A happy Bethesda Big Train led by Manager Sal Colangelo
Most Outstanding Offensive Player: 1B, Vinny Esposito (Sacramento State)
Esposito was dominant from the plate all season, but during the last month of the season he hit over .500. Vinny went from a tough out every time he was at-bat in the first month of the season, to the most feared hitter in the Cal Ripken League in the second month. Over the course of the whole summer, Esposito hit .346 with 56 hits in 162 at-bats, while hitting 16 doubles and 9 homeruns and driving in 45 runs. To add to his hitting prowess, Esposito also led the Big Train in walks, making his On-base percentage a staggering .460. Vinny ended the season on a 12-game hitting streak which included 8 multi-hit games. Over the 12 game span which includes the playoffs, Vinny matched his jersey number with 24 RBI. Esposito hit it to all parts of the fields and opposing coaches were unsure on where to position their defense. Esposito also provided versatility, playing both corner outfield spots as well as first base.
First Team All-League
1B, Vinny Esposito (Sacramento State) - See Above
2B, Clayton Daniel (Jacksonville State) - During the regular season, Daniel hit .348 and had an OBP of .443. Clayton played all 40 games during the regular season and recorded at least one hit in all but 3 of them. With 20 multiple hit games, Daniel was one hit shy of leading the Cal Ripken League. Daniel walked 26 times and once on-base he was a threat to swipe a bag, recording 18 on the summer. Daniel had a knack for getting on-base and scoring runs.
OF, Cody Brown (Mississippi State) - A late arriver, but a 3rd year veteran, Cody Brown provided the Big Train with a much needed outfielder and bat. Brown hit .333, with 32 hits in 96 at-bats. Cody had two home runs and 16 RBI, while also walking 19 times making his OBP .443. A menace on the base paths, Cody managed to steal home 3 times! Brown also was tremendous in the outfiled where he made countless diving catches while posting a perfect fielding percentage and six outfield assists.
P, Logan Gilbert (Stetson) - The 6 foot 5 flamethrower posted a 5-0 record and a 1.89 ERA over the course of the summer, the third lowest in the Cal Ripken League. In Logan's first start he threw 6.1 innings of 1 run and four hit ball while striking out six batters. Gilbert's go to pitch was his mid-90's fastball but his off speed pitches were often times just as effective. In 33.1 innings, Gilbert recorded 34 striketouts. and only allowed 18 hits.
P, Johnny York (St. Mary's (CA)) - York went 6-0 and posted the lowest ERA in the Cal Ripken League at 1.37. York pitched 46 innings and only walked two batters. Johnny pounded the strike zone consistently with pitches that moved in all different directions. Hitters had a tough job identifying if the ball would break right, left, or down. York doesn't have the highest velocity but could throw any pitch as a strike. In York's first start, he went 7 innings strong allowing one unearned run, striking out 7, in a masterful performance.
P, Sean Barry (San Diego) - Barry spent the majority of the summer with the lowest ERA in the Cal Ripken League and by years end posted a 1.96 in 41 innings of work. Barry didn't throw particularly hard, but his ability to change speeds confused batters all summer. Barry's out pitch was his silder, striking out a total of 49 batters. While Barry started the six of his eight regular season appearences, Barry came out of the bullpen twice in the playoffs. In the first game of the champsionship series, Barry closed out the final 3 innings giving up only two hits and no runs.
Second Team All-League
3B, Allen Smoot (San Francisco) - Smoot was a mainstay atop the RBI leaderboard of the whole Cal Ripken League. He ended with 37 during the regular season, one shy of teammate Vinny Esposito. Smoot hit in the 3-spot all summer and hit .301 in 173 at-bats with 53 hits including seven doubles and 3 homeruns. Smoot also walked 27 times over the summer and had 10 multi-RBI games.
OF, Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth) - Farrar, a Big Train veteran, started his summer on the prestigous Cape Cod League and finished in Bethesda. Logan's first game was on June 30th and he provided instant impact at the top of the order, going 2-3 with 2 walks and a grand slam. Farrar hit .350 over 100 at-bats including 14 doubles and two home runs. Over the last nine games including playoffs, Farrar had 8 multi-hit efforts with two 3-hit games and one 4-hit game. Farrar also provided incredible range in the outfield making no errors and effortlessly gliding to balls in the gap.
UTL, Justin Morris (Maryland) - Morris, another Big Train veteran, had his best season in Bethesda. Playing a mix of catcher, first base, and corner outfield spots, Morris provided much needed versatility early in the season. At the plate, J-Mo hit .287 with 35 hits in 122 at-bats. Morris also walked 22 times giving him one of the best OBP on the team at .414. Morris had 10 doubles, a team-leading 4 triples, and 25 RBI. Justin was also a force behind the plate, calling good games for the pitchers, and throwing out several base runners.
P, John Murphy (Maryland) - Murphy finished the summer pitching 34.1 innings, the second most on the team. He went 4-2 with a 4.71 ERA. Murphy improved as the summer went on. In his last outing of the regular season, John went 5 innings of 3 hit and no-run ball against a very strong Aces team. Murphy mainly worked with his fastball but was able to throw a nice breaking pitch for a strike and in the dirt as a stikeout pitch.
See all the All-League selections at the Cal Ripken website http://www.calripkenleague.org/view/calripkenleague.