Moving Mountains (of Snow) to Play Ball!

Moving Mountains (of Snow) to Play Ball!

Fields Are Being Cleared!

Development & Winning

Development & Winning

Ruffnecks Work to Build and Compete

14U Ruffnecks Shine; 13s Improve in Openers

13s & 14s Stretch at NEBC - March 15

Old Man Winter followed the Ruffnecks from Massachusetts to New Jersey on March 20th as both the 13U and 14U squads hit the road for Diamond Nation’s 14U Spring Fling.  Unfortunately, 3 inches of heavy, wet, snow forced a change in the schedules and a reformatted tournament.  Teams played two Pool Play games with records and runs allowed factoring into the playoff format.  The delays also forced the playoffs into Sunday late afternoon and evening.  Accordingly, the two Ruffnecks teams played their two Pool Play games and declined to participate in the playoff format.

14U Ruffnecks in Strong Showing

The 14U Ruffnecks got off to a fast start for the 2015 season, as they easily won both games by scores of 10-2 and 17-0.  The 14s would have been the #2 seed in the playoffs.  Strong pitching and plentiful hitting defined the Ruffnecks performance.  Newcomer Josh Gruenberg and veteran James Dillon both hit inside-the-park home runs.  The pitching truly carried the team as every pitcher contributed one or two innings.  The staff shapes up to have considerable depth.  The defense was equally solid, especially in consideration of the little time spent outside on fields in preparation for the season.  The middle infield was manned primarily by Andrew Hass and Jack Flynn.  Colin Blasco made several fine catches in the outfield.  Mitch Schroeder caught all the innings behind the plate.

13U Ruffnecks Gain Experience

Will Figueroa Pitches

The 13U ‘Necks got their first taste of action in a 14U event, and they did not back down from the challenge.  The 13s had leads in both games, though they lost by margins of 14-7 and 5-2.  Nevertheless, getting experience was the primary objective for the weekend, and the 13U Ruffnecks achieved that objective.  Pitching surpassed expectations for the youngest Ruffnecks.  Randy Reyes pitched well in the opener.  At one point, the Ruffnecks held a 5-3 lead.  Alas, inexperience in the field led to a 9 run inning that doomed the prospects for an opening day win.  The 13s improved significantly in their second outing, falling by a score of 5-2.  The defense played with more confidence.  Richie McNamara made a spectacular play at SS; Outfielder Will Figueroa threw out a runner at home;  and McNamara teamed up with middle infielder Jack Palfrey to turn a 4-6-3 double play to get the team out of a bases loaded jam.  Kai Grocki stroked a triple; Tommy Clark claimed the first hit of the year for the 13U Ruffnecks; and Kevin Skagerlind hit the ball well.  It was a great opportunity for the newest ‘Necks to get their season under way.

Both teams continue this weekend at the NEBC.

Moving Mountains (of Snow) to Play Ball!

Equipment Cuts Through Field #2

At 7:00 in the morning, Tuesday, March 10th, snow removal equipment rolled into, and through the snow at the New England Baseball Complex.  More than a dozen pieces of equipment, including front loaders, super-charged snow blowers, and trucks, tackled the seemingly impossible… removal of a blanket of snow that reached depths of up to 5 feet in some of the wind-blown corners of the NEBC. We are clearing the fields of the New England Baseball Complex, home of the New England Ruffnecks!

For players and coaches in the Ruffnecks program it means that we will actually get on a playing field to Play Ball!  For the extended baseball community, including colleges and secondary schools throughout New England, it means that there is a facility that can host baseball games in the near future.  The work continues throughout the week, with manual shoveling crews and considerable work still ahead.  But much has been accomplished, and it feels as though we have broken through the barrier of winter’s grip.  The sheer volume of snow was staggering.  Average depths of 3 feet accumulated as a result of successive blizzards and temperatures that could not climb above freezing since the end of January.

Expert crews from Sports Turf Specialties used snow blowers, plows, and heavy equipment to move the snow off three fields. The snow is stacked on the other side of the fences, reaching heights over 15 feet.  It is anyone’s guess when the snow piles will melt and green grass returns to define the landscape.  The workers of Sports Turf Specialties are experienced at the business of clearing, building, and maintaining fields.  They are the primary custodian for Gillette Stadium.  They have been busy for the past several weeks clearing the surfaces of numerous colleges, universities, and playing surfaces throughout New England.  Snow is first blown by powerful snow blowers, with paths cut in several directions.  Then rubber-bladed plows push snow into piles near the fences where the snow blowers come into play again by shooting the snow over the fences.  Front loaders also contribute to moving snow from the playing surfaces to areas on the other side of the fences.  It is an incredible site, and a wonder to watch.  At last, we have hope!  Baseball will be played by Ruffnecks and by many other stir-crazy ball players throughout New England.  While we are all still wary (and weary) of what remains of winter, we have the site of GREEN (artificial turf) to feast our eyes.  Enjoy the photos!

Important Notices

(Updated Friday, March 27 at 3:30pm)

Saturday & Sunday
March 28-29

13U & 14U Ruffnecks
Pre-Season Warmup Tournament
Consult Schedule for Changes

Thursday, April 2
13U & 14U Practice
NEBC
6:30pm

Ruffnecks 2014 Season Video

 

The New England Baseball Complex is located at:
333 Southwest Cutoff
Northborough, MA 01532
LINK TO NEBC SITE

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