Summer Collegiate Team Rankings

Allan Simpson

New England Collegiate League Showdown
In Works: No. 1 Newport vs No. 2 Keene

The 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.

Both 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.

That’s 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.

The 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 No. 4.

Though 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.

As 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.

Newport 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.

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 Newport Gulls RI New England Collegiate League 22-6
NECBL's best hitting team getting productive summers from Rutgers C Jeff Melillo (.400-3-22), Washington State OF Yale Rosen (.367-10-31), Arizona State OF Kasey Coffman (.348-5-26); Gulls batting .316 with 39 HRs as a team
2 Keene Swamp Bats NH New England Collegiate League 22-6
St. John's C Frankie Schwindel (.389--6-20), Central Connecticut State IF J.P. Sportman (.388-5-32) swinging hot bats for Bats, while Washington State RHP Scott Simon (3-0, 1.90) still unbeaten on NECBL's best pitching staff
3 Amsterdam Mohawks NY Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League 26-7
Mohwaks getting dominant starting pitching from Kentucky RHP Chandler Shepherd (5-0, 1.35), Auburn RHP Rocky McCord (4-0, 1.31), Wake Forest RHP Matt Pirro (4-0, 2.70), New Jeresy Tech RHP Mark Leiter (2-0, 1.50)
4 Harwich Mariners MA Cape Cod League 16-10
Power-hitting trio of Samford OF Phil Ervin (.337-8-19), Notre Dame 3B/OF Eric Jagielo (.298-7-15) and Stanford OF Austin Wilson (.294-6-19) all struggling to maintain hot early-season pace, but rank among top five in Cape in home runs
5 Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox MA Cape Cod League 15-11
Marshall RHP Aaron Blair (5-0, 1.19, 30 IP/35 SO) has been Cape's best starter, but trio of freshmen--Washington 2B Robert Pehl (.385-3-22), Indiana 3B Sam Travis (.353-3-23), Stanford SS Alex Blandino (.325-3-19)--have swung big bats
6 Mankato MoonDogs MN Northwoods League 34-12
MoonDogs have dropped three in a row, but still boast best record in Northwoods; Parkland (Ill.) JC LHP Zack Hall (4-1, 3.02) has been team's top starter, Oklahoma City RHP Patrick Goelz (0-1, 3.94) has saved league-best 13 games
7 Santa Barbara Foresters CA California Collegiate League 24-11
Deep, dominant pitching staff led by Southern California RHP Ian McCarthy (4-1, 1.15), Washington RHP Nick Palewicz (4-2, 1.86), Nebraska RHP Brandon Pierce (3-1, 1.54), Texas State closer Hunter Lemke (1-0, 0.59, 6 SV)
8 Edenton Steamers NC Coastal Plain League 27-12
Washington OF Michael Camporeale (.333-7-30) leads CPL in RBIs, slugging (.614), one of three Steamers to share league lead in homers; Norfolk State RHP Jordan Egan (2-1, 1.19, league-high 14 SV) a stalwart in bullpen
9 Cotuit Kettleers MA Cape Cod League 15-11
Michigan OF Pat Biondi (.400-0-10) leads Cape in hitting, while Vanderbilt LHP Kevin Ziomek (3-0, 1.27, 28 IP, 6 BB/36 SO) is second in ERA, strikeouts and Notre Dame RHP Dan Slania (1-0, 2.04, 6 SV) is tops in saves
10 Wenatchee Applesox WA West Coast League 25-11
Gonzaga LHP Derek Callahan (3-2, 1.67, 38 IP/43 SO) continues to lead WCL in strikeouts, Gonzaga IF Mitchell Gunsolus (.353-1-28) in RBIs, Washington RHP Tyler Kane (1-0, 1.40, 11 SV) in saves
11 San Luis Obispo Blues CA California Collegiate League 25-12
12 Winchester Royals VA Valley League 26-11
13 La Crosse Loggers WI Northwoods League 30-15
14 Chatham Anglers MA Cape Cod League 15-11
15 Baltimore Redbirds MD Cal Ripken Sr League 21-9
16 Orleans Firebirds MA Cape Cod League 15-11
17 Fayetteville Swampdogs NC Coastal Plain League 24-12
18 East Texas Pumpjacks TX Texas Collegiate League 25-10
19 West Virginia Miners WV Prospect League 25-13
20 Cincinnati Steam OH Great Lakes League 19-8
21 Nashua Silver Knights NH Futures League 25-7
22 Bethesda Big Train MD Cal Ripken Sr League 20-12
23 Falmouth Commodores MA Cape Cod League 14-12
24 Humboldt Crabs CA Far West League 26-6
25 Liberal Beejays KS Jayhawk League 24-11
26 Waynesboro Generals VA Valley League 23-11
27 Butler Blue Sox Sel Prospect League 26-14
28 Leesburg Lightning FL Florida Collegiate League 19-9
29 Willmar Stingers MN Northwoods League 27-19
30 Palm Springs Power CA Southern California Collegiate League 31-6

OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION: Anchorage Glacier Pilots / Alaska (17-16); Bellingham Bells / West Coast (21-12); Columbia BlowFish / Coastal Plain (23-15); Corvallis Knights / West Coast (21-14); Dodge City A's / Jayhawk (22-11); DuBois County Bombers / Prospect (25-14); Duluth Huskies / Northwoods (26-20); Forest City Owls / Coastal Plain (24-16); Green Bay Bullfrogs / Northwoods (26-19); Harrisonburg Turks / Valley (24-12); Hornell Dodgers / New York Collegiate (20-10); Kenai Peninsula Oilers / Alaska (20-13); Lima Locos / Great Lakes (18-10); Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs / Perfect Game Collegiate (21-13); New Bedford Bay Sox / New England Collegiate (20-12); Regina Red Sox / Western Major (26-8); Rockville Express / Cal Ripken (22-9); St. Joseph Mustangs / MINK (25-14); San Diego Force / Western Baseball Association (28-7); Southern Ohio Copperheads / Great Lakes (15-8); Syracuse Jr. Chiefs / New York Collegiate (21-8); Terre Haute Rex / Prospect (23-16); Trenton Generals / Atlantic Collegiate (23-9); Victoria Generals / Texas Collegiate (24-11); Wilmington Sharks / Coastal Plain (23-14); Winter Park Diamond Dawgs / Florida Collegiate (17-11); Wisconsin Woodchucks / Northwoods (26-19).
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