Blogs | Eric Benevides

Riding into the Sunset

The inaugural season of the Newport Collegiate Baseball League came to a close on Wednesday night, with Kettlebottom blanking Fisher's Island Lemonade, 8-0, in the third and deciding game of their best-of-three championship series, and sometime earlier next week, Cardines Field's other tenant, the Newport Sunset League, is expected to wrap up its 101st regular season.

With summer leagues, such as the popular NECBL (New England Collegiate Baseball League), sitting out this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, several college players throughout the region are playing in this venerable league, which traditionally fills its rosters with players in their 20s and early 30s.

Three local players, Cumberland's Nick Croteau and Joey Molis and Lincoln's Brandon Kelly, were featured in last month's Valley Breeze, and here are five more players from our circulation that are enjoying superb seasons ...

1. Nate Vigeant, Brothers Baseball Club -- A 2016 graduate of St. Raphael Academy who saw his senior season at Rhode Island College get cut short by the pandemic, Vigeant, who is a middle infielder, has been one of the key performers in his team's 9-4 record, which is good for first place in the six-team standings. Entering Thursday night's action, he leads the league in hits (21), is second in stolen bases (eight), tied for fourth in runs scored (12) and doubles (five), and fifth in batting average (.412).

2. Addison Kopack, Brothers Baseball Club -- Kopack, who recently won the R.I. 19-20 Elite Baseball League state championship for Upper Deck Post 14 with a walkoff bases-loaded walk in the deciding game of the best-of-three finals against Gershkoff/Auburn Post 20, is also enjoying a solid summer. A 2019 graduate of Cumberland High who is playing for the University of Rhode Island, Kopack leads the league with a .556 on-base percentage, thanks to his .406 batting average, which is sixth in the league, and 10 walks, which is second.

3. Joey Coro, R&R Construction -- It's been a while since we heard about Coro, who played at North Providence High and CCRI and is currently taking the field for RIC, but the speedy outfielder is making a lot of noise for his North Providence-based R&R ballclub. Coro is batting .389 with a league-leading 10 doubles that is three more than the player in second place.

4. Mason Palmieri, Brothers Baseball Club -- Palmeiri, who graduated from Lincoln High in 2015 and Bryant University this past spring, has been brilliant on the mound for his first-place team. He leads the league in ERA (0.93), and he's 2-0 in three starts, struck out 18 batters, and allowed 10 hits, eight walks, and two earned runs in 15 innings of work.

5. Max Pierce, Westcott -- The former Scituate High standout and current Wheaton College pitcher/infielder, sits right behind Palmieri in ERA (1.31). He's 2-0 in five relief appearances, has 10 punchouts, and yielded 10 hits, two walks, and two earned runs in 10 2/3 innings.

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