Summer Collegiate Team Rankings

Allan Simpson

Harwich Incurs First Stumble of Season, But Still Remains Nation’s No. 1 Team

With scouts beginning to populate the Cape Cod League in increasing numbers as the 2012 season approaches the midway point, they have been left with the unmistakable conclusion that the Harwich Mariners are the most-talented team on the Cape, if not the entire nation.

The Mariners began the summer as the No. 1 team in Perfect Game’s ranking of the nation’s Top 30 summer-league clubs, and continue to maintain their lofty ranking with a 15-6 record—best in the league. But with three losses in their next four games since the last ranking, the Mariners perch atop the rankings is a little more tenuous than in past weeks.

In fact, had they not beaten the Orleans Firebirds, the nation’s No. 2 team a week ago, in a showdown of the Cape’s top two teams on Sunday night, Harwich may not have retained its top ranking. The 7-4 setback knocked Orleans from No. 2 to No. 7.

Several non-Cape Cod teams have positioned themselves to bump Harwich from the No. 1 spot a week from now should it falter again—chief among them No. 2 Mankato (31-8) of the Northwoods League, and a pair of hard-charging teams from the New England Collegiate League, Keene (19-5) and Newport (18-5). No. 4 Keene had a recent 10-game winning streak snapped, while No. 6 Newport is in the midst of a stretch that has seen it win nine of 10 games.

Interestingly, two of the hottest teams in summer baseball represent one of the nation’s non-traditional baseball-playing states—New Hampshire.

In addition to the NECBL’s Keene Swamp Bats, the Nashua Silver Knights of the Futures League has run off 12 wins in a row to move to 20-5 on the season. Previously unranked, the Silver Knights moved into the Top 30 at No. 18.

Success is nothing new to either New Hampshire club as Keene won the NECBL championship in 2011, while Nashua captured the Futures League’s inaugural title. With combined records of 39-10, both teams are on pace to produce even better overall marks than a year ago. Keene went 28-14 in 2011, while Nashua went 27-16.

Harwich is also on a superior pace from the team that won a Cape League title a year ago, and it may be a tall order for either Keene or Nashua, or anyone, to topple a talented Mariners team if it continues to win a fast clip and repeats as Cape League champions.

