A Valley News Publication

The Nighthawks were kicked out of the playoffs with a loss to the Valley Blue Sox in Holyoke, Mass., last night.

The Boomerangs were good while they lasted.

Meanwhile, this Josh Weinreb story from the Sunday Valley News is on fire today, apparently getting shared around collegiate baseball fans beyond our fair valley.

Upper Valley Nighthawks general manager Noah Crane is concerned about the future of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

 

Crane admits some of his anxiety is a matter of self-interest. His team belongs to a league that, in the last 10 years, has had to adapt to a changing summer baseball landscape. More leagues exist now, meaning more teams are grabbing for the finite number of collegiate baseball players available.

 

There’s also the changing mindset by college baseball coaches who shut down their top-tier talent out of potential injury concerns. Additionally, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, a for-profit venture in some of New England’s bigger markets, competes with the NECBL.

 

“I really don’t know” where the NECBL will be in five or 10 years, Crane said last week, as his first-place team prepared for a midweek game against the Sanford Mainers at the Maxfield Sports Complex. “If we continue to keep the status quo, I think we’re going to be in trouble. If we finally get it and start doing things differently, I think we have a chance. I think we have some great franchises. We have some great teams. We have a wonderful history and a huge alumni base that we can leverage.

 

“That’s a concern of mine every year,” he added. “What does this league look like if we lose two teams?”

Read more.

Jason Szafarski coaches the North Division team from the third-base line under the lights at the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s All-Star Game in North Adams, Mass., on July 30, 2017. Szafarski has been the Upper Valley Nighthawks coach this season. (Caroline O’Connor photograph)

Last but not least, if you want to relive the 2017 season (or the 2016 season, for that matter), you can do so via Josh’s Hawks Talk podcast.