Junior Armand Rugel worked a scoreless seventh inning in Sunday's NECBL All-Star Game, recording a pair of strikeouts.
Zackrison-led South Division All-Stars fall to North Division squad, 4-3
EASTON, Mass. (July 24, 2014) – Stonehill College junior right-handed reliever Armand Rugel (Middletown, Rhode Island/Middletown) pitched a scoreless seventh inning in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) All-Star Game last Sunday at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Stonehill pitching coach Greg Zackrison, who is also in the midst of his second season leading the Plymouth Pilgrims of the NECBL, served as coach of the South Division All-Stars, as his squad posted the league's best record in the first half of the season.
The North Division All-Stars earned a 4-3, walk-off victory with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jared Mederos of the Keene Swamp Bats delivered the game-winning single, while Ocean State's Drew Ferguson knocked in a pair of runs for the South Division.
Rugel, who is 3-0 with a 3.54 earned run average so far this summer for the Newport Gulls, entered the contest in the bottom of the seventh inning and the South Division All-Stars holding a narrow 3-2 lead. Rugel retired the first batter he faced, the 2014 Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) Player of the Year, Merrimack College sophomore third baseman Frank Crinella, before striking out Florida Gulf Coast's Colton Bottomley for the second out of the inning. Rugel then worked himself into a jam, loading the bases on consecutive singles followed by a walk, before striking out Drake Parker of the NCAA Division I Champion Vanderbilt Commodores to end the threat.
Rugel anchored the Stonehill bullpen in 2014 with a career-best 13 saves, good for second in the NE-10, and a 1.16 ERA. The junior reliever pitched more than one inning in 12 of his 23 appearances, and he recorded four saves that took at least two frames of work. He held opponents to a .177 average in 38.2 innings on the hill, and his 37 punchouts ranked third on the team. Rugel collected All-East Region second team honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) to go with his NE-10 All-Conference second team accolades. In addition, he earned an invite to the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-Star Game in early June.
The NECBL is a wooden bat college summer league that fields teams in all six New England States. Partially funded by Major League Baseball, the NECBL started play in 1994 and has sent over 100 alumni to the Major Leagues.