PITCHER OF THE YEAR MATT QUINTANA SIGNS WITH NEW BRITAIN BEES OF THE ATLANTIC LEAGUE

TAMPA, FL – A couple of days after  the Puerto Rico Islanders defeated the New York Bucks to take home the 2018 EPBL Championship Cup, The New Britain Bees sign Empire Leagues Pitcher of the Year in Matt Quintana.

Quintana was named Pitcher of the Year in the Empire League after finishing the season  with a 1.39 ERA in  51.2 innings pitched. He started  7 total games in which he posted a perfect (7-0) record.  Quintana struck out 75 total batters giving him the 3rd most strikeouts totals in an Empire League Season.

Quintana will be putting on the independent leagues top level uniform Saturday night. His role has yet to have been determined.

“The whole purpose of the league is to improve your skills to be able to move up to a higher level.  That is exactly what The Empire League gave me.  I was able to pitch against very good talent and learn and improve after each start I had.  This league is a great way to get your name out there if you have little to no pro experience. Jerry and Eddie Gonzalez both did an excellent job of helping us with that by giving us the opportunity to play in front of both affiliated and independent scouts by using their connections since they have been around the game and also played at very high levels of baseball.  I am very thankful for them and all the managers and GM’s who put in a lot of hard work to make this season happen.  Thank you. ” – Matt Quintana

Quintana has had one of the most successful seasons a player could have in the Empire League and  is a perfect example of what the Empire League’s process is about. Competing and putting up consistent numbers in the Empire League and moving on to play at a major league level is the opportunity the Empire League provides and will continue to do so.

Article by Empire Media

 

PUERTO RICO WINS 2018 EPBL CHAMPIONSHIP

PLATTSBURGH, NY – The Puerto Rico Islanders have defeated the New York Bucks in the final two games of the series to become the 2018 Empire League Champions.

After falling behind in the series (1-0), The Islanders sent  right hander Kurtis Hultz to the mound to face off against Tanner Klein. Kurtis tossed 5.2 solid innings getting out of several jams after allowing 8 total walks and 2 total hits.. He strike out 2 batters and allow 2 earned runs.

It was another nail biter as the Islanders were up 3-2 in the 9th inning when the Bucks outfielder Trey Hannam hit a double off the wall with a runner on first base to score him and tie the game.

In the bottom of the inning the Islanders would have a runner reach first and would steal second on the very next pitch. With two outs there was a ground ball to the Bucks second baseman in which he made a good throw to first base but the first baseman could not handle it and ball ended up getting passed him allowing the runner to score from second base and a walk-off win for the Islanders.

The Walk off was the 4th straight walk off of the best playoffs in EPBL history to push it the 3rd and final game to be played right after.

In Game 3, The Islander took an early lead and never looked back.  Manager Tony Rodriguez sent pitcher Axel Cruz to the mound and was  solid going over 5 innings pitched  striking out over 5 batters. Cruz, who is normally a reliever was the last available pitcher for the Islanders.

The Islanders exploded in the 5th inning tied at 1 with a 5 run inning. Bucks starter and relief pitchers walked several of the Islanders and a couple of mistakes turned into a big inning for the Islanders

The Islanders never looked back as they would go on to defeat the New York Bucks 7-2 and take the 2018 Empire League Championship.

Article by Empire League

ISLANDERS FALL BEHIND TO BUCKS IN GAME ONE OF FINALS

PLATTSBURGH, NY –  The Empire League playoffs have been something to watch these past couple days as Josh Martinez completes the third walk off of the payoffs in the 3 games played to defeat the Puerto Rico Islanders 3 to 2 in the bottom of the 9th.

The New York Bucks took the 1 – 0 lead when Tyler Post hit a solo homer off Islanders knuckleballer Ryo Sanogawa in the bottom of the 4th inning. The Bucks would tack on another one  when Franklin Jennings tripled to the right center gap and would the score on a single by Catcher Dalton Hughes.

Phil Reese tossed a phenomenal game going  8 complete innings giving up 5 hits, 1 earned run, walking only 2 batters and striking out 7 Islanders. He would give up his first run of the game in the 8th inning when Angel Perez doubled to start off the inning and would score on a base hit by  Nick Landell.

