Bubba Derby (San Diego State) was named the CRCBL’s Most Outstanding Pitcher. Derby was also named as one of two starting pitchers on the CRCBL First-Team.
“I would like to say thank you to the Big Train program for welcoming me in and making the experience a great one,” said Derby. “It was an honor to play for the Big Train and to earn the awards.”
“Bubba was the bulldog that you wanted on the mound,” said manager Sal Colangelo. “We knew we were going to get a great effort with him out there and he was going to put us in great position to win the game.”
During the 2013 season, Derby was a triple threat on the mound, leading the CRCBL in wins (6), strikeouts (56) and ERA (0.76). Derby also tossed an ace-like performance in the team’s opening playoff game win against the Rockville Express, going seven innings and giving up just two hits while striking out nine.
“I feel like I got stronger as the season progressed. Every team was tough and I had to bring my A-game every time to help give my team a chance to win,” Derby said. “I also couldn’t be more thankful to the Isaacson’s (Derby’s host family) as they made the experience an amazing one welcoming me into the family right away. I had an experience I’ll never forget and to be able to bring home these awards is a great honor.”
In addition to Bubba Derby being named the League MOP, four more Big Train players were featured on the All-CRCBL Second Team, including Ty France (San Diego State), David Del Grande (Sacramento State), Ryne Willard (Tallahassee CC), and Michael Boyle (Radford).
Ty France didn’t see action with the Big Train until the second week of the season, but still went on to finish in the Top 15 in the league in hits. A .331 hitter in the regular season, France increased that average come postseason play, hitting .353 in the Big Train’s four playoff games.
Perhaps David Del Grande should also receive the “Team Player” award, as he got hit by pitches a league-high 14 times this summer. Del Grande had a knack for getting on base, finishing 13th in the league in hits, and also finished second in the league in runs scored with 34.
Ryne Willard gave the Big Train a great offensive option at shortstop this summer, as he hit .290 and finished 12th in the league in hits. Willard also drew 18 walks and collected 12 extra-base hits. But perhaps Willard’s most outstanding achievement in 2013 was his knack for producing in the playoffs, as he hit three home runs and drove in five RBIs in the Big Train’s four postseason games. Willard also had two doubles and two walks while hitting .429 in playoff action.
Michael Boyle didn’t meet the innings quota to qualify for the league ERA title, however, he would’ve finished second in the league amongst starters behind fellow Big Train starter Bubba Derby. With a 0.77 ERA, two shutouts, five wins and 31 strikeouts, Boyle combined with Derby to give the Big Train arguably the best 1-2 punch in the CRCBL.
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