1 Harwich Mariners MA Cape Cod League 15-6
Powerful trio of Samford OF Phil Ervin (.324-8-16), Notre Dame 3B/OF Eric Jagielo (.319-7-15) and Stanford OF Austin Wilson (.314-5-16), all rising juniors, continue to lead Mariners to best record on the Cape
2 Mankato MoonDogs MN Northwoods League 31-8
Unheralded arms like Parkland (Ill.) JC LHP Zack Hall (4-0, 2.31), Louisiana-Lafayette RHP Derek Howell (3-0, 2.04, 3 SV), Louisville LHP Kyle McGrath (4-1, 3.74) instrumental in success of surging MoonDogs
3 Keene Swamp Bats NH New England Collegiate League 19-5
Swamp Bats getting productive seasons from St. John's C Frankie Schwindel (.396--6-19), Central Connecticut State IF J.P. Sportman (.383-5-32), Iowa Western CC LHP Kyle Gehrs (0.00, 4 SV, 11 IP/16 SO)
4 Amsterdam Mohawks NY Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League 23-5
Kentucky RHP Chandler Shepherd (5-0, 0.26) leads PGCBL in wins, ERA; Siena LHP Matt Gage (4-1, 2.31, 35 IP/46 SO) in strikeouts; New Jersey Tech OF Ed Charlton (.354-6-18) in homers, Wake Forest OF Evan Stephens (.451-2-9) in hitting
5 Newport Gulls RI New England Collegiate League 18-5
Gulls remain hot on Keene's heels with nine wins in 10 games, getting productive summers from Rutgers C Jeff Melillo (.407-3-14), Washington State OF Yale Rosen (.358-9-28), Arkansas State RHP Daniel Wright (4-0, 3.00)
6 Santa Barbara Foresters CA California Collegiate League 22-9
Texas C Jacob Felts (.365-3-11) has been Foresters top hitter, but team's strength is dominant pitching staff led by Southern California RHP Ian McCarthy (4-1, 1.26), Washington RHP Nick Palewicz (4-1, 1.12, 24 IP, 1 BB/31 SO)
7 Orleans Firebirds MA Cape Cod League 14-7
Firebirds continue to lead Cape with 2.97 team ERA behind Elon LHP Dylan Clark (3-0, 0.47), San Diego RHP/ex-first-rounder Dylan Covey (2-0, 0.73); Vanderbilt 1B Conrad Gregor (.307-5-15) is team's primary power source
8 La Crosse Loggers WI Northwoods League 27-12
Big California factor on Loggers roster led by Long Beach State OF Richard Prigatano (.336-2-19) and LHP Jake Stassi (1-0, 1.88), San Diego SS Austin Bailey (.353-0-7), UC Santa Barbara 1B Tyler Kuresa (.296-1-11)
9 Falmouth Commodores MA Cape Cod League 12-9
Commodores sitting atop Cape's Western Division on strength of bats of Michigan OF Michael O'Neill (.291-4-13), Kansas State OF Jared King (.370-3-7), pitching of Bryant RHP Craig Schlitter (3-1, 1.42)
10 Wenatchee Applesox WA West Coast League 21-8
Gonzaga LHP Derek Callahan (3-1, 0.80, 34 IP/39 SO) leads WCL in ERA, strikeouts, Gonzaga IF Mitchell Gonsolus (.378-1-23) leads in hitting, Washington RHP Tyler Kane (1-0, 1.65, 8 SV) leads in saves
11 East Texas Pumpjacks TX Texas Collegiate League 23-7
12 Winchester Royals VA Valley League 23-9
13 Edenton Steamers NC Coastal Plain League 23-10
14 West Virginia Miners WV Prospect League 24-12
15 Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox MA Cape Cod League 11-10
16 Lima Locos OH Great Lakes League 17-7
17 Baltimore Redbirds MD Cal Ripken Sr League 18-8
18 Nashua Silver Knights NH Futures League 20-5
19 San Luis Obispo Blues CA California Collegiate League 21-11
20 Fayetteville Swampdogs NC Coastal Plain League 22-12
21 Chatham Anglers MA Cape Cod League 11-10
22 Winter Park Diamond Dawgs FL Florida Collegiate League 15-8
23 Green Bay Bullfrogs WI Northwoods League 23-15
24 Humboldt Crabs CA Far West League 21-5
25 Bellingham Bells Sel West Coast League 20-10
26 St. Joseph Mustangs MO MINK League 22-10
27 Liberal Beejays KS Jayhawk League 20-9
28 Waynesboro Generals VA Valley League 19-9
29 Cotuit Kettleers MA Cape Cod League 11-10
30 Butler Blue Sox Sel Prospect League 23-13

OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION: Anchorage Glacier Pilots / Alaska (12-12); Bethesda Big Train / Cal Ripken (15-11); Cincinnati Steam / Great Lakes (15-8); Columbia BlowFish / Coastal Plain (21-13); Corvallis Knights / West Coast (18-13); Dodge City A's / Jayhawk (19-9); DuBois County Bombers / Prospect (22-12); Duluth Huskies / Northwoods (22-17); Forest City Owls / Coastal Plain (22-13); Harrisonburg Turks / Valley (19-11); Hornell Dodgers / New York Collegiate (19-9); Kelowna Falcons / West Coast (17-10); Kenai Peninsula Oilers / Alaska (16-11); Leesburg Lightning / Florida Collegiate (15-8); New Bedford Bay Sox / New England Collegiate (16-10); New York Atlantics / Atlantic Collegiate (17-7); Okotoks Dawgs / Western Major (19-7); Palm Springs Power / Southern California Collegiate (26-6); Quincy Gems / Prospect (21-14); Regina Red Sox / Western Major (22-6); Riverhead Tomcats / Atlantic Collegiate (16-8); Rockville Express / Cal Ripken (15-8); San Diego Force / Western Baseball Association (20-7); Southern Ohio Copperheads / Great Lakes (14-7); Syracuse Jr. Chiefs / New York Collegiate (17-5); Terre Haute Rex / Prospect (21-14); Victoria Generals / Texas Collegiate (20-10); Willmar Stingers / Northwoods (22-17).
Copyright 1994-2020 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.