Ruffnecks News

17U & 16U Show Early Summer Strength

First Posted July 3, 2022 | Updated July 3, 2022 at 9:35 pm

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Teams Advance in Firecracker July 4th Classic

Both the 16U/2024’s and the 17U/2023’s show early summer promise.  Both teams had strong showings at the Super17 in Flemington, New Jersey to start the summer.  Both teams returned home to participate in local tournaments, including the Firecracker July 4th Classic.

17’s Sweep Pool & Advance to Championship

A deep pitching staff has led the 17U Ruffnecks to early season success.  The offense, at times, has needed a spark, but several break-out games in the Firecracker July 4th Classic bode well for the lineup.  Defense is this team’s strong suit.  The team enjoys solid infield play from Jeffrey Valdez (3B), Dante D’Avanzo (SS), and Brennan Barlage (2B).  Ryan Grundy and Trevor Grady share duties at 1B.  The outfield is anchored by two 2024 grads in Benjamin Williams and Aiden Barclay.  The third outfield spot has been shared by James Benestad, Huxley Holcombe, and Max Gomez.  Catching duties are handled by Benestad, Will Fosberg, and Diego Taveras.  On the mound, starters Dagen Darnell, Hagan Ward, and Huxley Holcombe have been very strong.  Gabe Fitzgerald turned in a strong start in the Firecracker.  There is a lot to look forward to for this “Senior” class.

16’s Roll through Pool Play

A balanced lineup, good defense, and solid hitting enabled the 16u Ruffnecks to run a 4-0 record in pool play to advance to the playoff round, where they swept their first two playoff games.  Heading into the Championship Day of Monday, July 4th, the 16U Ruffnecks look to piece together pitching and play their 7th game in five days.  The left side of the infield has been solid with Isaac Lamson at 3B and Nolan Colby at SS.  Offensively, Nick Andersen has been driving the ball well.  Nolan Bibbo had two game-winning hits in the team’s run through pool play and in the playoffs.  The pitching has been effective top to bottom.  Oisin Lee got the team off with a strong start in a 5-4 first game win.  John Hegarty, Dan MacLean, and Matthew DeBenedictis also turned in strong starts.  The bullpen and “staff” patched together the rest.  Defensively and offensively, everyone is contributing to the team’s strong start.

Scout Day and Pre-Season Prep for Older Ruffnecks

First Posted June 15, 2022 | Updated July 3, 2022 at 9:38 pm

Scout Day Caps the Pre-Season

The Ruffnecks held their Scout Day on Tuesday, June 14th in front of more than 40 college coaches and a handful of pro scouts.  The evolution of Scout Day has its roots in the summer of 2020 at the height of the Covid shutdown.  This year is our third Scout Day, and it was certainly our best one yet.  Scout Day is not a “showcase.”  Rather, it is an orchestrated workout designed to present players extensively, and in a format that college coaches want to see and can easily digest.  It is an extension of the Pre-Season workouts that take place at the NEBC to get players ready for the long summer grind of baseball and travel.  Over the past three years the Ruffnecks staff worked with several pro scouts and college coaches to determine what should be done and how it should be done.  The result is an always improving event that attracts colleges to get a comprehensive look at Ruffnecks players.

Pre-Season Workouts Provide Preparation

The Ruffnecks spare no expense in running two weeks of Pre-Season training along with Scout Day.  Daily workouts take place from 8:30am to 11:30am Monday through Friday.  We find that high school and prep players are subject to inconsistent finishes to their school seasons, exams, and other school obligations.  The objective for Ruffnecks Pre-Season is to provide well organized, systematic workouts for those who can make it.  Even if a player cannot make every workout, the pre-season offers an opportunity to get reps and get into the flow for summer.  Scout Day is the “crown jewel” of the Pre-Season program.  Players have a chance to present themselves in the best way possible… by working out and going about their business on the ball field with purpose.  Position players take 5 rounds of BP in small groups of 4-5 players.  A comprehensive Scout Packet is available to coaches to track players, keep notes, and learn about their academic profiles.  We make it easy for coaches to watch our workout, whether it is taking ground balls for the infielders or tracking down fly balls for outfielders.  We run a brisk infield/outfield as well.  The day culminates in a Red vs. Blue game in which 16 different pitchers threw one inning each.  The day was filled with baseball… the way it should be.

