Tag Archives: FCBL

Salem State’s Fecteau Highlights 2015 Futures Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game

By Matt Noonan

LYNN, Mass. – Salem State University’s Richard Fecteau highlighted an exciting Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBl) All-Star Game on Tuesday evening at Frasier Field, driving home Stonehill College’s Brian Campbell for the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning that lifted the Eastern All-Stars over the Western All-Stars, 4-3.

With the score tied, 3-3, heading into the final half frame, Campbell, who pinched-hit for University of Hartford sophomore Erik Ostberg, reached first base after slicing a pitch by University of Maine pitcher Charlie Butler down the leftfield line. Campbell advanced to second base during his team’s next at-bat before reaching third following a fly-out to right field by Williams College junior Jack Roberts.

Campbell would cross home plate during his team’s next at-bat as Fecteau connected on a 3-2 pitch down the right field line that initiated an enormous celebration by the Eastern All-Stars.

“When I got down 0-2, I figured – I just looked straight for fastballs and adjusted (for pitches that were) off-speed. (Butler) threw a couple fastballs that were tough in spots and I tried to get a piece of them and hopefully hang in there,” Fecteau said of his final at-bat. “(His) final pitch was a curveball, so I just tried to sit back and get something – get a good piece on it.”

Fecteau, who competes for the North Shore Navigators in the FCBL, concluded the All-Star Game with trio of at-bats, but just one hit and one RBI.

“(When Jack Roberts) moved (Campbell) over to third base, I was like ‘alright, here’s my shot. I guess I have to take advantage of it’ and I went out and tried to do as best (as I could during my final at-bat),” said Fecteau.

The East and West teams swapped leads throughout the opening innings before St. Thomas Aquinas junior Brandon Fischer pushed the hosts (Eastern All-Stars) ahead, 3-2, in the bottom of the fifth after racing home from third base during an infield ground-out by University of Maine junior Tyler Schwanz.

In the top of the sixth, St. Mary’s senior Davis Strong evened the score with a solo home run to left field, but that would be the West’s final run of the evening.

Three innings later, Fecteau secured the win, providing the East with its first win since the league switched from New England vs. Massachusetts last season. The West captured the initial East-West battle last year with a 4-1 victory.

Mass. College Baseball: Wheaton’s Gibbons Signs With New York Mets

By NoontimeSports.com 

Wheaton College rising senior Mike Gibbons signed a free agent contract with the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB) for the 2015 season, as announced in a release this afternoon (which we’ve provided below). The release is courtesy of Wheaton College’s sports information office:

NORTON, Mass. – Wheaton College rising senior and right-handed pitcher Mike Gibbons (Simsbury, Conn./Avon Old Farms) has signed a free agent contract with the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB) for the 2015 season.

“It’s difficult to find the words to match the current emotions that I am feeling from signing with the New York Mets. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and something I have always dreamed about. I am ecstatic to be able to represent Wheaton College and Wheaton’s baseball program at the professional level,” said Gibbons. “Coach [Eric] Podbelski and coach [Ryan] Parker have helped mold me into becoming the pitcher that I am today, and I am grateful to have played under them for three years at Wheaton. My family has given me the love and support to achieve my goals, and the ability to attend a college with superb academics and athletics.”

Last season, Gibbons appeared in 12 games (nine starts) and posted a 4-1 record with a 1.89 earned run average (ERA) alongside 37 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched. Gibbons also held opponents to a .203 batting average and induced an 11.84 groundouts per game ratio. Overall in his Wheaton career, Gibbons compiled a 9-3 record for the Lyons and a 2.63 ERA through 106 innings of work.

“I’m really happy for Mike, and while we’ll certainly miss his contributions, I know that this represents an opportunity that is very difficult to pass up,” said Wheaton College baseball head coach Eric Podbelski. “I told Mike when this started to develop that he had our full support and to concentrate on making the choice that was right for him.”

“Mike’s talent and further potential is obvious. He has come so far since he first arrived, making big leaps in his development each year. That is a testament, first of all to his natural ability, but also to his determination to keep getting better. Nothing has been handed to Mike, he has earned every inning that he has pitched at Wheaton and has gotten significantly better as a result.”

This summer, Gibbons shined for the Torrington Titans of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) going 4-2 with 59 strikeouts – ranked third best in the league – in 50 2/3 innings pitched. Gibbons also held opponents to a .240 batting average, posted a 1.26 WHIP, a 10.48 strikeout per nine innings ratio and fanned a season-high 11 batters in two different games for the Titans.

“In the offseason this past winter, I worked hard to gain strength and stamina to help my pitching ability and I think it carried through this summer. I continued to work out and follow a regime to give my body the foundation to throw well. I gained a decent amount of velocity in the summer thanks to the regime I was following and becoming more fluid throughout my pitching delivery,” explained Gibbons. “Early on, I was not getting the results I wanted even though I felt like my stuff was pretty good, so I just kept persisting and looking forward to the next start and just trying to have a quality outing. At the end of the season, I started to string along quality starts which built up my confidence and allowed me to throw more aggressively. There are obviously things that I still need to work on, but that is the beauty of baseball and sports in general, because you can always improve and that’s what drives me.”

