Wakefield native helps Sharks gain top seed for FCBL playoffs

Published in the August 12, 2015 edition



OAK BLUFFS — Wakefield’s Dylan Dennis pitched five innings of shutout ball to lead the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks to a 13-1 victory over the North Shore Navigators in a Futures Collegiate Baseball League contest on Sunday, Aug. 9 at Vineyard Baseball Park also known as “The Shark Tank.”

That allowed the Sharks to earn the top seed for the playoffs with a 34-20 record in the East Division. The Sharks were scheduled to play the eighth-seeded Pittsfield Suns last night at Vineyard Baseball Park. But the game was postponed due to rain and will be made up tonight at 7 p.m. at Vineyard Baseball Park.

Dennis earned the victory giving up five hits while striking out five and walking one. He faced 20 batters and threw 78 pitches, 47 of which were for strikes.

Three pitchers — Zach Schindler, Trevor Holmes and Jack Nelson — combined to throw the last four innings and combined to give up one run on three hits while walking seven and striking out two.

Of course all four points benefitted from the 13 runs plated by the Sharks. The Sharks scored six runs in the second, five in the sixth and two in the eighth. The Navigators scored their lone run in the sixth.

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks refused to relinquish the lead after grabbing it early against the North Shore Navigators (33-22), recording the 13-1 victory on Sunday at Vineyard Baseball Park. The game was decided quickly as the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks exerted their will early with six runs in the first three innings.

An RBI single by Donovan Casey (Boston College), a single by Jack Roberts (Williams College), a hit by pitch, an RBI single by Brian Campbell (Stonehill), an RBI single by Campbell and a sacrifice fly by Jon Mayer (Bucknell) during the second inning fueled the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks’ offense early.

Campbell racked up three RBIs on two hits for the Sharks.

Dennis attends Franklin Pierce and was a freshman there this past year. Dennis, who is 6-0, 185, is a right-handed pitcher. He has posted a 2-2 record this season for the Sharks. He has thrown 17 and two-thirds innings. He has pitched in nine games and started two. He has surrendered 20 hits while striking out 14 and walking eight. He has a 3.05 ERA.

Each franchise in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) is made up of elite collegiate athletes competing in a minor league style format. Each franchise provides high quality, affordable entertainment, in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.

The FCBL is summer collegiate baseball at its best. After only two seasons of play the FCBL is already regarded as one of the most talented and competitive leagues in the country.

The league began its initial year of operations in 2011. The founders of the league are the FCBL ownership groups from both the Brockton Rox (Can-Am League) and the Lowell Spinners (Single A affiliate Boston Red Sox). The first year the league included teams playing in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

The 2011 season brought immediate credibility and success both on the field and at the gates. The Nashua Silver Knights took home the inaugural FCBL Cup by sweeping The Torrington Titans 2-0 in a best of three series.

In 2012, the Futures League welcomed five expansion franchises; the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, Pittsfield Suns, Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide, North Shore Navigators and the Brockton Rox.

The Futures League’s 10th team, the Worcester Bravehearts (formerly the Worcester Tornadoes), started playing at the College of the Holy Cross in the 2014 season.

The league currently has 10 teams including the Sharks.

The teams play a 56 game (28 home and 28 away), nine-week schedule starting in June and concluding in early August. The league championship is determined by a playoff immediately after the season ends. Each year the top players in the FCBL will be scouted and selected in the MLB Draft.

Any student who wishes to play in the league must be currently enrolled in a NCAA or NAIA sanctioned college or university, be in good academic standing, have completed one year of athletic eligibility and have at least one year of eligibility remaining.

FCBL bylaws mandate each team have a minimum 26-man roster, with at least 13 of those 26 players selected from a New England-based college or be a resident of New England (or a combination of the two options).

The 2015 FCBL playoffs will feature eight teams in a three-round format. Rounds One and Two will be one game knockout rounds, followed by a best of three championship series between the two finalists.