7/27 - That's All Folks! Thanks for a Great Season!
End of the 2017 Season Wrap-up
by: Nick Mengle
The Giants finished their 2017 season with a heartbreaking extra inning loss to the Baltimore Dodgers in the first round of the CRCBL Playoffs. Despite the disappointing end to the season, the Giants still had a very successful season as they made a push towards their 2nd consecutive playoff appearance.
The 2017 Giants roster saw many players receive league honors for their excellent play throughout the course of the season. After the first week of the season, Jaret Bennett (Charleston Southern) was named the CRCBL pitcher of the week when he started the year striking out 14 batters and only allowing one hit over 11 scoreless innings on his way to earning a win and a save. Ryan Brown (Charleston Southern), Daniel Cabrera (LSU), Mark Fraser (Pacific), Christian Torres (UMBC), Hayden Cantrelle (Louisiana Lafayette), Dax Roper (Coastal Carolina), JP Bitzenhofer (Kentucky), Nick Pantos (Frederick CC) and David Hutchison (Millersville) were all chosen to play for the North Division team in the CRCBL All Star Game, which was managed by Giants head coach Jeff Rabberman, while Cam Remalia (Coastal Carolina) participated in the CRCBL Homerun Derby. Of those players, Cabrera, Cantrelle, Roper, and Pantos were picked to represent the CRCBL in the annual Southern Collegiate Showcase, were they played against the best players from other leagues in the region.
There were several players from the Giants who appeared near the top of the league leader board during the 2017 season. Mark Fraser hit for power this year as he recorded 5 homeruns, to tie for 6th in the league, and 11 doubles, good for 4th best in the league, on his way to recording 35 RBIs which ranked 3rd best in the league, just shy of the co-league leaders who had 36 on the year. Also found on the offensive league leader board was Daniel Cabrera who carried a batting average of .339 to rank 7th in the league. Pitcher David Hutchison ended the year ranked 6th in ERA at 2.02. Hutchison complemented his low ERA with 4 wins, which tied for 4th most in the league.
In addition to the success that was found on the field, the Giants had a lot to be proud of off the field. In early June, the 2017 MLB Draft took place and three current Giants were selected. The first Giants player selected was Outfielder Daniel Cabrera who was picked by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round. Catcher Steven Williams (Auburn) was later selected by the New York Yankees in the 35th round. The Yankees would also use their 40th round selection to pick Giants infielder Hayden Cantrelle. In addition to the current Giants players selected, three other former Giants were also drafted by a Major League team. Bruce Zimmerman (Giants 2014) was drafted by the Atlanta Braves, Patrick Mathis (Giants 2015) was drafted by the Houston Astros and Ryan Selmer (Giants 2015-2016) was drafted by the New York Mets. In a non-baseball related event, the Giants were able to greatly help the community as they collected over 2,100 pounds of food in the annual CRCBL Manna Challenge Food Drive. This effort earned the Giants second place in the competition among other teams in the CRCBL.
Overall, the 2017 season was a great year for the Giants as many players were able to find personal success on their way to finishing 2nd in their division to earn a playoff berth. The Giants had an exciting year which featured three walk off wins in extra innings, two shutout victories, a doubleheader sweep with a total of 28 runs scored, and a 4 homerun game to put up 16 runs. After spending the summer playing in Gaithersburg, the players will use what they learned to help their college teams win, while the Giants organization will get ready for another successful season in 2018.
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Giants Send Nine to Cal Ripken League 2017 All-Star Classic,
One to Home Run Derby
Four to Southern Collegiate Showcase
This year's CRCBL All-Star Game will take place on MONDAY, July 10, at Bethesda's Shirley Povich Field (home of the Big Train). Gates open at 3:30 p.m. for batting practice. The Home Run Derby starts at 5:25 p.m. Game starts around 7:30. Admission is $5.
This year, the Giants own Jeff Rabberman will manage the North All-Star team (Giants, Redbirds, Dodgers, Thunderbolts, Express).
See you at the ballpark!
The Southern Collegiate Showcase will be held in Kannapolis, North Carolina, on July 15-16. The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League is sending 26 players to play against the Southern Collegiate Baseball League, Valley Baseball League, Sunbelt League, and the Florida Collegiate Summer Baseball League. The CRCBL selected Sal Colangelo of the Bethesda Big Train, to be the manager for this team.
Ryan Brown #3
Daniel Cabrera #4
Mark Fraser #30
Christian Torres #1
Hayden Cantrell #8
Dax Roper #28
J P Bitzenhofer #21
Nick Pantos #32
David Hutchinson #35
Cam Remalia #25
Giants in the 2017 MLB Draft
Bruce Zimmermann | P | The University of Mount Olive | Gaithersburg Giants 2014
Drafted: Round 5, overall pick #140 (Atlanta Braves)
MLB.com comments: “Zimmermann has a fastball that he can hit 92 MPH with along with an average curve and change. He has the frame and potentially the three-pitch arsenal to remain a starter in the minors, but it’s possible that he gets moved into a relief role”
For UMO in 2017, the lefty went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA over 98.2 IP. He struck out 129 hitters at a rate of 11.7 K/9. For the Giants in 2014, Zimmermann made 7 appearances in which he struck out 12 hitters and walked 5 over 18.2 innings of work.
Patrick Mathis | OF | University of Texas | Gaithersburg Giants 2015
Drafted: Round 22, overall pick #661 (Houston Astros)
Ryan Selmer | P | University of Maryland | Gaithersburg Giants 2015, 2016
Drafted: Round 31, overall pick #937 (New York Mets)
Steven Williams | C | Auburn University | Gaithersburg Giants 2017
Drafted: Round 35, overall pick #1052 (New York Yankees)
Daniel Cabrera | OF | Committed to LSU | Gaithersburg Giants 2017
Drafted: Round 26, overall pick #768 (San Diego Padres)
Hayden Cantrelle | P | University of Louisiana at Lafayette | Gaithersburg Giants 2017
Drafted: Round 40, overall pick #1202 (New York Yankees)
Gaithersburg Giants Player Highlights
By Nick Mengle
Trey Martinez was born in Guam and attended Gaithersburg High School where he hit .363 with 22 doubles and 7 home runs. He totaled 70 RBI in his career. After graduating, he chose to play for the Towson Tigers, where he is now a sophomore, and a 5' 9" 205 lb catcher. He says that his most memorable experience was winning the Maryland 4A state championship as a senior - but his recent baseball trip to Cuba may also make his list.
Gaithersburg Giants Stand Tall in Goodwill Visit to Cuba
A team representing the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL) traveled to Cuba August 2-6, 2016 to play a Goodwill Mission Series with three of the top teams in the Cuban National Series.
The Ripken League players represented a great cross section from the league's teams including four Gaithersburg Giants: Nick Pantos #18 Pitcher, Trey Martinez #10 Catcher, Trey Bridis #3 Outfield, and Matthew Pita #33 Outfield.
Manager Brady Anderson, who played for the Baltimore Orioles in Cuba in 1999, explained the purpose of the games to Cuban television: "Because of the passion both countries have for baseball, we believe baseball has the potential for bringing the Cuban and American people together."
The Ripken League team won one game and narrowly lost two. According to Manager Anderson: "We played competitive games against three of Cuba’s top teams. The coaches and I are really proud of how well our guys represented the USA." B.J. Surhoff, who also played on the 1999 Orioles team in Cuba, and Ripken League co-founder Dean Albany joined Anderson on the coaching staff.
Please enjoy this photo coverage of the Giants players in Cuba from Cal Ripken League photographer Brenda Dunham of Eye on the Ball. Photos available on www.eyeonball.com