Summer Collegiate Team Rankings

Allan Simpson

Harwich Remains Nation’s Top Team, But Plenty of Contenders Are Lurking

The Cape Cod League’s Harwich Mariners remain the nation’s top-ranked summer-league team for the third week in a row, but there are plenty of teams lining up to bump the Mariners from their perch if they should falter over the course of the summer.

Chief among them is the Orleans Firebirds, Harwich’s Eastern Division rival in the Cape Cod League. The Firebirds boast the same 12-3 record and rank No. 2 nationally in Perfect Game’s ranking of the top 30 teams for the second straight week.

Orleans’ chances of overtaking Harwich, though, took another hit on Friday when closer Trevor Gott (Kentucky), who led the Cape in saves a year ago and had saved four more games this season, hurt his shoulder and was forced to leave the team. The severity of the injury is unclear.

It was the second major loss to the Orleans pitching staff in little more than a week as Arizona State righthander Trevor Williams, a potential first-rounder in the 2013 draft, left the Firebirds to join USA Baseball’s college national team.

In the meantime, Harwich has only added talent to its roster since the start of the 2012 season, and ran off a recent streak of nine wins in a row. Outfielder Phil Ervin, a rising junior at Samford, has been the dominant player for the Mariners from the outset, hitting .364 with a Cape-best eight homers and 16 RBIs, but the late additions of Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson and Louisiana State righthander Aaron Nola may have separated Harwich, the defending Cape Cod League champion, from Orleans—or any team in summer baseball.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Wilson hit just .204 for the Mariners in 2011, but was hitting .355-5-12 in his first nine games and displaying the kind of all-around raw talent that will make him one of the top candidates to go No. 1 overall in the 2013 draft. Nola (2-0, 0.82 in his first two starts) may be the top prospect in the Cape this summer in the 2014 draft class.

Among those teams expected to give Harwich and Orleans a run for the No. 1 ranking in the country are a number of equally-hot clubs in various leagues around the country, notably the No. 3-ranked Wenatchee AppleSox (18-3) of the West Coast League, No. 4-ranked Mankato MoonDogs (25-7) of the Northwoods League, No. 5-ranked Keene Swamp Bats (14-4) of the New England College League, No. 6-ranked Amsterdam Mohawks (19-3) of the Perfect Game Collegiate League and No. 7-ranked East Texas Pump Jacks (21-4) of the Texas Collegiate League.

All have capitalized on early season hot streaks to surge into the top 10 nationally. With 18 wins in its last 19 games, achieved largely on the strength of a dominant young pitching staff, Amsterdam may be the hottest team in the country.

Led by Harwich and Orleans, a total of six teams from the Cape Cod League, acknowledged as the nation’s most-prestigious summer-college league, occupy spots in Perfect Game’s Top 30 ranking. The Coastal Plain, Northwoods and Valley leagues all have three teams ranked.

Teams 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.

