Summer Collegiate Team Rankings

Allan Simpson

Cotuit Hangs on to Top Spot
As Teams Jockey for Position

Some leagues are finished, some are in the midst of playoffs and some haven’t even begun post-season play.

As teams from some 30-plus summer college leagues around the country continue to navigate through the most critical stages of the 2012 schedule, the Cape Cod League’s Cotuit Kettleers remain the No. 1 team in Perfect Game’s weekly ranking of the nation’s Top 30 summer clubs.

Cotuit continues to play at a fast pace with 20 wins in its last 24 games, and has both clinched the Western Division regular-season title in the Cape, along with the league’s best record overall. The Kettleers have just two regular-season games remaining before the first round of the Cape’s eight-team playoff kicks off Thursday.

If the Kettleers continue their hot pace in post-season play and win their second Cape League title in three years, it may be difficult for any other summer club to overtake them in the chase for No. 1. But it has been four years since the last Cape team with the best regular-season record went on and won the league playoffs.

Should the Kettleers falter, there are plenty of other contenders from some of the nation’s other top summer leagues that are lurking.

Chief among them are the No. 2-ranked Newport Gulls, a perennial New England Collegiate League power; the red-hot and No. 3-ranked Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League and the No. 4-ranked Edenton Steamers of the Coastal Plain League.

Both Newport and Edenton finished with the best records in their respective leagues during the regular season, and have earned first-round wins in the opening round of playoffs, while Wisconsin continues its torrid pace in the second half of the Northwoods League schedule with a 25-3 record. The NWL playoffs aren’t slated to begin for another week.

Meanwhile, champions have been determined in a number of summer leagues, chief among them the Anchorage Glacier Pilots (Alaska), North Jersey Eagles (Atlantic Collegiate), Baltimore Redbirds (Cal Ripken), Humboldt Crabs (Far West), Licking County Settlers (Great Lakes), Hawaii Aliis (Hawaii), Syracuse Junior Chiefs (New York Collegiate), Top Speed Baseball (Pacific West), Ballantyne Smokies (Southern), Palm Springs Power (Southern California Collegiate) and Harrisonburg Turks (Valley). Several of those teams made strides in PG’s latest Top 30 ranking, but none cracked the top 10 overall.

The 78
th annual National Baseball Congress World Series is also underway in Wichita, Kan., and that 32-team tournament includes several teams ranked in the top 30. Chief among them is the No. 7-ranked Santa Barbara Foresters, the defending champion. The Foresters are unbeaten in their first three games.