In the 9th inning he would come out of the game after walking the second batter of the inning.  The Puerto Rico Islanders would make a move pinch running Cole Easley for Catcher Yordany Salva who walked. Easley stole second base and advanced to third base when throw to second ended up in center field. The Bucks closer would then give up a single one a 3-2 count to Islanders outfielder Kyle Schade to tie the ball game at 2.

Ryo Sanogawa would take the mound still for the 9th inning and walked the first batter. He was then replaced by Jordan Matos. The runner, Kenny Collins, would steal second base to put himself in scoring position. Islanders decided to intentionally walk the next batter for a potential double play. However Josh Martinez had other plans as he smoked a ball over the left fielder Ryan Riveras head to score the winning run in walk off fashion.

The New York Bucks lead the series (1-0) over the Islanders which means if the Bucks win one more game they would be crowned the Champions of the Empire League for 2018. If the Islanders can win the game tomorrow. They would send it to game 3 to determine who will be the 2018 Empire League Champions.

Game time tomorrow is at 12:00pm at Chip Cummings Field.

Article by Empire Media

ISLANDERS WALK OFF TO ADVANCE TO THE FINALS

PLATTSBURGH, NY –  Todays Wild Card Playoffs did not disappoint anyone in attendance as they got to see two of the best games ever played in Empire League History.

In Game one the Puerto Rico Islanders defeated the New Hampshire Wild 1-0 in a 12 inning pitchers duel. Luis Contreras was beyond perfect as he went  8.1 innings pitched without allowing a single hit.  With this amazing performance, Luis also passed the league leader Matt Vogel in strikeouts and has set the Empire League record after his 13 strikeouts with a season total of 84. The League leader in ERA, Matt Quintana, came in to relief Contreras and struck out 9 batters which puts him 3rd in the season with 75 total strikeouts. The Puerto Rico Islanders set a new record for most strikeouts in a game by striking out 22 total batters.

The Wild got their first hit of the game in the 11th inning which was a pop fly that was  dropped due to miscommunication by the Islanders outfield.

Paul Geha got the start for the New Hampshire Wild and was stellar going 7 innings  allowing just 4 hits and striking out 7 batters.

In the bottom of the 12th Inning, The Islanders outfielder Ryan River hit a single to the left side to score Kyle Schade and advance the Islanders to the Championship Series.

Two great baseball games were played in the Empire League today and great pitching was seen.

The Islanders will face off against the Bucks tomorrow at 1pm for game one of the finals.

Article by Empire Media

PUERTO RICO ISLANDERS CLINCH SPOT IN EPBL PLAYOFFS

PLATTSBURGH, NY – After a loss by the Old Orchard Beach Surge today against the New Hampshire Wild, The Puerto Rico Islanders have clinched a spot in the 2018 Empire League  Playoffs.

The Islanders are currently in Second place looking to finish with the number one or two seed in the overall standings. They will need to win out in the final series against the New Hampshire Wild and get some help from the Plattsburgh RedBirds to take the number one overall seed. The Islanders are  just one game back from the Bucks so a win for the Islanders and loss for the Bucks could come down to a head to head decision.

The number 2 seed will take on the number 3 seed in a one game Wild Card Playoff to see who will advance to the 2018 EPBL Championship series and the number 1 seed will face off against the number 4 seed.

This will be the Islanders first playoff appearance in team history as they missed it by just one game last season.

All Wild Card games will be played on August 10th at Chip Cummings Field.

Article by Empire Media

WENDELL FLORANUS MOVED TO QUEBEC CAPITALES OF CANAM LEAGUE

CONCORD, NH – Wendell Floranus leader in strikeouts in the Empire League has been moved to the Quebec Capitales of the CanAm league.

Floranus broke the Empire League single season record for strikeouts as well as single game strikeout record earlier this season and will get the start this Sunday against Sussex County Miners.

Floranus is currently a member of the Netherlands national team and Puerto Rico Islanders all time leader in strikeouts.

