June 29, 2012

All Summer Long: Following the Broncos Playing in Summer Leagues

By, Brandon Rebboah

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Summer and baseball have always seemed to fit together perfectly. For fans of the game, summer is a time to enjoy the sights, sounds and atmosphere of America's pastime, but for college baseball players, it is a time for development. College players across the country, including members of the Santa Clara baseball squad, have already left for their summer experiences just weeks after finals as they begin preparation for the 2013 season.

After a much-improved 2012 campaign on the Mission Campus, Bronco ballplayers now occupy rosters throughout the nation in summer leagues that are helping them grow as players. Santa Clara is represented in nine different leagues from the Bay Area to New England, while others play for independent teams. The "All Summer Long" series, in its second season, will chronicle the Broncos as they play in various summer leagues nationwide, and in Canada as well.  
 
Summer baseball is an exciting time for baseball players as they get to experience a different part of the country, meet players from other programs and, more often than not, live with a host family. Many players will live with a host family and be exposed to the rigors of professional minor league baseball. Their teams will play almost every day, which is a different feel than the normal four-game week in collegiate baseball. The respective leagues will have teams all over, which makes for long bus rides and a lot of travel time.

Santa Clara assistant baseball coach Mike Oseguera, who has a list of his own summer-ball experiences from his playing days at the University of San Diego, thinks summer ball brings great opportunity to young players. Over his three collegiate summers, he spent time playing for the Brainerd Minnesota Goals of the Northwoods League, the Mat-Su Miners in the Alaskan League and the Oceanside Waves in San Diego. All that summer work over three years allowed him to excel and help San Diego to two WCC titles and two NCAA regional appearances.

"Summer ball allows players to get more repetitions, particularly [players] that didn't play much during the college season," said Oseguera. "It is also a chance for players to learn about other programs and figure out how to be away from home. I love that it offers an environment similar to professional baseball in that you play everyday and have to manage your extra time to make sure that you eat, sleep and workout well."

Oseguera's point about summer ball helping players who saw little playing time during the college season is best reflected in soon-to-be junior Peter Summerville. After seeing little action in the 2011 season, Summerville spent last summer in Kansas playing for the Valley Center Diamond Dawgs of the Walter Johnson Baseball League. The extra reps helped Summerville excel and become one of the most formidable offensive players for Santa Clara during 2012 before he missed time with injury. After receiving additional reps last summer, Summerville hit .313 in 2012 and started 17 games for Santa Clara.

While repetition for young players is vital, more balance is needed with every-day players and pitchers. Summer baseball can be the perfect way to continue to hone skills while getting a little bit of extra rest in.

Some Bronco players will see familiar faces around their respective leagues', maybe even in their own dugout, but most will be playing in brand new surroundings with players from some of the top collegiate programs in the nation.

The Broncos have players playing in the following leagues:

The Prospect League
Santa Clara has three players playing in the Prospect league, all for the Slippery Rock Sliders. The Prospect League is a competitive wood bat league with teams in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. The league starts in late-May and continues through the middle of August. The players playing for Slippery Rock are Bronco shortstop Justin Viele, Bronco left-handed reliever Max Deering and catcher Zach Looney.

West Coast League
Santa Clara has two representatives playing in the West Coast League. Two starters from the 2012 Bronco squad, Matt Ozanne and Tommy Nance, will take their talents to Longview, Wash. and represent the Broncos, playing for the Cowlitz Black Bears. The West Coast League is a competitive wood bat league with teams in the Pacific Northwest in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia (Canada). The WCL's schedule runs from the final week in May through the first week in August.

Far West League
The Broncos have three representatives in the Far West League. C.J. Jacobe and Justin Gisch are representing SCU as they play summer ball for the Menlo Park Legends and rising redshirt freshman Tyler Olivet will gain valuable experience playing for Fontanetti's Baseball. The Far West League has eight teams, seven in California and one in Oregon.

Western Major Baseball League
Brock Simon, who is playing in the Western Major Baseball League, represents the Broncos internationally this summer playing for the Regina Red Sox in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. The WMBL has 11 teams in Canada. The league's regular season runs from May 30 to the end of July.

Coastal Plains League
Drew Ozanne will represent Santa Clara in the Coastal Plains League, playing for the Martinsville Mustangs in Martinsville, Va. The CPL consists of 14 teams spanning three east coast states including: Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England
Bronco right-handed pitcher Kenny Treadwell is in one of the newest summer leagues, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England. Started in 2011 by professional minor league ownership groups, the league will play a 54-game schedule concluding at the end of August. The league has nine teams in the greater New England area. Treadwell will pitch for the Martha's Vineyard Sharks in Matha's Vineyard, Mass.

Pacific West Baseball League
One of the Broncos' All-WCC honorees from the 2012 season, Greg Harisis, will play in the Pacific West Baseball League. Harisis will play for the Fresno Cardinals. The PWBL is a 10-team wood bat league including nine in California and one in Nevada. Some of the PWBL teams also schedule bouts with teams from the California Collegiate League, Far West League, West Coast League and SoCal Collegiate Baseball League.

Great Lakes Summer Baseball League
Two Broncos who just finished their freshman campaigns will represent Santa Clara in the Great Lakes Summer Baseball League. Matt Glomb and Evan Brisentine will both play for the Southern Ohio Copperheads. The LSBL is in its 25th season of developing collegiate talent. The GLSBL consists of 11 teams in Ohio and Kentucky. The league plays 40 games over two-and-a-half months. The Copperheads will play their home games at Ohio University's Bob Wren Stadium.

Horizon Air Summer Series
The Horizon Air Summer Series is a three-tier league that consists of three divisions. The top division, the Don McCullough Division, plays a 40-game schedule. The schedule is a cross-league schedule. The Don McCullough Division consists of teams in California, Oregon and Washington. Santa Clara has two players playing for the Redding Colt .45's, who play in the Don McCullough Division. Current Broncos Quinton Perry and T.J. Braff will play for the .45's this summer.

San Luis Obispo Rattlers
Santa Clara will have two players on the San Luis Obispo Rattlers, Stephen Takahashi and Chris Heckert. The Rattlers will play teams throughout California.

Check back to SantaClaraBroncs.com for the "All Summer Long" series that features specific players and leagues and the Bronco experiences all summer long.