Teams in Perfect Game’s Top 30 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 Cotuit Kettleers MA Cape Cod League 28-14
Kettleers have clinched best record on Cape; College of Charleston slugger Daniel Aldrich (.355-10-25) has been unexpected power source for team, while Coastal Carolina RHP Ryan Connelly (8-0, 2.28, 4 SV) has been effective arm
2 Newport Gulls RI New England Collegiate League 33-11
Rutgers C Jeff Melillo (.404-5-30) finished regular season as top hitter in NECBL; Gulls posted best record in league (31-10), hit .313 as a team, outscored opponents 347-192, posted league's best ERA; survived first playoff round
3 Wisconsin Woodchucks Sel Northwoods League 42-21
Woodchucks continue red hot pace (25-3 in second half); UCLA OF Eric Filia-Snyder (.395-5-33, 22 SB), Wake Forest RHP Jack Fischer (6-1, 1.76), Arkansas RHP Jackson Lowery (4-0, 2.81, 6 SV, 42 IP/60 SO) have been key
4 Edenton Steamers NC Coastal Plain League 39-17
Washington OF Michael Camporeale topped CPL in RBIs (42), homers (9), doubles (19), slugging (.623), led Steamers to best record in league, first-round playoff sweep; Norfolk State RHP Jordan Egan CPL leader with 15 saves
5 Harwich Mariners MA Cape Cod League 25-16
Mariners cling to East Division lead, top Cape with 63 homers, boast three of league's top six sluggers in Notre Dame 3B Eric Jagielo (.284-13-29), Samford OF Phil Ervin (.323-11-31) and Stanford 1B Brian Ragira (.240-9-19)
6 Amsterdam Mohawks NY Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League 36-13
Kentucky RHP Chandler Shepherd (7-0, 1.31) topped PGCBL in wins, ERA, opponent batting average (.154), pitched Mohawks to 10-1 playoff win in opening-round series; team tied 1-1 in semis, must beat Mohawk Valley to move on
7 Santa Barbara Foresters CA California Collegiate League 36-14
Foresters continue to struggle to score runs, but dominant pitching remains team's strength; 3-0 to date at National Baseball Congress World Series, primed to repeat as tournament champions
8 La Crosse Loggers WI Northwoods League 43-20
Long Beach State OF Richard Prigatano (.311-8-39) is team's offensive leader; Texas A&M-CC RHP Jacob Dorris (6-1, 2.50, 50 IP/76 SO), leads league in strikeouts, Memphis RHP Jonathan Van Eaton (14 SV) shares lead in saves
9 Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox MA Cape Cod League 25-17
Enigmatic Red Sox have won six straight, closing in on first place in East; hitting league-best .302, continue to get big seasons from two rising sophs: Washington 2B/OF Rob Pehl (.344-6-37), Indiana 1B Sam Travis (.348-4-35)
10 Keene Swamp Bats NH New England Collegiate League 31-13
Swamp Bats won NECBL West race (29-13), led league with .314 team average, 73 homers; primed to repeat as league champions after 2-0 sweep in opening round of playoffs, have moved on to division final series
11 Baltimore Redbirds MD Cal Ripken Sr League 31-13
12 West Virginia Miners WV Prospect League 40-18
13 Wenatchee Applesox WA West Coast League 34-17
14 Fayetteville Swampdogs NC Coastal Plain League 36-20
15 Harrisonburg Turks VA Valley League 34-18
16 Licking County Settlers OH Great Lakes League 29-16
17 Winchester Royals VA Valley League 36-16
18 Orleans Firebirds MA Cape Cod League 22-20
19 Anchorage Glacier Pilots AK Alaska League 27-19
20 Terre Haute Rex IN Prospect League 37-22
21 Palm Springs Power CA Southern California Collegiate League 42-7
22 Brazos Valley Bombers TX Texas Collegiate League 34-21
23 Humboldt Crabs CA Far West League 37-9
24 Rockville Express Sel Cal Ripken Sr League 30-13
25 Willmar Stingers MN Northwoods League 38-25
26 Nashua Silver Knights NH Futures League 36-12
27 Leesburg Lightning FL Florida Collegiate League 27-15
28 Hays Larks KS Jayhawk League 32-12
29 St. Joseph Mustangs MO MINK League 32-18
30 San Luis Obispo Blues CA California Collegiate League 36-18

OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION: Anchorage Bucs / Alaska (25-22); Ballantyne Smokies / Southern (28-16); Bellingham Bells / West Coast (30-20); Bethesda Big Train / Cal Ripken (27-18); Chillicothe Paints / Prospect (35-24); Cincinnati Steam / Great Lakes (26-18); Columbia BlowFish / Coastal Plain (35-23); Corvallis Knights / West Coast (29-21); Danbury Westerners / New England Collegiate (24-19); Dodge City A's / Jayhawk (29-17); DuBois County Bombers / Prospect (35-24); Falmouth Commodores / Cape Cod (21-21); Forest City Owls / Coastal Plain (35-24); Glens Falls Golden Eagles / Perfect Game (29-20); Lima Locos / Great Lakes (25-17); Madison Mallards / Northwoods (34-29); Mankato MoonDogs / Northwoods (39-24); Medicine Hat Mavericks / Western Major (34-16); New Bedford Bay Sox / New England Collegiate (27-17); North Jersey Eagles / Atlantic (25-21); Regina Red Sox / Western Major (37-12); Richmond River Rats / Prospect (32-26); San Diego Force / Western Baseball Association (37-10); Syracuse Jr. Chiefs / New York Collegiate (34-12); Top Speed Baseball / Pacific West (38-21); Waynesboro Generals / Valley (34-15); Winter Park Diamond Dawgs / Florida Collegiate (25-16)
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