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Archive for the ‘UMASS-Lowell’ Category

Cape League: From Riverhawks to Firebirds; D-II products Kneeland and Leathersich make Cape Ann proud

Posted by Joshua Kummins on June 24, 2010

The Cape Cod Baseball League is a dream come true for baseball players and fans alike. The CCBL showcases the nation’s elite talent, but New England is usually under-represented in each summer’s crop of players. In a weekly series, KCT Baseball will profile local stars that will be chasing their Major League dreams on the diamonds of Southeastern Massachusetts this summer. This is our first installment.

Being New England products, Cam Kneeland and Jack Leathersich are not among the first gasp of players recruited in the Cape Cod Baseball League, but being Division II stars at UMASS-Lowell puts them even further down on the list. The two Riverhawk sophomores are looking to change those opinions and put themselves on the minds of MLB scouts as members of the Orleans Firebirds.

Kneeland

Kneeland, an infielder and Rowley native, was the Riverhawks leader in team batting this season with a .313 average in 46 games as the regular third baseman, after a freshman season in which he appeared in just ten games. His stats consistently ranked among the top 20 leaders in the Northeast-10 Conference during the spring, including the league’s third-best average with two outs at .362 as well as third-best RBI per game total at 0.93.

He was a two-year standout at Triton Regional High School, where he earned Cape Ann League MVP honors in 2008, as well as CAL All-Star as a junior and senior. As a senior, he hit a scorching .520 with 25 RBI and posted a 4-2 record as a pitcher.

On the Cape, he is struggling early in the season as he has collected just one hit in 12 at bats, while scoring two runs. His on base percentage of .313 is among the team’s best at sixth.

Leathersich

Leathersich is a crafty lefty from Beverly who is a key contributor to Ken Harring’s weekend rotation. During the spring, he was 3-2 over 12 games and nine starts with a 4.26 ERA, while he did not allow a run during the 2009 fall season. He has a good breaking ball and has the capability to throw a fastball that tops out at 90 mph. Over 57 innings this year, he surrendered just 27 earned runs and three home runs.

He was named the NE-10 Rookie Pitcher of the Year, as well as a NE-10 All-Star First Team and All-Rookie selection to earn him a slot on  the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association All-Star Team as a freshman in 2009.

At Beverly High School, he earned Northeast Conference all-star honors as a senior, as well as all-star status from The Salem Evening News and The Daily Item of Lynn. He set school records for strikeouts and wins in a career and was named the Panthers’ team MVP.

He has been a large contribution to the Firebird bullpen this summer as he has compiled a 1.13 ERA in eight innings over four relief appearances and allowed just five hits and an earned run.

The UMASS-Lowell boys are making Cape Ann proud as new members of the Orleans Firebirds.

**Photos from GoRiverhawks.com.

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Posted in Cape Cod Baseball League, Cape League Spotlight, Orleans Firebirds, UMASS-Lowell | Leave a Comment »