SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Rising junior Mickey Gasper (Merrimack, N.H.) and rising sophomore Steve Theetge (Cicero, N.Y.) both led their teams to league championships, highlighting an outstanding summer season for the Bryant University baseball team.
Gasper, the MVP of the Futures League, led the Nashua Silver Knights to a clean sweep of Worcester in the league championship, while Theetge helped the Savannah Bananas take two-of-three from the Peninsula Pilots in the Coastal Plains Championship Series. This summer also marked the first time in five years the Bulldogs have not had a player on the champion of the NECBL.
One of the best players across the country this summer, Gasper went 6-for-16 with two home runs, five RBI, 10 runs scored and 12 walks in six postseason games. He finished the year with a .418 average, 22 doubles, 11 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored and 51 walks. Gasper was named the Futures League MVP prior to the start of the playoffs. He set a new league records for average, OBP, OPS, doubles and walks.
Theetge appeared in nine games for the Bananas, going 1-2 with a 7.43 ERA. He walked eight and struck out 10 in 13 1/3 innings. It was the first title in franchise history for Savannah and the first time a Bulldog has been a member of a championship team in the Coastal Plains League.
Incoming freshman Ryan Ward (Grafton, Mass.) helped lead Worcester to a spot in the Futures League championship round, but came up short to Gasper and the Silver Knights. Ward went 7-for-17 with two doubles, three RBI and two runs scored in four postseason games. On the year, he finished with a .380 average, seven doubles, 16 RBI, 26 runs scored and just 11 strikeouts in 129 at-bats.
Fellow incoming freshman Jimmy Titus (Stafford, Conn.) also finished his summer strong with Bristol of the Futures League. Titus appeared in 36 games for the Blues, hitting .288 (34-118) with eight doubles, two triples, 12 RBI, 15 runs scored and 14 walks.
Also in the Futures League, rising sophomores John Nollet (Storrs, Conn.) and Craig Lacey (Westfield, Mass.) had productive summers for Pittsfield. Nollet homered, drove in nine and scored seven runs in 25 games, while Lacey finished the year 3-2 with a 4.93 ERA in 38 1/3 innings. Lacey allowed three runs or less in seven of his nine appearances on the year and finished his summer with six innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed just two hits, walked three and struck out three.
Rising senior Jacob Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.), the Futures League's Adam Keenan Sportsmanship and Scholarship Award recipient, finished his summer with 18 hits in 89 at-bats. He drove in eight, scored 13 runs and also stole eight bases.
In the NECBL, rising senior Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) led the Newport Gulls to the Southern Division Championship series. The Gulls were swept by eventual NECBL champion Mystic. Fabio, who was named Second Team All-NECBL following the year, hit .270 (48-178) with seven doubles, 22 RBI, 20 runs scored, 14 stolen bases and just 15 strikeouts in 36 games.
Bryant's Danbury trio of rising juniors Justin Snyder (Georgetown, Mass.) and Ross Weiner (Woodbridge, Conn.) and rising sophomore Tyler Panno (Rivervale, N.J.) helped the Westerners to a spot in the NECBL playoffs. The Westerners lost in three games to Newport in the Southern Division Semi-Finals. Snyder made two appearances in the postseason and finished the year with a 4.08 ERA in 21 games. He struck out 20 and walked 14 in 28 2/3 innings. Weiner went 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 12 games, two starts. He also posted two saves in 21 2/3 innings. Panno finished the summer with a .281 average (16-57) with six RBI and 11 runs scored in 26 games.
Rising junior Logan Lessard (Cromwell, Conn.) and rising sophomore Nick Angelini (Bedford, N.H.) helped Ocean State force a play-in game with New Bedford in the Southern Division but couldn't push the Waves into the playoffs. Lessard appeared in 20 games for the Waves, posting a 6.61 ERA in 16 1/3 innings. He struck out 21 batters and allowed just 16 hits. Angelini finished the season with a .284 average (38-134), seven doubles, 10 RBI, 22 runs scored, 27 walks and 12 stolen bases. He went 2-for-2 in the all-star game and spent the final two weeks of the season playing for Hyannis in the Cape Cod League.
Rising sophomores Nathan Wrighter (Windsor, N.Y.) and Jack Owens (Scituate, R.I.) both pitched extremely well in the Perfect Game Collegiate League. Wrighter went 2-3 with a 2.10 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings for Oneonta. He made 11 appearances, six starts, and allowed just 38 hits. Wrighter allowed three earned runs or less in all 11 outings. Owens made a team-high 16 appearances for Albany, posting a 3.75 ERA in 12 innings. He allowed just seven hits, walked 13 and struck out 18 on the year. Owens tossed a scoreless inning of relief in his only appearance in the playoffs and also scored the game-winning run in Albany's walk-off win over Amsterdam in the first round.