Moves to No. 1 Spot
Demise of Cape Teams
season long, the defending champion Harwich Mariners dominated the
Cape Cod League’s Eastern Division. Meanwhile, a prolific
second-half surge propelled the Cotuit Kettleers, the Cape’s 2011
champs, to the league’s best overall record and a runaway title in
the Western Division.
both the Mariners and Kettleers, who have occupied the No. 1 spot in
Perfect Game’s weekly ranking of the nation’s top 30
summer-league teams for all but one week this summer, unexpectedly
bit the dust in the opening round of the Cape League playoffs.
Harwich was bounced in two straight by Orleans, while Cotuit fell in
three games to Bourne.
demise of the two Cape powers opened the door for a new No. 1 team in
the current rankings and the New England Collegiate League’s
Newport Gulls surged into the top spot. The Gulls, the only other
team to rank No. 1 this summer, recaptured the top spot by sweeping
impressively to the NECBL title, their fifth in 12 years.
Gulls (37-11 overall) dominated regular-season play in the NECBL,
winning the Eastern Division in easy fashion, and closed out the
campaign in style by going 6-1 in beating Sanford, New Bedford and
Danbury in the league’s eight-team playoffs.
chances of finishing the 2012 season in the top spot are considered
strong as only a handful of the nation’s top summer leagues are
still engaged in playoffs. Additionally, both No. 2-ranked Amsterdam,
winners of the Perfect Game Collegiate League championship, and No.
3-ranked Santa Barbara Foresters, winners of their second straight
National Baseball Congress World Series title, have also completed
those teams still legitimately in the chase for No. 1 are the No.
4-ranked La Crosse Loggers, which opens the Northwoods League
playoffs today with the most wins (49) in summer baseball, and the
No. 5-ranked Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, second-place finishers to
Harwich in the Cape Cod League’s Eastern Division and winners of a
first-round playoff series against Chatham.
Cotuit (30-14 in the regular season) continued its hot pace in
post-season play and won its second Cape League title in three years,
it might have been difficult for any other summer club to overtake
the Kettleers in the chase for No. 1. But it has been five years
since the last Cape team with the best regular-season record went on
and captured the league playoffs, and the Kettleers became the latest
Cape team to see a potential No. 1 national ranking slip from its
grasp by falling short of expectations in the playoffs.
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
final ranking of the top 30 teams will be unveiled next Monday, once
every summer league has completed its 2012 season.