Imagine tracking down a fly ball in the same outfield as Mike Greenwell. Picture yourself taking swings in the same batter’s box as Ted Williams or toeing the same rubber as Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens.
Travis Jankowski, Pat Cantwell (below) and Tyler Johnson, all members of a Stony Brook Seawolves team that won a school-record 42 games this past spring, were selected to the Cape Cod League all-star game held at Fenway Park last week.
All three are having standout summers on the Cape, which is home to one of the best summer baseball league in the country. Jankowski, taking his swings for the Bourne Braves, leads the Cape League in hits, triples and runs scored while ranking in the top 5 in batting average, RBIs and stolen bases. His teammate, Cantwell, has hit at a .278 clip in 31 games for Bourne. Johnson, meanwhile, has a 2.43 ERA in 33.1 innings pitched with the Orleans Firebirds.
Tanner Nivins joined his Stony Brook teammates at Fenway as he was selected to partake in the pre-game home run derby. The Green Monster in left proved daunting as Nivins could not connect for any long balls.
Johnson’s ‘East’ squad outpitched the ‘West’ en route to a typical Cape League 4-1 win at the Fens. In total, the Seawolves sent six players to mid-summer classics.
Not to be outdone, several other America East baseball players are making their presence felt all across the summer league scene.
The reigning America East Conference baseball champion Maine Black Bears sent Joe Martin and Mike Fransoso to the NECBL (New England Collegiate Baseball League) all-star game. A third Black Bear went a step above, however, as Keith Bilodeau (right) pitched 5 dominant games in the Cape League before signing a professional contract with the San Francisco Giants earlier this week.
Binghamton had six players earn all-star honors for their performance this summer. Bill Bereszniewicz and Dave Ciocchi were named all-stars in the NECBL. Bereszniewicz is second in the league in batting average and Ciocchi was selected to the NECBL team that played an exhibition game against the U.S. National Team at Fenway Park back in June.
The NYCBL (New York Collegiate Baseball League) selected the Bearcats’ John Howell (fourth in batting average and RBIs) and Shaun McGraw as all-stars, while Jordon Smucker and Lee Sosa were named to the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League and Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League all-star teams, respectively. Smucker is in the top 10 in batting average and Sosa, who can consistently light up a radar gun, has given up only two earned runs in 20 innings this summer.
UAlbany pitcher Austin Chase was selected to the PGCBL (Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League) all-star game but did not participate.