Summer Collegiate | Rankings | 7/6/2011

Collegiate Summer Top 25 7-6-11

Allan Simpson        

Surprising Hyannis Returns To Top Spot

A year ago, the Hyannis Harbor Hawks brought up the rear in the Cape Cod League for the second season in a row, posting just a 14-30 record overall.

Before the 2011 Cape season had even reached the midway mark, Hyannis had already equaled its win total of a year ago by going 14-7—best mark in the Cape League, acknowledged as the nation’s top summer circuit.

With their startling turnaround, the Harbor Hawks have not only been the talk of the Cape Cod League this summer, but summer baseball overall as they moved to No. 1 again in Perfect Game’s weekly ranking of the nation’s Top 25 summer-league teams.

The main difference this year is that the guys we recruited showed up,” said Hawks coach Chad Gassman, who oversaw his club’s two last-place finishes. “This is the team we picked and these guys are coming together.

Last year, we lost nine players to Team USA and the draft. That’s not complaining; that’s just the reality of this league. It happens to every team and last year we just got hit hard.”

The surging Harbor Hawks have seen a dramatic change in fortune, both on the mound and at the plate. The team is hitting .257 this year (as opposed to .227 in 2010) and has knocked off a full run from a 3.53 ERA last season to a 2.46 mark this year.

Among players that have played key roles this summer for the Hawks are the Jacksonville University duo of sophomore first baseman Adam Brett Walker (.253-3-12), one of the league’s top run producers, and sophomore outfielder Dan Gulbransen (.317-0-3). Both are Wisconsin high-school products who starred last summer in the Great Lakes League before enjoying productive seasons during the spring at Jacksonville. Walker hit .403-13-75, while Gulbransen hit .370-6-52.

On the mound, the Harbor Hawks have gotten solid seasons from Cal State Fullerton sophomore righthander Dylan Floro (1-0, 1.17, 21 IP/17 SO), Oklahoma freshman lefthander Ryan Gibson (2-0, 0.00, 11 IP/11SO) and Purdue sophomore closer Nick Wittgren (3-0, 0.96, 3 SV).

I think the most effective part of our game right now is offense,” said Gassman, “We’re causing activity on the base paths and just making things happen.”

A Cape Cod League team has been ranked No. 1 in PG’s Top 25 every week this summer, with Hyannis replacing Harwich atop the rankings. The Harbor Hawks topped the season’s initial poll.

Meanwhile, the top teams in the Northwoods and Coastal Plain leagues, generally acknowledged as the second- and third-strongest summer leagues, continue to push the top Cape teams. With 23 wins apiece, most of any summer team, the CPL’s Edenton Steamers and Northwoods League’s Mankato MoonDogs, have moved into the Nos. 2-3 spots respectively.

Top 25 team through games of July 5

1 5 Hyannis Harbor Hawks MA Cape Cod 14-7
2 3 Edenton Steamers NC Coastal Plain 23-8
3 8 Mankato MoonDogs MN Northwoods 23-9
4 2 Santa Barbara Foresters CA California Collegiate 19-7
5 1 Harwich Mariners MA Cape Cod 13-8
6 7 Harrisonburg Turks VA Valley 21-6
7 4 Wenatchee AppleSox WA West Coast 22-5
8 10 Bethesda Big Train MD Cal Ripken 22-5
9 13 Cincinnati Steam OH Great Lakes 15-4
10 20 San Luis Obispo Blues CA California Collegiate 21-7
11 16 Brewster White Caps MA Cape Cod 10-8
12 6 Holyoke Blue Sox MA New England Collegiate 11-5
13 15 Quincy Gems IL Prospect 20-9
14 23 East Texas Pumpjacks TX Texas Collegiate 19-10
15 NR Fayetteville Swampdogs NC Coastal Plain 21-11
16 14 Madison Mallards WI Northwoods 21-13
17 NR Danbury Westerners CT New England Collegiate 11-5
18 11 Orleans Firebirds MA Cape Cod 10-9
19 9 Kenai Peninsula Oilers AK Alaska 14-7
20 NR Leesburg Lightning FL Florida 15-6
21 24 St. Joseph Mustangs MO MINK 21-7
22 12 Glens Falls Golden Eagles NY Perfect Game 13-7
23 NR Palm Springs Power CA Southern California 24-3
24 NR Liberal Beejays KS Jayhawk 12-6
25 NR Falmouth Commodores MA Cape Cod 11-11

Others receiving consideration:
Mat-Su Miners/Alaska (13-8); Jersey Pilots/Atlantic Collegiate (14-8); Southern Maryland Nationals/Cal Ripken (17-7); Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox/Cape Cod (10-10); Forest City Owls/Coastal Plain (17-12); Peninsula Pilots/Coastal Plain (15-10); Winter Park Diamond Dawgs/Florida (13-6); Lima Locos/Great Lakes (15-7); Oahu Paddlers/Hawaii (13-4); Gaithersburg Giants/Maryland Collegiate (19-4); Keene Swamp Bats/New England Collegiate (11-7); Utica Brewers/New York Collegiate (19-5); Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkars/Northwoods (19-10); Battle Creek Bombers/Northwoods (19-13); Eau Claire Express/Northwoods (19-13); Green Bay Bullfrogs/Northwoods (19-13); Elmira Pioneers/Perfect Game (13-8); West Virginia Miners/Prospect (18-13); Danville Dans/Prospect (16-11); Nashville Outlaws/Prospect (18-12); Douglasville Bulls/Sunbelt (15-2); Waynesboro Generals/Valley (15-11); New Market Rebels/Valley (15-11); Winchester Royals/Valley (15-11); Bend Elks/West Coast (15-11); Medicine Hat Mavericks/Western Major (22-5); Regina Red Sox/Western Major (18-5).

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