CCL Week Five Review, Week Six Look-Ahead

| July 20, 2021

With the CCL Showcase Game sandwiched in the middle of Week 5, each team had a bit of a break in the action and played less games this week. With only two full weeks to go after this week, it's now or never for teams in the playoff race. Healdsburg and Arroyo Seco kept their first place spot for the second week in a row, and will be looking to run away with that spot in the coming weeks. Here is the CCL week four (July 12-18) review for all 10 clubs.

CCL North Division

(Team, league record, week record)

Healdsburg Prune Packers: 17-4 overall, 3-1 Week 5

The Healdsburg Prune Packers competed in only four games this week, three of which stepped outside of the CCL North. The Prune Packers continued their winning streak with a win over the Novato Knicks and two victories over the Palo Alto Oaks, but lost to the streaking Lincoln Potters on Sunday.

Hance Smith (Cal Berkeley) performed consistently, collecting six hits with five RBI for a BA of .333. Smith had an exceptional game in the Prune Packers 11-0 victory over the Palo Alto Oaks, where he went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Cam Blake (Texas Rio Grande Valley) had a similar game against the Palo Alto Oaks, as he also cranked a double, one run on three hits and two RBI.

Finnegan Wall (Cal Irvine) pitched a solid 3.0 innings in the Prune Packers win on Saturday, striking out five without allowing a run. Wall allowed for only one hit and maintained his perfect 0.00 ERA on the season.

The Prune Packers will jump back into their busy CCL schedule with match-ups with the Mudcats, Potters and Crawdads next week.

-- Andi Basista

Lincoln Potters: 13-9 overall, 5-0 Week 5

The Lincoln Potters kicked-off their week on a high note with a 15-2 win against the Solano Mudcats. They got two days of rest, and came out swinging, with a  9-3 win over the Walnut Creek Crawdads. The red hot Potters would win two more games against the Mudcats in dominant fashion, with a 9-4 win, and a 16-7 victory. In a pivotal match-up with Healdsburg on Sunday, they came away with the close 6-5 win.

Chase Stanke (Minnesota) had a standout week in the batters box, going 9-for-15 with three doubles, three RBIs, and four runs scored. Garret Forrester (Oregon St.) had an impressive performance in their 9-3 win against the Crawdads, going 3-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.

Not only were the bats on fire, but the pitchers kept their opponents at bay. Brandon Gomez (Sierra JC)  started the week off strong in the bullpen, striking out four batters in two innings in their 15-2 victory against the Mudcats. Shane Gustafson (Nevada Reno) had a standout performance in their 9-3 win against the Crawdads, striking out eight in four innings, allowing just four hits and one run.

The Potters return to league play, facing the Crawdads and Healdsburg Prune Packers. They also play a four game non conference series against the Seattle Studs.

-- Gianna Cefalu

Walnut Creek Crawdads: 5-14 overall, 3-1 Week 5

The Crawdads finished 3-1 this week, starting the week with a 9-3 loss to Lincoln before taking down the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox twice in a row by scores of 5-1 and 5-4. The week wrapped up with a big 13-3 win over Bercovich Collegiate.

Outfielder Jake Brandel (UC Davis) had 3-hits in Thursday's loss to the Potters, knocking a double and scoring one run. First baseman Chase Dabbs (St. Mary’s College) as 2-for-4 in that one with an RBI triple in the losing effort.

Starter Foster Gifford (Wichita State) had a good start against the Potters, pitching four innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs without walking any batters.

Next week, the Crawdads take on the Potters, Mudcats twice and the San Francisco Seagulls between July 20-23. The second half of the week brings the Packers and Mudcats again.

-- Joe Pohoryles

Solano Mudcats: 5-14 overall, 0-3 Week 5

The Solano Mudcats went winless this week, dropping all three games to the Lincoln Potters by scores of 15-2, 9-4 and 16-7.

Despite the losses, it was a great week for utility Riley Lamb (USC). On top of earning Offensive MVP honors at the 2021 CCL Showcase Game presented by ABDG, Lamb had a standout week at the plate. Lamb went 4-for-12 (.333) with one home run, four RBI and two runs scored on the week.

Kenny DeCelle (Santa Clara) was as consistently great as always. DeCelle slashed .583/.615/.917 this week. For those keeping track at home, that’s an otherworldly 1.532 OPS for the outfielder. He had at least two hits in all three games this week.

Reliever Joseph Dichoco (Sierra JC) had a solid week on the mound, pitching 2.0 innings across two appearances. Dichoco allowed just one hit and one earned run between the two games.

Next week, the Mudcats face the Walnut Creek Crawdads three times and the Healdsburg Prune Packers twice.

-- Joe Pohoryles

CCL South Division

Arroyo Seco Saints: 13-6 overall, 3-0 Week 5

The Saints only had three games on the schedule this week, but they made the most out of them. Arroyo Seco started the week with a 10-0 victory over the Oaks on Thursday before sweeping the Blues in a two-game set Friday and Sunday, growing their lead in the division to 1.5 games.

