The Catch Earn National Ranking for the First Time Ever

Whether they realize it or not, the Catch’s start to the 2016 summer has put them 29th in the nation, according to the rankings put out by Collegiate Summer Baseball.

By Keaton A. Moore - Sports Information

La Mirada, CA-Often overshadowed by the dominant Cape Cod Baseball League and the professional baseball players it produces, the stellar start of the Southern California Catch has earned them national recognition in Collegiate Summer Baseball. In the first national rankings released by CSB on Friday, June 17, the Catch saw their name ranked 29th among the top 35 summer league teams in the United States.

After starting off the summer with rough weekend in Palm Springs, the Catch found their groove, going 8-4 and earning an overall 11-6 record. Not only are they just one game behind the Healdsburg Prune Packers for the most overall wins the in the CCL, but they hold the second most interleague wins with their 5-4 conference record.

A major reason behind the Catch’s strong start is their extremely powerful offense. Through their first 17 games, Southern California have score five-plus runs in 12 games, including one 18-run game and four 10-run games. After hitting four home runs in their last two games, the Catch now own a total 10 home runs and are tied for second with the Menlo Park Legends for most in the CCL. Three of those home runs were hit by the Catch’s infielder Ethan Lopez (University of Hawaii-Manoa), who is currently one of three players in the league with three home runs. He has also knocked in 12 runs and is joined by Josh Rojas (University of Hawaii-Manoa), who has 13 RBIs, in the top seven in the CCL for RBIs.

On the mound, the Catch’s pitching staff holds a 4.87 ERA, bragging of four pitchers who have not given up a run, including Daniel Jang (Biola University), who is scoreless through seven innings of work from the bullpen. Jake Lochner (Missouri State University) is tied for third in the league for number of strikeouts with 16 and is 1-1 with a 3.76 ERA. Winning his last two starts, Zach Clinton (Liberty University) is one of nine pitchers to lead the league with two wins. He fell victim to one of the games in Palm Springs, but since then has improved to 2-1 with victories against the Long Beach Legends and the South Bay Sliders.

For the second year in a row, the CSB will be evaluating the collegiate summer squads throughout the county and issuing out a weekly ranking of the top 35 teams. A highly qualified board members vote on which teams among the 29 leagues in the CSB are worthy of being nationally ranked. In the first ranking of the summer, the Catch stood alone as the only team from the CCL to be ranked and the second of two teams from California in the top 35. As the summer goes on it will be seen if the Catch can stay in the top 35, but for the first time in their four summers, the Catch are ranked among the top-level summer league teams in the country.