RAPIDS, Iowa — The Cooperstown Hawkeyes won 12 of the 44 games they
played in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League this summer.
But that doesn’t mean they regret the experience.
baseman Quinn Pippin wasn’t even planning on playing summer ball
this year until his high school buddy, Denis Buckley, invited Pippin
to join him in Cooperstown.
glad I went,” Pippin said. “The biggest thing is that we had so
much team chemistry. I love every single kid on this team. We didn’t
hate going to the ballpark every day. We knew we weren’t always
going to win, but we all loved each other, so it was fine.
was one of four PGCBL All-Stars on the Cooperstown roster. He led the
team in games played (42) and home runs (four).
Norwood (Saint Louis), Raleigh Rushing (Cypress) and Jacob Hubert
(Laredo CC) also represented the Hawkeyes in the PGCBL All-Star Game
on July 24. Hubert, who is transferring to Texas A&M Corpus
Christi this fall, finished the summer second on the team with a .313
batting average and first in stolen bases (18). Teammate Tyler
Mautner (Buffalo) won the all-star game home run derby, blasting five
homers in the final round.
Kandborg (Wenatchee Valley CC) led Cooperstown with a .315 batting
average in 73 at-bats. He tied for the team lead in hit-by-pitches
(five) with three others.
was a fun atmosphere,” Head Coach Eric Coleman said of the PGCBL
All-Star game. “It was a good game and I think there were 12-15
scouts there. The league is starting to get noticed, it’s a
sleeping giant. I see a lot of top schools sending their guys to this
only is the talent on the field improving, but the marketing
department is too.
expanding our sponsorship base by leaps and bounds,” team President
Tom Hickey said.
Hawkeyes — who made the playoffs last season — also have a
relationship with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the support
of President Jeff Idelson. They distribute tickets at the Hall of
Fame and take Hall of Fame players to Doubleday Field to watch the
Hawkeyes’ games. As an added bonus, Cooperstown players get free
admission into the Hall, a perk that many, including Pippin, took
is so up-to-date there, it’s very awesome,” Pippin said. “It’s
cool seeing the World Series rings and how they’ve progressed. They
used to be pins.”
also recalled a plaque dedicated to the accomplishment of Ron
Necciai, who in 1952 threw a no-hitter with 27 strikeouts in a minor
grandpa was actually at the game and told me about it, but I didn’t
believe it,” Pippin said.
who is transferring from Tulane to the University of Tampa this fall,
experienced an incredible streak of his own this summer. After
starting 0-for-30 at the plate, he finished 39-for-115 (.339). Pippin
attributes the turnaround to extra work in the batting cage and
getting his front foot down sooner. To improve further, he’s
working on his two-strike approach, hoping to cut down on his
soon-to-be 22-year-old redshirt junior has come a long way since
playing in the 2008 PG/WWBA 18u National Championship. After his
freshman season at Tulane, Pippin played summer ball in Alaska. Doing
so allowed him the opportunity to enjoy his favorite non-baseball
ended up winning the league up there, it was a great experience,”
he said. And I caught a lot of salmon, so it was a blast.”
had Tommy John surgery last June, which kept him from playing summer
ball in 2011. Now fully recovered, the St. Petersburg, Fla. Native is
looking forward to his first year at Tampa.
Cooperstown staff, on the other hand, is looking forward to the
summer of 2013. Hickey plans to recruit more experienced players next
year, a stark contrast to this season’s approach.
think the league is going to do extremely well in the future,”
Coleman said. “It would not surprise me to see it become one of the
top leagues in the country within the next five years.”