Summer Baseball Roundup: Former North Adams SteepleCats play on in Cape Cod League
It was a pretty good August for now-former North Adams SteepleCat Jackson Coutts.
Coutts, and fellow SteepleCat Jeffery Brown both went to the Cape Cod Baseball League when the NECBL season ended. Both were on a league-championship team and now Coutts has been named to the NECBL's postseason All-Star first team. He was named as a designated hitter, although he played first base for North Adams.
Coutts was the lone SteepleCat named to the NECBL's postseason squad.
The left-handed hitting first baseman, a rising sophomore at the University of Rhode Island, led the SteepleCats with a .376 batting average, good for fourth in the league. He was, however, only two points behind NECBL batting champion — and fellow postseason All-Star — Cam Walsh of Plymouth, a rising senior at Northeastern.
Coutts hit three home runs for North Adams and drove in 28 runs. In 133 at-bats, he struck out only 13 times.
Coutts put his name into the North Adams record book when he hit safely in the first 19 games he played for the SteepleCats. His streak was stopped with an 0-for-3 day at New Bedford on July 8.
As good as he was with the bat, Coutts was also outstanding in the field. He played 28 games and did not make an error. He played 156 2/3 innings and successfully had 151 chances. He had 141 putouts and 10 assists.
Ocean State catcher Sonny Ulliana was the other URI player named to the first team.
Coutts and Brown left North Adams when the season ended to play for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape League. When the Cape Cod playoffs ended, Coutts and Brown got to celebrate a championship.
The Gatemen swept a best-of-three series against the Chatham Anglers, beating the Anglers 9-3 in Game 2 of the series.
It was Wareham's sixth straight win, and meant the Gatemen made it through the Cape Cod playoffs unscathed.
The Futures League crowned co-champions for the first time as the Worcester Bravehearts and Martha's Vineyard Sharks shared the title.
The teams had split the first two games in their best-of-three series, but rain on The Vineyard forced cancellation of the third game.
A press release from the Futures League explained the situation.
"The league recognizes that these players are student-athletes first and foremost and many of their school years are set to begin. We wanted to give them the chance to get home and prepare for the upcoming fall semester that is quickly approaching. The league had scheduled for the season to end on Sunday the 12th. Once Game 2 was rained out Saturday and pushed to Sunday, we were forced to extend the season one more day. As a result, we asked the players to stay one day longer than we promised to keep them."
Regular-season champion Martha's Vineyard had beaten Brockton in a best-of-three series, while Worcester only needed two games to eliminate Bristol.
In the first game of the championship series, Worcester won 10-5, while the Sharks won Game 2, 4-2.
Williams College rising senior Kellen Hatheway was 4 for 18 in the postseason for Martha's Vineyard.
The Valley Blue Sox won the NECBL championship for the second consecutive season.
The Blue Sox swept the championship series from the Ocean State Waves. Valley won the first game 5-3 and then won the second game 19-6.
The Blue Sox reached the championship by beating Sanford 4-2 and 8-6. Ocean State knocked off Plymouth by identical 8-5 scores.
The New York-Penn League All-Star Game was played Tuesday night, and former Pittsfield Suns pitcher Austin Hansen was there.
Hansen, an eighth-round draft pick of the Houston Astros, is a reliever for the Tri-City ValleyCats in Troy, N.Y.
Hansen, a former University of Oklahoma pitcher, has been on point for the ValleyCats since arriving.
He has pitched in 11 games for the ValleyCats, with one start. he is 2-1 with two saves, and a stellar 0.82 earned-run average. The right-hander has thrown 22 innings and has given up two earned runs. Hansen has struck out 24 hitters and walked only seven.
Both of his earned runs came off of solo home runs.
Howard Herman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.
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