1 Harwich Mariners MA Cape Cod League 12-3
Samford OF Philip Ervin (.364-8-16) continues to set Cape pace in homers, RBIs, but Stanford OF Austin Wilson (.355-5-12 in 9 G) hot on his heels; Louisiana State RHP Aaron Nola (2-0, 0.82, 11 IP, 2 BB/15 SO) team's best arm
2 Orleans Firebirds MA Cape Cod League 12-3
Firebirds lead Cape with 2.74 team ERA, getting big seasons from Elon LHP Dylan Clark (2-0, league-best 0.00 ERA), San Diego RHP/ex-first-rounder Dylan Covey (2-0, 1.13), Hawaii LHP Jarrett Arakawa (2-0, 0.60)
3 Wenatchee Applesox WA West Coast League 18-3
Pitching of Gonzaga LHP Derek Callahan (2-0, 1.25, 22 IP/27 SO), Hawaii LHP Larry Chew (2-0, 1.00, 27 IP, 5 BB/25 SO), Washington RHP Tyler Kane (1-0, 1.46, 5 SV) have sparked dominant Wenatchee staff
4 Mankato MoonDogs MN Northwoods League 25-7
Streaking MoonDogs continue to win at fast clip, getting plenty of production from arms like Parkland (Ill.) JC LHP Zack Hall (3-0, 0.68), Louisiana-Lafayette RHP Derek Howell (2-0, 1.88, 3 SV), Marshall LHP Wayland Moore (3-0, 2.59)
5 Keene Swamp Bats NH New England Collegiate League 14-4
Swamp Bats feature deep lineup with St. John's C Frankie Schwindel (.431-4-13), Maine 1B Fran Whitten (.286-6-15), Iowa Western CC IF Grant Kay (.345-4-14), Central Connecticut State IF J.P. Sportman (.328-3-20)
6 Amsterdam Mohawks NY Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League 19-3
Red-hot Mohawks have won 18 of last 19; Kentucky RHP Chandler Shepherd (4-0, 0.33), Auburn RHP Rocky McCord (2-0, 1.61), Siena LHP Matt Gage (4-0, 2.40), all rising sophopmores in 92-93 range, have combined 96 SO in 79 IP
7 East Texas Pumpjacks TX Texas Collegiate League 21-4
Surging Pump Jacks have won 13 of 14, getting big seasons from two Nebraska starters, RHP Jeff Stovall (4-0, 0.84) and LHP Kyle Kubat (3-0, 1.17), and ace Texas A&M closer Jason Jester (12 SV, 0.00 ERA, 17 IP, 2 BB/26 SO)
8 La Crosse Loggers WI Northwoods League 23-9
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi RHP Jacob Dorris (4-1, 2.83, league-high 51 SO in 29 IP) has been dominant arm in Northwoods, Long Beach State OF Richard Prigatano (.356-2-19) one of league's best pure bats
9 Santa Barbara Foresters CA California Collegiate League 19-8
Perennial power Foresters have 1.80 team ERA, coming off 37-IP streak without allowing a run; key contributors are USC transfer Ian McCarthy (4-0, 0.33), Washington RHP Nick Palewicz (3-1, 1.23, 22 IP, 1 BB/30 SO)
10 Falmouth Commodores MA Cape Cod League 9-6
Commodores making a move in Cape standings on strength of offensive production from Youngstown State 3B Drew Dosch (.368-3-11), Michigan OF Michael O'Neill (.311-4-12), Kansas State OF Jared King (.365-3-6, 7 2B)
11 Newport Gulls RI New England Collegiate League 11-4
12 West Virginia Miners WV Prospect League 21-9
13 Corvallis Knights OR West Coast League 18-6
14 Winchester Royals VA Valley League 19-8
15 Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox MA Cape Cod League 8-7
16 Forest City Owls NC Coastal Plain League 20-9
17 Chatham Anglers MA Cape Cod League 8-6
18 Leesburg Lightning FL Florida Collegiate League 13-4
19 Edenton Steamers NC Coastal Plain League 19-8
20 Lima Locos OH Great Lakes League 13-6
21 Green Bay Bullfrogs WI Northwoods League 20-12
22 Harrisonburg Turks VA Valley League 17-8
23 San Luis Obispo Blues CA California Collegiate League 18-10
24 DuBois County Bombers Sel Prospect League 20-9
25 Fayetteville Swampdogs NC Coastal Plain League 18-10
26 Wareham Gateman MA Cape Cod League 8-7
27 Liberal Beejays KS Jayhawk League 18-7
28 St. Joseph Mustangs MO MINK League 17-8
29 Waynesboro Generals VA Valley League 16-7
30 Rockville Express Sel Cal Ripken Sr League 13-6

OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION: Anchorage Bucs / Alaska (8-5); Baltimore Redbirds / Cal Ripken (14-8); Bellingham Bells / West Coast (15-9); Chillicothe Paints / Prospect (18-12); Cincinnati Steam / Great Lakes (11-6); Columbia BlowFish / Coastal Plain (17-11); Dodge City A's / Jayhawk (16-7); Humboldt Crabs / Far West (17-5); Licking County Settlers / Great Lakes (14-7); Medicine Hat Mavericks / Western Major (16-7); Nashua Silver Knights / Futures (15-5); New Bedford Bay Sox / New England Collegiate (13-7); Newark Pilots / Perfect Game (13-9); New York Atlantics / Atlantic Collegiate (16-6); North Fork Ospreys / Atlantic Collegiate (13-7); North Shore Navigators / Futures (13-4); Palm Springs Power / Southern California Collegiate (22-5); Quincy Gems / Prospect (18-12); Regina Red Sox / Western Major (17-5); San Diego Force / Western Baseball Association (16-5); Syracuse Jr. Chiefs / New York Collegiate (14-3); Victoria Generals / Texas Collegiate (16-9); Waterloo Bucks / Northwoods (19-13); Willmar Stingers / Northwoods (19-13).
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