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.”