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.”

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16U ‘Necks Capture 17U PG Super25!

After four games on Sunday, June 25th, the 16u Ruffnecks emerged as champions of the 17U Perfect Game Super25 New England Regional.  Along the way the 2019’s outscored their opponents 54-3 behind two perfect game pitching performances, one from Billy Seidl, and a championship 7-0 effort from Jeff Price.  Any time a team gets to the finals of a tournament, the opponent is a quality team.  Price’s performance is impressive from that perspective alone.  Of course, a perfect game is dependent upon good defense, and the Ruffnecks got good defense all tournament long.  The catching duo of J.P. Olson and Danny Cooke led the way with great game calling and game management.  Price and Seidl were not the only stellar pitchers during the course of the event.  Seamus Barret got his team going with a terrific outing.  Colin McGrath contributed solid innings.  Ben Reyes pitched a gem in Game 2.  Jackson Emus pitched well in Game 3, with a clean inning of relief from Price.  Will Greer took the mound in the semi final game and beat a solid CT Blue Jays team. Jake McOsker pitched a playoff 2 hitter with 13 K’s.

Offensively, many contributors had a hand in the team success.  Jack Flynn, Evan Sleight, JP Olson, and Colin Blasco had hot bats throughout the tournament.  Most importantly, the lineup that Coach Fredericks put on the field did their jobs, played as a team, and filled roles. The 16U Ruffnecks rest up for a few days before hitting the road to Nashville, TN and the Music City Classic for 2019 grads, June 29 – July 2.

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(Updated Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 10:30am)

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