OLD ORCHARD BEACH—The Greater Northeast Collegiate Baseball League (GNCBL) lined up a batch of all-stars to take on a visiting squad of reps from the North Shore Baseball League (NSBL)—a men’s organization out of Massachusetts—on Sunday morning, July 29. The GNCBLers wasted little time jumping on top, then cruised to a 10-0, mercy-rule triumph in six innings.
“Offensively, one through nine, we hit the ball hard,” said GNCBL head coach Andrew Wood, “and ran the bases extremely well. We took advantage of some of the other team’s weaknesses. All in all, it was a fun game to be a part of, with such high-caliber players we used to put the team together.”
GNCBL starting pitcher Colton Lawrence (Farmington/University of Southern Maine) struck out the first NSBL batter he faced, then lured the next into a 3-1 groundout – the skittering ball forced first basemen Max Salevsky (Bonny Eagle/Plymouth State) off the bag, so Lawrence covered for him. Lawrence coaxed his third opponent into a flyout to center, manned by Kolby Lambert (Bonny Eagle/Franklin Pierce).
Lambert – hitting lead for the GNCBL – singled to begin the bottom of the first, beating a 6-3 throw; Drew Healey (Rochester, New Hampshire/St. Joe’s) momentarily brought Lambert home with a drive single to wide rightfield. Josh Goulet (Nashua, New Hampshire/Plymouth State) then grounded to second, where Healey found himself out on the force play; that fielder’s choice, though, allowed Goulet to reach base safely. He wheeled all the way home again when Ben Malgeri (Stratham, New Hampshire/Holy Cross) blasted a double into centerfield.
The GNCBL thus exited the first up 2-0. They continued to pile up offense as the game progressed: Though they did go 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second, they hashed their third run in the third, when Mike Sterritt (Exeter, New Hampshire/Great Bay Community College) rounded to home on a Lambert drive into center coupled with an error by the NSBL fielder there.
To be fair, the GNCBL is, again, comprised entirely of active college players. The NSBL is a standard men’s league.
“It was just clear our players were on a different level than theirs,” Wood said. “The catcher for them was 42 years old. And when you’re playing kids who play college baseball – you could tell the all-star team we put together was loaded with talent.”
The collegiate crew tallied their next three in the bottom of the fifth, when Jason Komulainen (Gorham/USM), Connor McGuire (Ellsworth/Husson) and Healey all crossed the plate: Komulainen tagged when McGuire singled past third; McGuire on a double-steal from second, combined with a wild 2-5 attempt to catch him out at third; and Healey on a Goulet single deep to center.
Finally, the team notched four in their next ups. Salevsky, Amos Herrin (Mt. Blue/Southern Maine Community College), McGuire and Sterritt did the honors, closing the outing in style.
“We had a really good pitching staff,” Wood said; “that was tough on their hitters. Being able to throw a fresh arm in every inning – you could tell the other team was overmatched.”
John Parker (Brunswick/Eastern Connecticut) replaced Lawrence on the mound for the GNCBL. Zack Ham (Saco/St. Joe’s), Bryce Smith (Greenland, New Hampshire/GBCC) and McGuire also threw for the team.
The GNCBL begins its playoffs on Thursday, Aug. 2; those will run for roughly a week and a half.
Sunday’s contest unfolded at the Ballpark, but the League also holds contests at Wainwright Sports Complex in South Portland, at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, at St. Joseph’s College in Standish and at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. The GNCLB is online at www.gncbl.net, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gncblBaseball/ and on Twitter at @GNCBLBaseball.
Adam Birt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.
GNCBL All-Star Tim Brigham (Cape Elizabeth/Suffolk) tries for third base.
Jason Komulainen (Gorham/USM) slides into third for the GNCBL All-Stars in their 10-0 triumph.
Zack Ham (Saco/St. Joe’s) gets beneath an infield fly.
Max Salevsky (Bonny Eagle/Plymouth State) mans first base for the GNCBL All-Stars.
Zack Ham (Saco/St. Joe’s) took over for the GNCBL All-Stars in the fourth.
John Parker (Brunswick/Eastern Connecticut) pitched a stretch for the GNCBL All-Stars.
Drew Healey (Rochester, New Hampshire/St. Joe’s) dashes forward to grab an incoming ball at second base.
Amos Herrin (Mt. Blue/SMCC) mans shortstop for the GNCBL All-Stars.
Jason Komulainen (Gorham/USM) catches for the GNCBL All-Stars.
Kolby Lambert (Bonny Eagle/Franklin Pierce) arrives home for the GNCBL All-Stars.
GNCBL All-Star Max Salevsky (Bonny Eagle/Plymouth State) heads for home.