Gibbons joins Chris Denorfia ’02 and Jamie Baker ’06 as the only Wheaton student-athletes to sign with an MLB team in the program’s 17-year varsity existence. Denorfia was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 19th round of the MLB amateur draft in June 2002 and currently plays for the Seattle Mariners, while Baker inked a deal with the San Diego Padres in September 2006 after completing his first year of professional baseball with the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball’s Nashua Pride.

Gibbons also becomes the eighth student-athlete in program history to sign a professional contract to play baseball, joining Mark Brown ’06Chris Martin ’06Adam Laplante ’07Chris McDonough ’08 and Jon Shepard ’10 and the aforementioned Denorfia and Baker on the list. In addition, among all eight student-athletes to sign a professional baseball contract, Gibbons is the first to be offered, and sign, a professional contract before his senior season.

“It’s further proof that if a young man chooses Wheaton as the place to further his academic and baseball career, and if you truly have the ability, you will not go unnoticed,” stated Podbelski. “You don’t choose Wheaton to ‘get drafted,’ you choose it for the whole package – the academics, the community feel in and out of the classroom, the beautiful campus and the chance to be part of a traditionally successful baseball program.”

“That said, it doesn’t hurt that we have some concrete examples which show that you can develop here and be noticed. For the majority who don’t get the opportunity, they walk away with a great education and four years’ worth of great memories, having played the sport they love at a highly competitive collegiate level.”

Wheaton advanced to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship game for the 14th time in the 16-year history of the league after claiming its 15th NEWMAC regular season title in 2014. The Lyons also produced a 27-16-1 record which marks their 15th season in program history with 25 or more wins.

Summer Baseball: Catching Up With Pittsfield GM Kevin McGuire

The Pittsfield Suns kick-off their second season on Thursday against Torrington! (Photo Credit: Futures Collegiate Baseball League)

The Pittsfield Suns kick-off their second season on Thursday against Torrington! (Photo Credit: Futures Collegiate Baseball League)

By Matt Noonan 

The Pittsfield Suns, a member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, will begin its 2013 campaign this evening as they host the Torrington Titans at historic Wahconah Park.

The Suns, who exceeded great expectations last season, finished second in the league in attendance, as well as revived the Berkshire County baseball community, too.

Pittsfield finished fifth last season with a 27-25 mark, but will attempt to earn a spot in this year’s postseason and bring the city a championship, something a former squad (Pittsfield Colonials) almost did in 2010.

Noontime Sports caught up with first-year general manager, Kevin McGuire, earlier this week to discuss the team’s first season, along with their goals and objectives for their second year.

Last year was a great season, but what was the secret to the organization’s success?

“We made promises and we kept promises. We told people that it would be a different brand of baseball and that it would be fun and entertaining and it would be a lot more than just a baseball game. Everything from our promotions to our giveaways to our firework nights to our in between inning contests, I think we certainly delivered on that and we’ll look to expand on that this year.”

What sort of promotions has helped attract fans to the ballpark? What are some new events or promotions or themes we can expect for this season?

“We have a few different nights that are really focused on community outreach and helping those in the community that need the help. One promotion that I am very proud of is called, ‘shirt of your back night,’ which will be on July 22. We did that last year and we raised $1,722 for an organization called Soldier On, and if you’re not familiar with Soldier On, they help homeless veterans that come back from Iraq and Afghanistan that are battling posttraumatic stress or they’re homeless, and the organization helps get them back on their feet by getting them jobs and getting them homes. It’s an organization that I have a tremendous amount of respect for especially because both my grandparents served in the armed forces, so I am tremendously happy to be able to do that again this year.

“On July 23, we’ll have a Hometown Heroes Night, on June 26 we have a Torch Run Night, which is a night that will be a fundraiser for all of the Berkshire County Special Olympians, so we’re doing things to show that we’re more than just a baseball team. We’re here and we want to be the best possible community partner that we can be and if we don’t support the community that supports us, then we won’t be here, so we understand and know the importance of helping those that make us successful.”

What did you learn as the organization’s assistant general manager? Also, do you have a special memory from last season?

“As far as what I learned last year as the assistant general manager, our general manager last year was Jamie Keefe, who was also our on field manager, so once the season rolled around he was pretty focused on the team and the on field product, so for all intensive purposes I handled the majority of the responsibilities as well as overseeing the entire staff, so it was really good experience for me because I got the opportunity to be a general manager on training wheels. I had Jamie to fall back on when I had questions, so it was a great learning experience for me last summer to be able to basically run the show, but know Jamie was there to lend a guiding hand when needed.

“As far as being able to interact with fans during the game, I do double duty as the PA Announcer, so I interact with all of them throughout the game over the microphone, but probably one of the most important things about my job is talking with the fans and finding out what it is that’s going to make them comeback or what it is that they’re unhappy about. I look at customer complaints as a way to improve because no one likes to get complaints, but we kind of do. If we don’t know what we’re doing wrong then we won’t be able to rectify the issue and make it right.

