CHATHAM, Mass. — The Cape Cod Baseball League is home to most of the best college players in the country.
This summer, two pitchers with Maine ties have made an impact for the Chatham Anglers.
Tommy Lawrence of the University of Maine and Farmingdale’s Ryan Leach, who plays for Franklin Pierce, have been key members of the Anglers’ staff.
Chatham, managed by John Schiffner, beat Yarmouth-Dennis on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals of the CCBL playoffs.
Lawrence has excelled in his second Cape League stint. This week he was honored with the John Claffey Award, given to the top New England player in the league.
The 5-foot-10-inch, 190-pound right-hander from West Haven, Conn., owns a 3-0 record with a 1.87 earned run average in eight appearances, including five starts. He has allowed 21 hits in 33 2/3 innings with 29 strikeouts and only three walks.
UMaine head coach Steve Trimper said Lawrence doesn’t pay much attention to personal accolades.
“I’ve never been around a guy that wants to win more than Tommy Lawrence,” he said. “The awards are a testament to him, but it doesn’t matter if he’s playing the New York Yankees or pitching at Stony Brook or on the Cape, he approaches the game the same.”
Lawrence’s efforts have come after a disappointing end to the 2013 college season. He had expected to be selected in the major league draft, but did not get the call despite assurances from representatives of two different teams, according to Trimper.
Lawrence had a no-decision in Wednesday’s start against Yarmouth-Dennis, during which he gave up three hits and two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Opponents hit only .180 against him during the regular season.
Leach is a 6-foot, 190-pound righty who played his high school ball at Hall-Dale. Last spring, he went 6-4 in helping Franklin Pierce of Rindge, N.H., go all the way to the NCAA Division II College World Series.
This summer, Leach has worked exclusively out of the bullpen for the Anglers. He logged 13 regular-season appearances at Chatham, posting a 1-0 record with a 1.77 ERA.
Leach has surrendered only 10 hits and four earned runs in 20 1/3 innings and ranked second on the staff with 27 strikeouts. He also has yet to give up an extra-base hit in the nation’s premier wooden-bat summer league.
Opponents are batting only .141 against Leach.
Lawrence is coming off a junior season during which he pitched UMaine to a 37-22 record and the America East regular-season title. He went 11-3, setting a school single-season record for wins, with a 2.32 ERA.
He was named the America East Pitcher of the Year after registering 78 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings while making a school-record 15 starts. Lawrence was later named the ECAC Pitcher of the Year.
Leach made a team-leading 21 appearances, 18 in relief, during Franklin Pierce’s 37-19 season under coach Jayson King. He logged a 3.41 ERA with 80 strikeouts (10.9 per nine innings) and 26 walks in 66 innings. He gave up 56 hits.
To accentuate Leach’s contributions, he was on a Ravens pitching staff that had three players selected in the Major League Baseball Entry Draft. Two were taken in the 13th round and one in the 14th round.
Jonah Normandeau of Cumberland has become the latest in-state baseball player to commit to UMaine.
The former Greely High School standout plans to join the Black Bears program in the fall of 2015, according to his Facebook page.
Normandeau, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed pitcher, plans to spend the 2013-2014 school year at Bridgton Academy, where he will play for former UMaine Freshman All-American and assistant coach Aaron Izaryk.
Normandeau, who has been a strong hitter in addition to his pitching talents, helped the Rangers (16-2) reach the Western Maine Class B semifinals last spring. He also played American Legion ball for Cumberland.
Also, Michael Hoffer of The Forecaster in Falmouth reports that Greely High senior pitcher Bailey Train has made a verbal commitment to the University of Massachusetts.