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Baseball travel team has to be versatile to survive

By Staff | Aug 3, 2018

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The Jefferson Cubs are a 16U baseball team that plays its summer games in some well-known spots.

The Cubs are associated with what is recognized as a travel league, and the team has already played games in Ohio; New Jersey; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Morgantown at West Virginia University; at Mt. St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland; and West Virginia.

Over the three-day weekend of July 27-29, the Cubs faced competition on fields in Anne Arundel County, Maryland; College Park, Maryland at the University of Maryland; and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

The team played six games in three days, including one on the artificial field at Johns Hopkins, a NCAA Division III school with quality athletic facilities.

After splitting two games on July 27, the Cubs came to Johns Hopkins to face the Canes North 2020 outfit that featured a strike-throwing right-handed pitcher and a confident group of hitters.

Rising sophomore Zac Rose pitched for Jefferson. After a troublesome first inning, Rose settled in to blank the Canes in the game’s next three innings. But by the time Rose had become comfortable enough, he was already trailing 3-0, because the Canes had landed three runs in the first before he began taming their lineup.

Rose wasn’t going to win, because the Cubs could never muster a hit off the effective fastball of the Canes pitcher.

The game lasted only 80 minutes because of time constraints. The Cubs sent only 16 batters to the plate in the 4.5 innings of action. Only a throwing error prevented the Canes pitcher from recording a perfect game.

Besides Rose, the roster of the Cubs consisted of players mostly from Jefferson High School and its 2017 junior varsity and varsity squads.

Rising juniors Chase Anderson, James Walsh, Hayden Stang and Stevie Lee were joined by rising sophomores. Rose, Kamian Gonzalez, Malaki Meadows and Will Ricketts, as well as would-be senior catcher Dylan McCartney, as the players manning most of the positions.

The Cubs bounced back on July 28 to win, and then won again in their first game on July 29.

Many players are used at various positions, as the games go through the innings.

Travel league baseball is far from free. The players pay to play and the team itself often pays a hefty fee to play in the tournaments it schedules.

The competition does the same, having players that are charged fees, and moving from tournament to tournament and paying entry fees in those places as well.

Most of the Cubs will return to either Jefferson’s varsity or junior varsity for the 2019 season, having played on the campuses of junior colleges, Division I schools and Division III colleges.