ROCHESTER, Mich. – Three teams are within a half-game of each other for first place and Eastside Diamond Hoppers Noah Gotsis and Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers Kyle Olliges became the 33rd and 34th players to ink contracts with Major League Baseball organizations since 2016 to highlight This Week in the USPBL.
For the first time in their three-year history, the Westside Woolly Mammoths occupy first place in the standings, tied with the Utica Unicorns at 20-17. The two-time defending champion Beavers are a half-game out of first place at 18-16 heading in to this week.
Pat Adams from Warren, Mich., continues to lead the way for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers. The outfielder leads the league in batting average (.354), hits (46), walks (37) and on-base percentage (.503). Adams is just one walk away from matching the single-season record of 38 set by Jalin Lawson last season.
The Woolly Mammoths’ JaVon Shelby took over the home run lead with five home runs over his last eight games and now has a league-best eight on the season. The former fifth-round pick of the Oakland A’s is followed closely by the Unicorns’ Jimmy Latona, the Beavers’ Ross Haffey and the Hoppers’ Luke Johnson with seven each.
On the mound, the Woolly Mammoths boast the top 1-2 punch in the league. Right-handed pitchers Ben McKendall (4-2) and Matt Cronin (4-0) are a combined 8-2, and both have sub-2.05 earned run averages, leading the USPBL.
The United Shore Professional Baseball League was founded by Rochester-based General Sports and Entertainment, and is the culmination of a 10-year effort by General Sports to bring professional baseball to the Detroit area. General Sports is led by President & CEO Andy Appleby, a former Senior Vice President of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment. General Sports previously owned and operated the Fort Wayne Wizards, a Minor League Baseball team in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the Derby County Football Club, an English football (soccer) club in the English Premier and Championship Football Leagues. The USPBL will give General Sports the opportunity to employ every best practice that its experienced team has learned over the past 30 years at the highest level of sports management and marketing.
The USPBL launched May 2016 with an initial slate of three teams playing a full 75-game schedule at Jimmy John’s Field in historic downtown Utica. The USPBL is the first league in history to feature best practices such as having all of its games played on prime dates, Thursday to Sunday from mid-May through early September – the very finest months of weather in Michigan.
For more information, visit the USPBL website.