By Ben Harris
The Terps’ double-play tandem of Nick Dunn and Kevin Smith are taking the Cape Cod League by storm. To put it simply, the rising sophomore and rising junior are raking. Building on a breakout freshman campaign that earned him Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors, Dunn leads the Brewster Whitecaps with a .368 batting average that ranks eighth on the Cape. His .478 on-base percentage is third in the league, and has been aided by good plate discipline (six walks and two hit by pitches through just nine games). His 14 hits are sixth most in the league, and he ranks third on the Whitecaps with a .899 OPS. MBN’s Jake Eisenberg caught up with him earlier this summer.
Smith, one year Dunn’s senior, also leads his team, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, in batting average (.342, 13th in the league), with the second highest on-base percentage (.390) and third best slugging percentage (.526). He is also tied for the team lead with two stolen bases. Jake Eisenberg had the chance to talk to Smith as well.
After tying Dunn for second on the Terps with 18 extra base hits in 2016, Smith’s four doubles and five extra base hits this summer rank tied for second and fourth in the league respectively.
The lone Terrapin pitcher spending his summer on the Cape is Ryan Selmer. In two appearances and three innings for the Wareham Gatemen, Selmer has allowed three earned runs, walked one and struck out four. Jake Eisenberg spoke to Selmer on Monday.
The freshman sensation who led the 2016 Terps in extra base hits, Marty Costes, has continued slugging his way through the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. Costes, one of five Terps on the Baltimore Red Birds, ranks first on his club and third in the CRCBL with three homers. Through 12 games, he’s slashing .293/.375/.561. However, his walk and strikeout rates have both increased from his freshman season at Maryland. His walk rate has risen from 9.3% to 10.4%, while his K% has jumped from 9.69% to 14.6%.
The other four Terps on the Red Birds roster, all pitchers, have all looked sharp thus far.
After clawing his way into the midweek role in 2016, and likely a weekend starting gig next season, Hunter Parsons has continued his success in the CRCBL. Through three starts, Parsons is 2-0 with a dominating 0.69 ERA, second lowest in the league, and 1.08 WHIP. He’s allowed just one extra base hit, and opponents are hitting just .200 against him in 13 innings. He ranks tied for seventh in the CRCBL with 14 strikeouts.
Fresh off being selected in the 25th round of the MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants, Mike Rescigno has performed well out of the bullpen. He’s allowed just one run in seven innings, striking out nine and walking one. His 1.28 ERA and 1.14 WHIP have both dropped drastically from his 2016 collegiate season (5.59 ERA, 1.91 WHIP), with an opposing batting average of .250, 88 points lower than this season in College Park.
Andrew Miller has a 3.85 ERA in four relief appearances (11.2 innings). He too has posted a phenomenal strikeout/walk ratio at 12/2. Rounding out the Terps contingent of the Red Birds pitching staff is incoming freshman left-hander Tyler Blohm, who was selected by his hometown Baltimore Orioles in the 17th round of the MLB draft. In two long relief appearances this summer, Blohm is pitching better than his 3.00 ERA would lead you to believe, as his 0.83 WHIP and .174 opposing batting average are better indicators of his summer success. Only one of his four hits allowed has fallen for extra bases.
Elsewhere in the CRCBL, John Murphy is 1-2 for the Bethesda Big Train in three starts. He’s allowed 10 earned runs over 15.1 innings with 10 strikeouts and five walks. In 12 games, Justin Morris is third on the Big Train with nine RBIs and leads the club with four doubles. Peyton Sorrels has started slowly in Bethesda, posting a .111 batting average with five runs and three hits through 27 at bats.
Truman Thomas has shut down opponents in both of his starts for the Gaithersburg Giants. He allowed just one earned run and three hits over six innings on June 17 and struck out one of every three batters he faced. A week earlier, in his summer league debut, he threw five shutout innings in a 13-0 blowout win. His 0.81 ERA is lowest of any Giant with at least eight innings pitched. Playing for his hometown club, Gaithersburg native Nick Pantos has a 2.34 ERA in 7.2 innings of relief.
Although his seven RBIs are tied for third most on the team, Nick Cieri has started slow for the Silver Spring-Tacoma Thunderbolts slashing just .231/.310/.385. Terps’ recruit Ty Friedrich is hitting .294 with a .520 on-base percentage in six games this summer from the catcher’s position.
Up in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, Jamal Wade seems to be making a transition to the mound. The outfielder—who hasn’t pitched since high school—has been one of the best relievers for the Northern Division-leading Keene Swamp Bats thus far. In three innings out of the pen, Wade’s 0.67 WHIP is only bested by his perfect 0.00 ERA. He’s faced 13 batters this summer allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out seven batters (53.8 K%). Also in the NECBL, Zach Jancarski is hitting .257 for the Sanford Mainers with five runs and nine hits in 10 games.
In New York’s Perfect Game League, Cameron Enck (2-1) has pitched phenomenally in three starts and four appearances for the Amsterdam Mohawks. In 18 innings, he boasts an identical 1.00 ERA and WHIP, while struggling opponents are hovering around the Mendoza Line.
Across the continent, Madison Nickens and A.J. Lee are still adjusting to the Alaskan League. Both have struggled at the plate, posting batting averages below .200 through eight games. But Lee has been perfect in the field for the Mat-Su Miners—he has not committed an error in 69 combined innings between third base, shortstop and second base. Nickens has been perfect defensively as well, not committing an error in 58 innings in the outfield.