Several members of the Sacred Heart University Baseball team are playing in collegiate summer leagues throughout the northeast. Follow their summer seasons, as SHU Baseball Media Coordinator and Play-By-Play announcer Randy Brochu updates their progress periodically through the summer with the Sacred Heart University Baseball Summer Notebook.
(Fairfield, CT) – August 1 is fast approaching, and with it always comes a telling benchmark for the baseball season. In the major leagues, it marks the trade deadline, as fans around the country play GM and dream up deals for their teams to best position them for a run at the post season. It is the unofficial start to the dog days of summer, with the temperatures seemingly cranking up with the importance of each game in the stretch runs of both the majors and minors.
However, while the contenders look to distance themselves from the pretenders in the pros as August begins, for the collegiate summer season, it marks the end – not just of its two-month season, but of the grind that includes the college season which preceded it. For the Sacred Heart University Baseball players who continued playing this summer following the Pioneers' magical run to the NCAA Tournament, they are winding down the final days of a stretch of more than 100 games in about 150 days. It's a ride that began in the thaw of winter's end in Florida and took them through an NEC Championship season with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, Las Vegas, and the usual conference circuit that ended in a dog pile at Dodd Stadium in Norwich to close out the spring. It continued on to South Carolina and the incredible experience of competing at the Clemson Regional to begin the summer. That ride has kept going for nine Pioneers, who practically got off the bus back from Clemson only to jump in the car to go join their collegiate teams throughout the northeast. With a handful of games remaining, here is an update on their collegiate seasons in the latest Sacred Heart University Baseball Summer Notebook.
Murph's Mantle Getting Crowded
John Murphy continues to rack up the accolades. After winning the NEC Tournament MVP and being named to the NEC All-Tournament Team, Murphy can add an NECBL All-Star Selection to his resume. The Pioneers' shortstop has seen his batting average dip to .256 (22-86) in 24 games for the Mystic Schooners, however his run production has remained consistent with 19 runs (tied for 7th in the league) and 13 RBI to go with a couple of homeruns. He was selected as a reserve in the All-Star Game, which will be played July 27 at Fraser Field in Lynn, MA.
Vermont Cheddar from Scribner
In Vermont, Troy Scribner has remained dominant on the mound. He is tied for the league-lead with five wins against no losses to go along with a 3.14 ERA in 43 innings over eight games. He continues to consistently throw strikes, giving up 39 hits in that time with 35 strikeouts and just nine walks. Most impressively, the SHU ace just keeps on winning. Dating back to April 2, he has a 12-1 combined record between Sacred Heart and Vermont, with the one loss coming against the Clemson Tigers in the NCAA Regional. Despite having a no-decision in three appearances this summer, Scribner's Mountaineer team has won all eight games in which he has pitched…Liam Rafferty also has consistently thrown strikes out of the bullpen for the Mountaineers, and it has led to some impressive strikeout numbers for the hard-throwing sophomore righty. He's wiffed 22 batters with just four walks in 15.2 innings, and has not issued a walk since June 18, a span of 10.1 innings pitched over nine games. Although his record is 1-3, his ERA is a tidy 2.87 in 12 games for Vermont…Rob Griffith, who was rock solid at first base for Sacred Heart all season, has cooled off from .340 on July 6 to .261 on July 27. Griff will never make an excuse, but you have to think the everyday grind of back-to-back seasons may be wearing on him. He was one of only two SHU players to play in all 57 games this year, and watching the big guy bust it down the line on every play all season, throw his body around at first to dig throws and knock down grounders, and always hustle to get the extra base, you can understand how even an iron man like Griffith could tire. Despite all those innings, he still only made one error at first base in 82 games combined this season for the Pioneers and the Mountaineers.
Korevec Lightning in a Bottle for 'Bolts
In the NYCBL, Mike Korevec is en route to closing out an impressive summer. Through five games, he is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 30.0 innings for the Rome Thuderbolts. He was solid in his last start, earning a no-decision with seven innings, two earned runs, six hits, and a walk in a 5-4 win…It appears Derick Horn and Robbie Maguire both have shut down their seasons for the Sherrill Silversmiths. Horn finished the season at .267 (8-30) in nine games, last playing on July 3. Maguire last pitched on June 27, and has a 1-2 record with a 2.94 ERA in 15.1 innings over three games.
In the ACBL, Rocco Gondek is making strides after sitting much of last year with an injury. His batting average has steadily climbed to .293 (27-92) with one homerun, 13 RBI, and 11 runs in 28 games for the North Fork Ospreys. He has seen significant time at catcher for the Ospreys, who are tied for first place in the Hampton Division…It appears as if Kody Kerski has finished his season as well, as he has not pitched in weeks after making two starts and allowing two earned runs in 12 innings with two walks and 12 strikeouts.
Check in next week, when we wrap up the collegiate summer season with our final Sacred Heart University Baseball Summer Notebook. Until then, stay cool, get out to a ballgame, and dream up some good trades for your teams.