13U & 14U Turn Corner into Summer

First Posted April 14, 2022 | Updated May 31, 2022 at 7:36 am

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13U Ruffnecks Reach Finals in Memorial Day Event

The 13U Ruffnecks battled through 5 games in 3 days in the Select Memorial Day Classic.  The squad played well on the way to an appearance in the Championship game.  Contributions came from every member of the team, especially in the pitching department.  Most 13U teams are not built to support 5 games in 3 days with a pitching staff.  The 13U Ruffnecks not only found a way, but the entire team stepped forward to contribute innings on the mound.  All arms on deck!!!  It was an inspiring performance by a resilient team.  It was the third straight tournament in which the 13U Ruffnecks got to the championship round and the second time they reached the finals.  The 13’s took home the Silver Bracket Championship in the 14U Slugfest Tournament May 14-15.  They also fared well in the 13U Border Battle May 21-22.  As the Ruffnecks turn the corner and head into summer there are many more challenging events to test the squad, including several against 14U competition.  The team is learning to compete.  They are improving and having fun along the way.

14U Ruffnecks Reach Semifinals in Memorial Day Classic

The 14U Ruffnecks continue to show well in tournaments.  They reached the semifinals in the Memorial Day Classic, earning the #3 overall seed.  The team is showing considerable offensive promise and pluck.  The lineup is deep and capable of scoring runs, manufacturing runs, and having big innings.  They have speed on the bases.  In short, this team is fun to watch.  The schedule of competitive prep school JV opponents during April and May has benefitted this group of players.  During the Memorial Day event the pitching staff did a terrific job.  Jett Little, Max Monahan, and Cole DeFina led the way as starters to get the team to the semis.  Tucker Bliss gave the ‘Necks a gritty start in the playoffs to make a huge contribution.  Lefties Ryan Ruggiero and Ronan Sullivan were effective in relief.  The infield continues to enjoy solid defensive play from William Broderick, Jackson Fulginite, Garrett Falahee, and William Goggin.  The outfield continues to improve with Little, Sullivan, Ruggiero, and Monahan working hard.  The return of Braeden Homer will help as we move into summer.  Owen Callahan has been a workhorse as the only catcher for the past month and a half.  We look forward to the return of Talen Rosborough and Duke Ciongoli for the summer.

13U-14U Model for Spring Benefits Young Ruffnecks

It has been a spectacular spring for the 13U and 14U Ruffnecks teams.  Team hitting sessions at the Facility continue to augment regular Thursday practices.  Both the 13U and 14U teams have played in regular weekend games and tournaments.  Nevertheless, it is the evolution of our competitive and developmental model that distinguishes the spring “curriculum” for 13U and 14U Ruffnecks.  The design/intent is to build schedules for the 13U and 14U teams that are compatible with careful planning of game lineups and pitching.  The 13U Ruffnecks challenge themselves by playing in some 14U events.  They hold their own and do a commendable job of staying competitive.  The 14U Ruffnecks roster is missing several 9th grade players to high school baseball.  Rather than binding ourselves to a weekend schedule of doubleheaders, the program has arranges a mix of weekend opponents with several prep JV and freshman squads.  The roster for prep JV games are prioritized for the 14U players, but they are also combined efforts with 13U players joining the action and getting valuable experience.  The Ruffnecks have scheduled games with Deerfield Academy, Dexter-Southfield, Phillips Andover, Roxbury Latin, and St. Mark’s School.  Some are mid-week games and some are weekends.  Playing high school level opponents is great preparation meets our objectives for competitive/developmental baseball.  The model continues to evolve, and for the Ruffnecks program, it works!

