By Ben Harris
As summer leagues across the country recorded their seasons’ final outs, many positives could be drawn from the triumphant performances of Maryland ballplayers over the prior summer months.
A standout in the Cape League, a roost of Redbird hurlers and a record-breaking performance on the mound in the Perfect Game League topped the headlines.
Last week, Chris Rogers broke down the final numbers for every active summer Terp, eight of whom won their respective league championships. This week, Collegiate Summer Baseball released their comprehensive annual ranking of the nation’s Top 35 summer league teams.
Fifteen out of 25 Terps (60 percent) played on teams ranked in CSB’s Top 35.
Five Terps played for the Cal Ripken League’s Baltimore Redbirds, the most of any club. Four pitchers (Tyler Blohm, Mike Rescigno, Hunter Parsons, Andrew Miller) combined for a 1.79 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 110.1 dominant innings, while Marty Costes tied for third in the league with seven homers.
Three more played for the Redbirds’ league rival Bethesda Big Train. The two clubs have met in the CRCBL championship the last eight seasons. John Murphy, Justin Morris and Peyton Sorrels all brought the CRCBL title back to Bethesda this summer after the Redbirds won the last four league titles.
Kevin Smith was vital to the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox taking home their third-straight Cape League championship and the top spot in CSB’s rankings. In addition to being named the CCBL Championship Series MVP, Smith led his club in hits, doubles and extra base knocks. While the Brewster Whitecaps failed to crack the rankings, both Smith and Brewster’s Nick Dunn earned All-League infield honors. Also on the Cape, Ryan Selmer’s Wareham Gatemen checked in at no. 31 on CSB’s list.
The Matsu Miners, summer home to both AJ Lee and Madison Nickens, battled to the nineteenth national ranking after winning the Alaskan Baseball League title. As Perfect Game League champions, Danny Maynard and Cameron Enck’s Amsterdam Mohawks fill the no. 12 spot. This summer, Enck set a league record with a miniscule 0.39 ERA.
Up north in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, the runner-up Sanford Mainers were powered in large part by center fielder Zach Jancarski. The rising junior led the Mainers in both runs and hits.
After a disappointing 2016 compared to their 40-win seasons and NCAA Super Regional appearances in 2014 and 2015, a sharp summer looks to be a positive early start for the 2017 Terps.