It's hard to believe that summer ball has already taken off, but as of Wednesday, more than 20 collegiate summer leagues across the country have begun play. We've broken down the first few weeks in some of the nation's premier leagues, with a look at the standings and top performers in each league.
The Northwoods kicked off on May 29, with all 16 teams in action across the upper Midwest and Canada. In the North division, the Waterloo Bucks and Wilmar Stingers are tied for first place, with both teams holding an 8-5 record. Wilmar junior lefthander Steven Brault (Regis University) has made his presence felt with 21 strikeouts in just 12 2/3 innings. Brault was drafted in the 11th round by the Orioles last week.
In the South Division, the La Crosse Loggers are in first place with a 9-5 record, while the Wisconsin Woodchucks and Blues Creek Bombers are tied for second place at 8-5. Wisconsin first basemen Matt Tellor (Southeast Missouri State) is off to a hot start offensively with a .351 batting average. Tellor leads the league in RBIs with 24 thanks in part to a grand slam on June 3rd against the Eau Claire Express.
Duluth infielder Aaron Hernandez (Kansas) currently leads the league in hitting, with a .386 average and eight RBIs. Hernandez has struck out just six times in 44 at bats.
Coastal Plain League
The Fayetteville Swampdogs lead the league—and the East division—with a 9-3 record. Infielder Michael Timm (Wright State) has led the Fayetteville offensive attack, hitting .441 with seven RBIs. Swampdog outfielder John Rooney (Siena) is also among the league's leaders in hitting with a .433 average and four RBIs. The Edenton Steamers are second in the East at 8-4. Edenton's Josh Hampton (Wilmington, Del.) is hitting .390 and leads the league with 18 RBIs.
In the West division, the Asheboro Copperheads are currently in first place at 7-3. Asheboro righthander John Tuttle (Catawba, N.C.) is 2-0 on the mound with 14 innings pitched and seven strikeouts. Tuttle was named the Rawlings co pitcher-of-the-week with Florence's Alex Satterfield (South Carolina) this week.
The Columbia Blowfish sit in third place in the West with a 7-5 record, just ahead of the 5-6 HiToms.
After two weeks of action in the Virginia and D.C. area, the Woodstock River Bandits and the Aldie Senators are tied for first place in the North division with 4-1 records. For Woodstock, righthander Ricky Winters (Delta State) has won his first two starts with seven strikeouts in as many innings.
In the South division, the Staunton Braves and New Market Rebels are tied for first place with 5-3 records. The Braves offense has been carried by first baseman James Vasquez (Central Florida), who is hitting .414 with three home runs in eight games.
Despite their 4-3 record, the third-place Front Royal Cardinals have seen two impressive starts on the mound including a complete-game effort by Paul Hvozdovic (Shepherd, W.Va.). Hvozdovic surrendered just four hits and two unearned runs while striking out eight in a complete-game effort during his first start of the summer. Front Royal has also enjoyed a nice start to the summer from southpaw Jordan DeLorenzo (Western Florida), who has compiled a 1-1, 0.68 record through 13 1/3 innings. DeLorenzo had struck 19 hitters and issued just four walks.
California Collegiate League
On the West Coast, the California Collegiate League is off and running with the Santa Barbara Foresters out to an early 8-1 start. The Foresters, the reigning NBC World Series champions, are currently 1-0 in the CCL North division. Despite losing their only game in the North Division, the San Luis Obispo Blues have posted an impressive 14-1 overall record.
Los Angeles Brewers infielder Matt Tietz (Rutgers) is off to hot start, batting .400 with three home runs. Outfielder Jordan Hinshaw (Georgetown College) of the Academy Barons has also been impressive, batting .529 with five RBIs.
On the mound, righthander Brett Haringa (Cal Poly) has been lights out for the Blues. Haringa is 2-0, 0.00 with 21 strikeouts in 14 innings.
The six-team Kansas based league is underway with the Hays Larks currently tied for first place with the Wellington Heat. Both the Larks and the Heat hold a 4-1 in-league record, while the Heat are a half-game up in the overall standings with an 8-1 overall record.
The Liberal BeeJays own sole possession of third place with a 4-3, while the El Dorado Broncos maintain fourth place at 3-3. The Derby Twins and Dodge City A's make up the fifth and sixth spots, respectively, with Derby currently holding onto a 2-4 record and Dodge City still looking for its first win at 0-4. All six teams will battle for the Jayhawk League title and the league's automatic bid to the National Baseball Congress World Series.
Elsewhere around the country, the Cal Ripken Collegiate League, Alaska Baseball League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League all opened play last weekend.