Drew Cowley (Cal Poly Pomona) had a big week, going 6-for-12 and finishing it off a 3-for-4 day against the Blues on Sunday. He smacked two doubles, putting the cherry on top with a solo shot to left field to finish with 3 RBIs, and 5 for the week.

Merek Sears (Washington State) was stellar in Thursday's win over the Oaks, pitching four shutout innings and allowing just three hits while striking out three. He now holds a 3.69 ERA on the season, the lowest among Saints starters.

Arroyo Seco will play five games next week, with two against the Barons and one against the Oaks, Foresters and Riptide and will be looking to run away with first place in the South.

-- Lucas Banks

Santa Barbara Foresters: 11-7 overall, 4-0 Week 5

The Foresters swept their week of play, snagging two wins against the Barons and one against the Blues in CCL South play. The also picked up a non-conference win against the Ventura County Pirates on Friday.

Nathan Rombach (Texas Tech) had a monster week, hitting an average of .600 in four games. He was 6-for-10 with a double and five RBIs, helping the Foresters beat the Barons in back-to-back games.

Brandon Beckel (Texas Tech) had the best start of the week, pitching five scoreless innings to go along with four strikeouts. This is his first win of the season, and helped lower his season ERA to 2.07 over 13 innings pitched.

Looking ahead, the Foresters will play the Oaks twice, and the Blues, Riptide and Saints once in a full week. Santa Barbara has dropped all three games to the Saints this season, and will be hungry for a win on Saturday.

-- Emily Morton

San Luis Obispo Blues: 10-9 overall, 1-3 Week 5

The Blues had a quiet start to the week, not playing until Thursday due to the CCL Showcase in which they sent eight players. They dropped two games to the Saints, but were able to pick up a weekend home win against the Riptide in between.

Ruben Mercado (San Jose St University) had a great week, hitting .400 in 20 at-bats. He drove in two runs for the Blues and had three doubles and five singles.

Vaughn Mauterer (Cal Berkeley) had his best game of the season on Sunday against the Saints, pitching 4.1 innings in relief and giving up just one run on five hits. He had some nasty movement on his pitches and racked up seven strikeouts.

Heading into the last two weeks of the season, the Blues have three games against the Barons next week, in addition to one against the Foresters, Oaks and Riptide.

-- Emily Morton

Conejo Oaks: 8-8 overall, 2-2 Week 5

The Conejo Oaks walked into a bumpy start for the week, losing a 10-0 game to the Saints followed by a 7-4 loss to the Riptide. However, a 4-2 victory was earned on Saturday as the Oaks defeated the Ventura County Pirates, and they finished on a high note with a 5-2 win over the Riptide.

TJ Foreman (Austin Peay) scored two runs this week, one of which came in clutch during the win over the Ventura County Pirates. Brendan Bobo (Cal State Fullerton) had the highest average on the team for the week, hitting .286 with four singles and one run scored.

Jacob Flores (San Diego State University) aided in the Oaks win over the Pirates with power, pitching for 2.0 innings. Flores faced 7 batters and struck out 3 while also keeping earned runs to nothing, earning a 0.00 ERA.

The Oaks will resume play on Tuesday with a match-up against the Foresters, followed by games versus the Riptide, Saints and Blues.

-- Andi Basista

Orange County Riptide: 8-10 overall, 2-2 Week 5

The Riptide won back to back games to start the week, winning a close 7-6 game against the MLB Academy Barons, and then beat the Conejo Oaks 7-4. The Blues and Oaks would snap that short lived winning streak, as they both beat the Riptide on Saturday and Sunday to close out their 2-2 week.

Terrence Simmons (Connecticut) batted an impressive .385 on the week. Simmons had a notable performance at the plate in their 7-4 victory against the Oaks, going a perfect 3-for-3, with a triple, a homer, and three RBI's. Kolton Freeman (Dartmouth) saw the ball well against the Barons, going 2-for-3 with a double and two walks.

Spencer Edwards (Cornell) had a strong performance on the mound this week, striking out six batters in six innings against the Barons. Cade Connolly (Santa Clara) pitched a gem against the Oaks, striking out six in four innings, and only gave up two hits.

The Riptide have a full slate of CCL games next week, as they face the Oaks, Blues, Foresters, Barons, and Saints.

-- Gianna Cefalu

Academy Barons: 4-14 overall, 0-3 Week 5

Another team with only three games scheduled this week, the Barons had another tough week, dropping a close one to the Riptide before losing two in a row to the Foresters.

Jordan Williams (San Jacinto College) and Christian Webb (Seminole State College) both hit .500 for the week, going 4-for-8 each and helping the Barons on offense.

One of the Barons all-stars, Eldridge Armstrong (San Diego State), continued his dominant season with 2.1 shutout innings, striking out three and giving up just one hit.

The Barons are back to a full slate of games next week, with one match-up against the Riptide, two against the Saints, and three against the Blues.

-- Lucas Banks

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