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.