Butch Hobson's Barnstormers now own the Atlantic League's single-season wins record with 87, eclipsing the mark set by Somerset, NJ three years ago. As for Bridgeport, it now needs a sweep at Somerset this weekend and a Lancaster sweep at Southern Maryland (Waldorf) to give Willie Upshaw's troops any hopes of overtaking the Blue Crabs and getting into the postseason. It looks like second-year skipper Patrick Osborn will get to match up against first-half champion Long Island, NY in one playoff series while Lancaster and two-time defending champion York, PA will square off in the other series.
We got into some news regarding the World Baseball Classic qualifiers in yesterday's Independent Baseball Insidercolumn (subscriptions available via www.WirzandAssociates.com), and added research today has our count of current and former Independent players on the rosters of the 16 countries vying to get into next spring's competition up to 33. There mostly likely are even more.
Spain, which blanked France 8-0 Thursday night, accounts for at least 11 players itself, including seven who were in Indy leagues this summer. First baseman Barbaro Canizares of American Association champion Winnipeg had a home run among his two hits in the Spaniard's opener. He drove in two runs.
Infielder Paco Figueroa (Southern Maryland) went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs while shortstop Yunesky Sanchez of Laredo, TX (American Association) was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run. Nick Schumacher of Sioux City, IA (American Association) got the win when he allowed only four hits in 6.1 innings.
The other 2012 Indy players with Spain are hurlers Eddie Morlan of Southern Maryland and Richard Salazar of Sioux City, outfielder Yasser Gomez of McAllen, TX (United/NAL).
Infielders Rene Leveret of Quebec (Can-Am League) and Carlos Hereaud of Edinburg, TX (United/NAL) had two of the five hits for France.
At least eight of the countries have players with an Independent background.
INDY LEAGUERS BOTH WIN AND LOSE
I wonder how many fans noticed the American League game last weekend when Craig Breslow got a victory for Boston and Steve Delabar took the loss for Toronto. It was a rare event in that both played in Independent Baseball, Breslow with the New Jersey Jackals when they still were in the Northeast League and Delabar with Brockton, MA of the Can-Am League. Delabar also has experience with Florence, KY of the Frontier League.
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