Season Openers for 13U and 14U Ruffnecks

First Posted March 14, 2022 | Updated March 25, 2022 at 7:57 am

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13U and 14U Ready to Play Ball!

Ready or not, here we go!  The 13U and 14U Ruffnecks opened the 2022 season at Diamond Nation in Flemington, New Jersey, March 19-20.  Both teams played in the 14U Spring Invitational.  It is the first time in three years that the young ‘Necks opened the season on time.  The trip to Diamond Nation has long been a traditional trek for the Ruffnecks in March.  Over the past 15 years, occasionally weather got in the way.  The past two years… well, we know what got in the way!

14U Ruffnecks Play Well – Get Work In

The 14U Ruffnecks got played three games during their opening weekend.  The coaching staff scripted the pitching to cover the three scheduled games.  The objective was to get a feel for the mound, game action, and to work toward a command of the strike zone.  Defensively, the weekend was an opportunity to get the rust out of our gloves… and the Ruffnecks were, indeed, rusty!  The lack of field preparation resulted in giving the opponents more outs than they earned.  Meanwhile, the benefits of our work in the new Ruffnecks Facility showed in productive at-bats up and down the lineup.  The 14U Ruffnecks had no trouble scoring runs.  The club did a great job of playing every inning hard.  Once they tighten up the defense and lengthen the pitchers, this team could be quite good.  These were “Spring Training” games and valuable to start the season.  Our objectives were met in the competitive framework of the Diamond Nation event.

13U Ruffnecks Get Their Feet Wet – Literally!

In what was a beautiful Saturday, March 19th with temperatures in the 70’s, the 13U Ruffnecks were looking forward to their opening game at 6:30pm.  Great weather gave way to gathering thunderstorms.  Three innings, and approximately one hour, into the first game, the skies opened!  The game resumed briefly, but after three official innings the score was official, 9-0 for the 14U opponents.  Nevertheless, the 13’s got a taste of game experience on the big field.  The value of playing older opponents was evident in the situation that resulted from the balls put in play.  Well, rain delays are part of baseball, and the 13U Ruffnecks received a full dose of RAIN.  For the remainder of the evening, from 7:30pm to 10:00pm the 13U Ruffnecks hunkered in the dugout awaiting a resumption of play.  By 8:30, the tournament directors moved on to the next game.  After a brief start, that game also was thrown into a rain delay.  By 10:00pm it was all over.  The 13U Ruffnecks still got a lot out of the experience on Saturday.  The rain delay offered time to laugh, get to know each other, and to talk some baseball in the dugout.  On Sunday, the 13U Ruffnecks played a run-rule shortened game in an 11-0 defeat.  Although we only played 7 innings in two days, the experience helped get their feet wet.

Facility Preparation Fills The Gap

Since December 1, Ruffnecks of all ages benefited from access to The Facility.  It has been a home to the program like never before, providing nearly unrestricted access for hitters to do their work and training.  Team hitting sessions for the 13U and 14U Ruffnecks were productive, instructive, and valuable.  The Facility has also been the center for pitchers’ preparation with Ace Adams.  Our hope for the entire program is that the Facility remains a constant part of player preparation and team workouts.  Hitting, side sessions, and video review will all be a part of our curriculum at the Facility.

College Baseball Opens Season: Ruffnecks Alums In Action

First Posted February 20, 2022 | Updated February 20, 2022 at 2:59 pm

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2022 College Season Underway

NCAA Division I College Baseball opened the 2022 season the weekend of February 18-20, and Ruffnecks alumni are playing.  Presidents Weekend is the traditional start for the majority of Division I baseball programs throughout the country.  Some conferences, such as the IVY League start later.  New England schools such as Northeastern University, Holy Cross, and Boston College travel south and west to compete. Division III program tend to begin in the first few weeks of March.  But baseball is underway… even as MLB continues its lockout.