“On the flipside, it’s great when fans come up to me and say, ‘thank you so much for bringing this team to Pittsfield, we’ve missed seeing a team like this.’ Finally, every night after every game I stand right at the front gate and thank every fan as they walk out.”

Wahconah Park will host the FCBL All-Star Game this season. Can you talk about the process of bringing that game to Pittsfield and what fans can expect?

“I tried very hard and luckily we were successful in bringing the All-Star Game to the city. Pittsfield is a tremendous baseball city and has wealth of knowledge about the game and the fans here are so passionate that I knew the All-Star Game would be a game that they would really love and they would really dive into one hundred percent. I knew they’d come to the pre-game ceremonies and they’d stay right until the end, no matter what the score would be because you’re going to see future major leaguers on the field for the All-Star Game this year.

“The level of talent in the league has gone up tremendously and we’ve had 20 guys drafted so far in just two seasons, so I fought hard for it because I knew it would be a game that the community would love and so far the reaction has been nothing, but overwhelmingly positive and we can’t wait to get that going.

“As far as what the pregame activities or ceremonies will be, we’re still going to keep the lid on that for a little while longer, but we’ve got some things worked up in typical Goldklang Group fashion. It will be a little different, so I think I’ll leave it at that, but we will certainly let the fans know when the time gets closer, but we’re going to hold back on that for a little while longer.”

The Suns will feature members from last season, as well as some local players, too. Can you talk about that?

“It’s a great feeling and consistency is a big thing. If I was going to handpick four kids to come back this year, I wouldn’t have been able to pick a better four. As far as leaders, both on the field, in the clubhouse, you couldn’t ask for better guys. They’re all Division I players that all had great seasons this year, and like I said, you couldn’t have handpicked four better guys to come back and represent the Pittsfield Suns in our second season. I know they’ll do a great job and in the days that they’ve been here they’ve already taken the new guys under their wing and telling them about all the things we do in the community and how they’re kind of rock stars in Pittsfield.”

Is there a certain team that attracts more fans than usual?

“We played all the teams pretty well last year, so to say there was a team they favored to see I didn’t notice. This year we’ll play Torrington seven times at home versus playing Old Orchard Beach twice, but projecting in the future I see the rivalry building between us and Torrington and Wachusett. Those two teams are geographically kind of close to us, so that’s what I see is developing that friendly rivalry and fans get really rowdy and excited when they come to town.”

From a personal perspective, what’s one of the most gratifying things about being the PA Announcer at Wahconah Park?

“It’s very special and very humbling. I get to stand and overlook the field that Lou Gehrig played his first professional game on. I get to stand and look at one of the oldest parks in the country. I get to look out and see upwards to 4,000 fans on a big night smiling and knowing that we’re making them happy. Baseball kind of got beaten up in the last 10-12 years in Pittsfield, so to be kind of one heading this renaissance baseball and giving the Berkshires back their baseball is a very special feeling to me. It’s not something that I take lightly. The fact that I come to work every day, even in the middle of the winter to Wahconah Park is a very special humbling feeling to me.”

Finally, what’re you most excited for this season? Are you ready for some baseball?

“The first thing I am looking forward to is seeing all of our fans that I have gotten to see in 10 months, except for the ones that you see out in the community. I am excited to see the same old faces and I am hoping and excited to see a lot of new faces, too. I am excited personally to read the starting lineups on Opening Night because that kind of marks for me that we made it through the offseason, so let’s get it going. Finally, I am looking forward to those big special nights, which include Opening Night, Fourth of July, the All-Star Game, the closing nights, some of our fun promotional and giveaway nights. Those nights to me are where we’re going to put 4,000 people in the park and those are the nights that are exciting and make the 18-20 hour days that we do this time of year all worth it.”

North Shore Navigators Sign Three D1 Players

By NoontimeSports.com 

According to the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL), the North Shore Navigators have signed three Division I baseball players to their roster for the upcoming season.

Danny YoungCody Fulton and Nick Backlund each agreed to summer contracts with the team. Young and Fulton are teammates on University of Florida’s squad, while Backlund is a member of Mercer University’s team.

For more information on the signings — HOP HERE 

For more information on the North Shore Navigators — HOP HERE

Nashua Captures Second FCBL Crown

By Matt Noonan 

For the second consecutive season, the Nashua Silver Knights earned the Futures Collegiate Baseball League crown, as they defeated the North Shore Navigators, 6-2.

Nashua once again relied on their starting pitcher, as Lamarre Rey pitched six innings, and allowed two earned runs on six hits. He retired four batters and walked two, while the Silver Knights relievers fanned two batters combined, while the offense mustered six runs on nine hits.

Jon Minucci recorded two RBIs in the win, while Rays Roman finished the contest with two hits, two runs, one RBI and one stolen base.

North Shore finished the match with eight hits, one RBI and three errors.

For more information on this particular contest, as well as the box score — HOP HERE.


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