North Adams SteepleCats release schedule, open at home June 5

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The duck boats are garaged and the confetti has been swept up. That means it is time to start thinking about baseball. Fans in northern Berkshire County can now plan their summers.

That's because the NECBL released its schedule for the summer of 2019.

North Adams SteepleCats general manager Matt Torra said he was more than happy with the 44-game schedule the league set out.

"Everything turned out great," Torra said. "We're excited to have opening night at our field. We have the Fourth of July, with July 5th as a backup. We have the following weekend at home, so we can have Family Weekend."

The SteepleCats will begin play in the 2019 season at home on Opening Night, Wednesday, June 5. North Adams will host Sanford in a 6:30 p.m. start.

Weeknight and Saturday home games at Joe Wolfe Field will begin at 6:30, with Sunday home games starting at 6 p.m.

North Adams will have 10 home games in June and 12 more in July. Thirteen of the 22 home games are scheduled for either Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

"It's always great to have games on a weekend to get fans in," Torra said. "It works out pretty good."

The SteepleCats, along with the rest of the 13-team NECBL, will play 22 home games and 44 games overall this summer. The SteepleCats play in the NECBL's Northern Division with two-time league champion Valley, Keene, Sanford, Vermont, Winnipesaukee, and Upper Valley. The SteepleCats will play the Blue Sox six times.

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The Southern Division has six teams, including the league's newest member, the Martha's Vineyard Sharks. The Sharks switched from the Futures League to the NECBL. The South will play the North twice, once at each team's home field.

One thing that the SteepleCats general manager likes is the fact that North Adams will have multiple-game homestands. The SteepleCats will play three games in four days from July 2-5, with an off-day on July 3. North Adams will also be at home Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 14.

"It's a great way to give them a break, to have those homestands where they can play, but where they can rest," said Torra.

The SteepleCats' home finale will be on Tuesday, July 30, against Keene, and then North Adams closes out the regular season at Valley and Sanford.

The NECBL All-Star Game will be hosted by the Vermont Mountaineers on Sunday, July 28. The full day of festivities begin at 1 p.m., with the first pitch set for 5:30.

Six teams qualify for the NECBL playoffs, with the division champions getting a first-round bye. The second and third-place finishers in each division will play a wildcard game, with the winners playing a best-of-three against the division champions. Those winners will play for the Fay Vincent Cup.

Players who call Pittsfield home will be scattered throughout the NECBL this summer.

According to rosters published on the NECBL web site, outfielder Kevin Donati will be playing for the SteepleCats. Infielder Drew DeMartino is slated to play at Sanford, Maine, while pitcher Izaiya Mestre will be pitching for the Sharks.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.


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