Article by Empire Media

CONGRATULATIONS PUERTO RICO NATIONAL TEAM ON WINNING GOLD MEDALS

CONCORD, NH –   Felicidades a la Federación de Béisbol de Puerto Rico y a todo su equipo de trabajo ganando la medalla de oro en los juegos Centro Americanos.

Felicitamos a su dirigente Juan ‘Igor González, orgullo de Puerto Rico y  por supuesto, a todos los jugadores y el cuerpo de entrenadores por su esfuerzo, entrega y compromiso. De parte de los Puerto Rico Islanders mucho exito!

Article by Empire Media

2017 ISLANDERS LHP MITCHELL HILLERT SELECTED BY IRELAND NATIONAL TEAM

TAMPA, FL – Empire Leagues Left handed pitcher Mitchell Hillert has been selected by the Irish National Team to represent Ireland.

Hillert, is a two year Empire League player who started his career as a  rookie in the Empire Leagues 2017 season with the Puerto Rico Islanders pitching nearly 50 innings and striking out 37 batters posting a (4-3) record.

He would sign once again out of camp in 2018 with the New Hampshire Wild.  Hillert pitched 27 innings striking out 20 batters before departing to Ireland for his first selection in the World Level of competition.

Im exited and beyond happy to represent Ireland and my family from Kildare. – Mitch Hillert

Hillert joins an elite group of Empire League Players who have moved on to play at elite level of professional baseball.

Article by Empire Media

WENDELL FLORANUS BREAKS EMPIRE LEAGUE SINGLE SEASON STRIKEOUT RECORD

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, ME – The Old Orchard Beach Surge (14-17) were outplayed by the Puerto Rico Islanders (20-11), falling 9-0 in Empire Professional Baseball League play Saturday afternoon.
The Islanders scored 4 times in the top of the 3rd and never looked back. A few singles by third baseman Angel Perez and center fielder Markus Guzman followed were followed by a sacrifice fly from first baseman Kyle Schade.
Puerto Rico plated 3 more in the 4th thanks to an RBI single by Perez after a leadoff double by designated hitter Evan Hirschbaum. Shortstop Nick Landell homered to leadoff the 5th and extend the score to 8-0.
The lone extra base hit for the Surge was a double hit by second baseman John Tierney Jr. in the bottom of the 8th. Designated hitter Quinn Tiernan smoked two singles up the middle, going 2-3 on the day. Left fielder Cole Easely got on base 3 times in an 0-2 game, getting hit twice and hitting into a fielder’s choice.
Islanders starting pitcher Wendell Floranus earned the win by pitching 7 shutout innings, giving up 4 hits, walking one and striking out 10. The story here is not only the Islanders win, but Floranus 7th strikeout of the game  was the story of the game as it set the Empire Leagues single season strikeout record. The Strikeout happened in the 6th inning to Surge Outfielder Tony Holton.
There is no telling is anyone will ever catch Wendell unless he moves on, but he leads by 13 strikeouts and the season still has another half to play.
“The guy is just good. He averages 11 strikeouts a game. There’s a reason the Netherlands World Baseball Classic has this guy on the roster facing guys like Shohei Otani. He just turned 23. This guy should be in the Big Leagues” – VP of Baseball Jerry Gonzalez
The Surge play tomorrow morning at 11:00 A.M. in the finale of a 6-game series against the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Article By Empire Media

ISLANDERS COMBINE FOR SHUTOUT WIN AGAINST SURGE

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, ME – The Puerto Rico Islanders defeated the Old Orchard Beach Surge for a third consecutive game and look to turn it around against the Islanders.
Kurtis Hultz got the start on the mound for the Surge, but gave up three early runs in the game. The Surge pitching staff did not give up a run after the 3rd inning Also pitching for the Surge was Matt Colon in the 8th inning allowing no hits, and Chris Ross in the 9th allowing zero hits as well.
Luis Contreras was the starter for the Islanders who threw an impressive 7.0 innings with just seven hits and ten strikeouts. Contreras then was relieved by Jordan Matos and Axel Cruz who threw the 8th and 9th. The Islanders pitching staff had themselves a combined shutout for the day.
Surge have three games left against the Islanders on the season. The two teams will compete this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as the Surge look to gain their first victory over the Islanders on the season to avoid the sweep.
Article by Empire Media