2010-07-02 / Sports

Local Thrives On The Diamond

By Ryan Lazo

Mike McCann. Photo by Manhattan College Athletics. Mike McCann. Photo by Manhattan College Athletics. Local Rockaway resident Mike McCann is currently playing in the New England Collegiate Baseball League after two straight seasons of dominating the game, playing for Manhattan College.

The New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) is one of only two summer leagues that are supported by Major League Baseball. It is an invite only, wood bat league that invites the top junior and senior college baseball players from around the country.

The NECBL was founded in 1993 and has seen its fair share of notable alumni including Joe Nathan, who holds the highest save percentage in a career; reigning Rookie of the Year, Andrew Bailey; and possible Rookie of the Year candidate this year, Stephen Strasburg.

McCann is currently playing for the Sanford Mainers, the first place team with a record of 11-8. He is eighth in the league in hitting with a .341 average, including two doubles and two triples on the young campaign. His hot hitting is no surprise, especially coming off two straight All-MAAC first team selections and an All-City selection during his time at Molloy High School.

McCann’s career at Molloy saw him parlay his skills into a .400 batting average and that earned him a spot on the All-City team after his senior season.

“Earning a spot on the All-City team is a great feeling because there are many great players in our league and to be recognized as one of the best is a huge honor,” he said. At Manhattan College, McCann was given the starting outfielder spot to at the beginning of his sophomore year, but he stated that the assignment was on tenuous ground.

“I was slumping badly to start off the season and if it wasn’t for the fact there were no other back-up outfielders, I wouldn’t have been starting much longer,” he said.

McCann was able to work through the slump and at the end of the season had set an all-time hits record for a single season at Manhattan College with 85 hits.

“It was a great feeling to accomplish the feat especially since the old record belonged to Matt Rizzotti an alum of Molloy High School,” he said. “It was one Molloy alum breaking a record of another.”

To go along with setting the hits record, McCann finished his season with a .388 average, 13 homeruns and 61 RBIs, stats that made him an easy selection to be First Team All-MAAC.

After bursting onto the scene and overcoming a slow start, McCann expected a lot of himself in his junior season and he delivered on his expectations. He hit .340 with 10 homeruns and 56 RBIs, which once again earned him a First Team All-MAAC selection.

Going into his senior season there is only one thing he wishes to accomplish before he graduates.

“I’m always looking to improve, but my main goal is to win a conference championship,” he said. “I want to leave the program knowing that the freshman can continue the winning tradition we have started here.”

Manhattan College has won at least 30 games a season for the past five years, making the senior class that just graduated the most successful in school history. McCann wants to make his own mark on the program.

“I want to be remembered as a player that worked hard and played the game the right way,” he said.

Working hard has brought numerous accolades to McCann over his baseball career and continuing to work hard could mean more are on the horizon.

Sixth Annual Breezy Point

Biathlon To Be Held

The 6th Annual Breezy Point Biathlon, which is dedicated to the memory of Bill and Alice Mullaly will be held July 10 at 10:00 a.m. The event consists of a 1.5 Mile Run, a 3.0 Mile Bike, and a 0.35 Mile Run to the finish. The event is ideal for both competitive and recreational runners with its friendly distance.

The race starts and finishes at the Breezy Point Sugar Bowl. Registration will be held on race day from 8:00 to 9:45 a.m. at the Breezy Point Sugar Bowl. Applications can be found in the Rockaway Point News and local businesses in the Breezy Point and Rockaway Beach area. The race honors Bill and Alice Mullaly, two Breezy Point residents who passed away but always were involved in local community events.

The race is $20 for those who preregister and $25 on race day. It benefits the Bill and Alice Mullaly high school scholarship for local scholarathletes. For more information, or an application, please call Ryan Woerner at 718-757-4669.

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