England Collegiate League Showdown
Works: No. 1 Newport vs No. 2 Keene
Newport Gulls will be playing the Keene Swamp Bats tonight in a key
New England Collegiate League game with more than just league
bragging rights at stake.
teams have identical 22-6 records and lead their respective divisions
by wide margins, but a showdown of the NECBL’s two best clubs will
have rare national implications at stake as Newport and Keene moved
into the Nos. 1 and 2 positions today in Perfect Game’s weekly
ranking of the nation’s top 30 summer-league teams.
rare territory for any summer-college league not known as the Cape
Cod League, but the Gulls and Swamp Bats, historically the NECBL’s
most-successful franchises, have been as hot recently as almost any
teams in the country with 13 wins apiece in their last 15 games.
Keene recently had a 10-game winning streak snapped.
Cape League’s Harwich Mariners had occupied the No. 1 spot in PG’s
weekly rankings since the outset of the 2012 season, but are in the
throes of a four-game losing streak that has knocked the team down to
slumping Harwich, at 16-10 overall, still boasts the best record in
the Cape Cod League, that standing is very much in jeopardy as the
Mariners have their own showdown encounter tonight when they face the
hard-charging and new No. 5-ranked Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, one of
four teams in the Cape with identical 15-11 records. The Red Sox have
been the hottest team in the Cape recently.
appealing as the Harwich/Yarmouth-Dennis confrontation promises to
be, it may not be as intriguing as the one between Newport and Keene,
played about 100 miles away in Keene, N.H.
and Keene have dominated the NECBL to date, with both clubs running
1-2 in the league in team batting average and team ERA. Newport has
been slightly the more dominant of the two with an aggregate run
differential margin of 244-123, vs. Keene’s ratio of 196-126, and
earned the No. 1 national ranking mainly on that basis. Newport, No.
5 a week ago, leads the NECBL with a .316 team batting average, while
Keene, No. 3 a week ago, is tops with a 3.51 ERA.
are ranked on the following criteria: won-loss record, league
dominance, depth and quality of professional-level talent and the
overall strength of the league. To receive consideration, teams must
have at least a .500 record overall.