to tie, with Mitch Schroeder delivering a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the 10th. The Ruffnecks then cruised to a 10-0 Championship game victory. The team travels to Georgia on Thursday, June 18 for the 14U Perfect Game World Wood Bat Championships where they will be locked in a highly competitive pool.
15U Ruffnecks at Diamond Nation
The 15U Ruffnecks boarded a bus on Friday, June 12 for the long ride to Flemington, New Jersey and the 16U Super16 Invitational. The team played exceptionally well going 1-1-1 against some fine competition. Indeed, the 15U Ruffnecks were positioned to win their pool with a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the 7th in the final Pool Play game. A walk-off 3 run home run sent the boys home with a disappointing 6-5 loss despite a weekend of well played baseball. The 15U Ruffnecks play in the 16U Summer Solstice at the NEBC June 19-21.
16s and Seniors Shine at NEB Invitational
Both of the oldest Ruffnecks teams participated in the NEB Invitational, which was held at the New England Baseball Complex and surrounding fields June 13-14. The 16s lost their first two games on Saturday, but rebounded to play solid baseball on Sunday with two wins. Brian Gotti pitched a complete game 1-0 shutout in Sunday afternoon’s finale. Taylor Beckett and Robbie Cerulle had loud weekends with the bats, but most importantly, the team responded to Coach Fredericks’ challenge to get better each game and day. The 2-2 record in the event was a positive response to that challenge.
The Senior Ruffnecks distinguished themselves by surrendering only 2 runs over the course of Pool Play and earning the best overall record in the tournament while capturing their Pool. With an offense that was not firing on all cylinders, pitching and defense carried the Seniors. Brad Marchetti got the Ruffnecks off to a great start with complete game no hitter in Game 1. He was followed by a dominant outing by 2017 grad Dylan Presnal. Defensively, the outfield of Alex Dillon, Chris Galland, Zack Horwitz, Spencer Yee, and Tommy Seidl played very well. Ted Bakas and Connor Lee anchored a solid infield at SS and 2B with J.P. Knight at 3B. The catching duo of John Simourian and Ted Beaudet were rock solid.
Spencer Yee spun a complete game win in Game 3, a game in which the Ruffnecks surrendered their first run, which was unearned. In the final game, Zack Horwitz delivered 5 outstanding innings on the mound and left with a 1-1 tie. Morgan McSweeney and Holden White pitched one inning each in relief to take the tie to the bottom of the 7th. With one out, Teddy Bakas delivered a monster solo home run to enable the Ruffnecks to “walk off” with the win.
Travel Season Begins in Earnest
The 14u Ruffnecks are not the only Ruffnecks sqaud hitting the road. While they are traveling to Georgia, the 16U and Senior squads head to Diamond Nation for the Super17 Invitational June 19-21. The squads share a team bus for the trip and compete together in the event. In the following week, the Seniors head to Nashville to begin a 16 day road trip that carries them to the Music City Classic, the Perfect Game Elite Round Robin, and the 17U WWBA.