Several Rams find summer home in Cal Ripken League
One of the ever-increasing number of summer leagues for college baseball players is the Cal Ripken League that has teams from both the metropolitan Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Areas.
There are 10 teams in the circuit and they draw their players from across a wide geographical area.
The best of the teams this summer is the Baltimore Redbirds, coached by former Baltimore Oriole outfielder Larry Sheets.
The Redbirds lead their five-team division of the league and have a roster made from colleges often found in the College World Series or NCAA Regional playoffs.
Maryland-based teams are the Baltimore Dodgers, Gaithersburg Giants, Bethesda Big Train, Rockville Express and Silver Spring-Takoma Bolts.
Virginia has the Vienna River Dogs, Alexandria Aces and FCA Herndon Braves. The D.C. Grays give the league its final team.
Four players from Shepherd are playing in the Ripken League this summer.
The Baltimore Dodgers are the home for Christian Hamel, who was a freshman catcher and starter for the Rams this past season. Hamel was 14-for-58 (a .241 batting average) with four RBIs through games of July 4; also with the Dodgers is outfielder Ron Farley.
Farley usually batted fourth in Shepherd’s lineup this past season and he was 32-for-117 with a .274 average after a few games in July. He had 11 doubles, two triples and 25 RBIs.
Eric Sloper redshirted at Shepherd. The freshman infielder plays for the D. C.Grays where he was just 9-for-70 (a .129 average). He had one extra base hit.
Tyler Thomas wasn’t with the Rams after the first 10 days of the 2016 season, but the catcher was hitting .333 for the D.C. Grays.
He was 24-for-72 with a home run and eight RBIs. Thomas lists Shepherd as where he plays collegiately.
The Ripken League is a firmly entrenched league and has seen some of its former players reach the major leagues.