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WEYMOUTH, Mass. (June 30, 2021) -- The Brockton Rox and Pittsfield Suns found themselves at the top of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) standings, but the rest of the playoff race has tightened following another week of action around New England.
Pittsfield jumped into a first-place tie after finishing last week on a four-game win streak. The most recent stretch was also kind to the four-time league champion Worcester Bravehearts, who won back-to-back games to jump into sole possession of third place.
The Bravehearts finished last week at 7-3 over their last 10 games, a mark also matched by the Westfield Starfires. Westfield swept last week’s Player and Pitcher of the Week honors and now takes home another Player of the Week nod for the final full week of June.
78 SPORTS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Peter DeMaria, Westfield Starfires
Hometown: Chatham, N.J.
DeMaria became the second Starfire in as many weeks to earn FCBL Player of the Week honors, following fellow infielder Jaden Brown’s (Iowa Western) selection from0 last Monday. The first baseman hit .438 (7-for-16) with three doubles, seven RBI and four runs scored over a four-game stretch during which Westfield went 3-1. He went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and his third straight two-RBI game during a 16-3 Sunday win over Norwich.
CHANGEUP PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Patrick Harrington, Vermont Lake Monsters
Hometown: Bedford, N.H.
Harrington earned his first victory as a Lake Monster in his longest outing of the summer, dealing seven shutout innings in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Norwich. He scattered just four hits and two walks while striking out nine during the outing, continuing a streak of six consecutive starts with two or fewer runs allowed. The rising Assumption senior ranks third in the league with 36 strikeouts in 30 innings this season.
NEWS AND NOTES
A NEW LEADER: The Brockton outfield duo of Ben Rounds (Harvard) and Mike Golankiewicz (Merrimack) had been the league’s top run producers for much of the season, but a pair of three-RBI games to begin last week have helped New Britain’s Jake Hyde (Georgetown) take over the lead with 23 in total.
LOOK OUT: One of New England’s top high school prospects, Dennis Colleran of North Attleboro, Mass., recently joined Worcester before entering his freshman year at Northeastern in the fall. The righty struck out four in two innings of work to save Sunday’s 9-6 win over Nashua.
STRIKEOUT ARTIST: Norwich’s Bobby McBride (UConn) punched out 15 of the 30 batters he faced across a pair of appearances last week. McBride and the Sea Unicorns came out on the losing end of both games, despite his five innings of two-hit ball with 11 strikeouts during a 1-0 loss to Vermont on Saturday. McBride and Brockton's Dillon Ryan (UMass Boston) are tied for the league lead in that category.
STILL STREAKING: Westfield outfielder Cole Bartels (Penn State) became the first FCBL player this season to extend a hit streak to double digits as he went 3-for-5 in a win over Brockton to begin this week. Bartels is hitting .515 with five doubles, a home run and 14 RBI in that span. Noah Lewis (Maine) has won three straight decisions on the mound.
EASTERN STANDARD: New Britain Bees and Eastern Connecticut State teammates Luke Broadhurst and Ryan Bagdasarian are two of the league’s top three producers in terms of average and hits. The duo entered the week tied for the lead in runs scored. Bagdasarian has reached base in every game he has played this summer. Another Warrior, Westfield Starfire lefty Aidan Dunn won Pitcher of the Night honors last Thursday.
STAYING LOCAL: DeMaria, Dunn and Broadhurst, who was the D3baseball.com New England Player of the Year, have both been FCBL Players of the Night recently, but they weren’t the only Division 3 products to take home the honors. Worcester catcher Zach DeMattio (Wheaton) was the Saturday winner following a two-homer game.
FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC: Despite struggling overall, Nashua has won five one-run games, with Tuesday night's triumph over Pittsfield marking its third in extra innings. Infielder Brandon Fish (UMass Lowell) has been a key contributor to the Silver Knights' recent 3-1 run, recording six hits and five RBI in that span including a 3-for-4 Friday showing at Norwich.
BACK TO THE FUTURES: Tune into “Back to the Futures,” the FCBL’s official podcast with hosts Owen Shadrick and Johnny Maffei! New episodes are released every Monday and Thursday. The most recent guests were Broadhurst and Worcester Bravehearts shortstop Dakota Harris (Polk State).
BACK ON NESN: As the calendar nears July, the FCBL is excited for the continuation of its television partnership with New England Sports Network (NESN). The NESN lineup on the last four Saturdays of July will include a televised FCBL game at noon, beginning with the Worcester Bravehearts hosting the Pittsfield Suns on July 10.
ALL-STARS: The fast-approaching FCBL All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 13 in New Britain, Conn. Tickets can be purchased here. Rosters made up of the best players from all eight league clubs are set to be announced next week.