Ruffnecks Alums Play Key Roles

Billy Seidl & Coach Kevin Graber: Cape Summer 2021

A number of former Ruffnecks can be found in the lineups and on the rosters of some notable schools.  For example, Tommy Seidl, a graduate of Harvard University, is currently playing out his collegiate career at the University of Alabama.  Seidl lost two season of IVY baseball to the Covid shutdown.  He got the start on opening day for Alabama in the outfield.  Tommy’s brother, Billy Seidl, continues his pitching career at Duke University.  Billy Seidl and Coach Kevin Graber met in the Cape Cod League several times this past summer.  Seamus Barrett continues his journey at Louisville where he is expected to contribute to the mound staff.  Evan Sleight has found a home in the Big10 at Rutgers University where he has made an impact in the lineup for the Scarlet Knights.  In the Patriot League, hurler Will Greer tossed 7 superb innings in Bucknell University’s opener.  Jake McCosker is scheduled to pitch for Holy Cross in the final game of a 4 game series with the Troy (AL) Trojans.  He is joined on the Holy Cross roster by freshmen Trevor Neff and Tommy Leimkuhler.  Both rookies saw action in the opening weekend.  Neff threw four scoreless innings in his debut.  Veteran outfielder Joe Simourian continues his regular role for the United States Naval Academy (Navy).  The senior has been a four-year contributor.  Northeastern University battles to move forward as one of the premier programs in our region.  Several players play instrumental roles at NU.  Spenser Smith is the short stop, and both catchers, JP Olson and Teddy Beaudet are former Ruffnecks.  Current Ruffnecks coach and professional player Scott Holzwasser graduated from Northeastern in 2021.  Aidan Harrington begins his freshman season at Boston College where the Eagles compete in the ACC.

Of course there are others at schools that have not yet started their seasons.  Ruffnecks alums populate the rosters at the University of Massachusetts, Princeton University, and numerous Division II and III programs throughout the Northeast and elsewhere.  Eric Giarnese begins his first season at Assumption, and travels to Rollins College in Florida where he will compete against Joey RubinJack Beverly is on the comeback trail at Lincoln Trail College in Illinois and has several games under his belt.  We wish all our Ruffnecks alums success and good health in their 2022 seasons.  Any omission or failure to mention players is an unintentional oversight.

Updated July 3, 2022 at 9:06 pm

Ruffnecks Announcements
Monday, July 4th

16U Ruffnecks
at Firecracker Tournament
Johnson & Wales 

17U Ruffnecks
at Firecracker Tournament
Championship Game
1:30 at Rhode Island College

Week of July 4-10
Tuesday, July 5
16U Ruffnecks
Team Hitting

10:00 to 11:30
at Facility

Tuesday, July 5
17U Ruffnecks
PBR League Game
9:00am at Fraser Field Lynn

Wednesday, July 6
13U/14U Ruffnecks
9:00am at Walker-Gordon Field

15U Ruffnecks
5:30pm at Roxbury Latin

16U Ruffnecks
Travel Day to Georgia
17U PG WWBA Nationals
July 7 thru July 12

17U Ruffnecks
9:00am at Roxbury Latin

Thursday, July 7
15U Ruffnecks
Boston Open Begins
(See Schedule Page)

17U Ruffnecks
Boston Open Begins
(See Schedule Page)

Saturday, July 9
13U Ruffnecks
9:00am at Roxbury Latin

14U Ruffnecks
Practice or Game

Updated June 30, 2022 at 7:04 am

Next Up…
13U, 14U, 15U Ruffnecks – Independence Classic July 1-4
16U, 17U Ruffnecks – Firecracker Fourth of July: June 30 – July 4

Sunday, 31
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Updated April 5, 2022 at 8:19 am

2022 Schedules Updated on Team Pages

Ruffnecks Rosters & Schedules

13U Ruffnecks

14U Ruffnecks

15U Ruffnecks

16U Ruffnecks

17U Ruffnecks

Updated May 7, 2022 at 7:44 am

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