ISLANDERS SEAN CRUZ MOVED TO QUEBEC CAPITALES OF THE CANAM LEAGUE

SARANAC LAKE, NY – Shortly after tossing yet another solid game for the Islanders and being named the All Star Game starter, Sean Cruz is now being moved to the Canam League to play for the Quebec Capitales.

In 33 and two thirds innings pitched, Cruz posted an impressive  1.60 earned run average while striking out 28 batters. Cruz has been a dominant pitcher so far including taking down the leagues best Plattsburgh Thunderbirds to just 3 hits.

In 5 Games started, Cruz has a (3-2) record with two complete games and one shutout.

When i saw Sean down in Puerto Rico and he shut the Thunderbirds down, i said this guy has the potential to go a long ways in this game. When Eddie asked me who i thought one of the best pitchers in this league was without hesitation Sean was one of those guys. He deserves this opportunity and we are excited to help yet another player continue his career at a high level. -VP of Baseball Jerry Gonzalez

Article by Empire Media

ISLANDERS HEAD TO ALL STAR BREAK LEADING DIVISION, 6 SELECTED TO ASG

The Empire Professional Baseball League has announced the participants for the 2019 Empire League All Star Game and Home Run Derby that will take place on July 21st in Saranac Lake, New York.

For the players list, visit the   All Star Game link to view the finalist for the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game.

In that list, 6 Islanders have been selected which include Marcus Guzman,  Sean Cruz, Logan Maxwell,  Ethan Payson, Gerald Bautista and Jake Weinberger.

The Home Run Derby will consist of 6 players from the 6 Empire League teams each representing their team. They will compete in a Bracket round 1 in which the 3 winners will advance into the final round swing off. Each player will have 10 outs in every round to hit as many Home Runs as possible.  Kids will be allowed to chase fly balls in the outfield if registered 2 hours prior to the Home Run Derby.  Derby will begin at  1pm and will be followed by the All Star Game.

After the All Star Game, there will be a Tap Take over Annual All Star Night Celebration at Hotel Saranac honoring our veterans in which proceeds will benefit non profit charities starting at 5:30pm. Fans, family and friends are all invited Join us for a celebration  night to remember for a good cause.

Tickets for the All Star Game will be available only at the gate at the Saranac Lake Surge field.  Admission is $10 for adults and Children are free. Get there 2 hours prior to the game for batting practice, autographs, photo opportunities and to witness balls flying into Saranac Lake.

Article by Empire Media

YORDANY SALVA MOVED TO SUSSEX COUNTY MINERS OF THE CANAM LEAGUE

AGUADA, PR –  Top prospect catcher of the 2018 Empire League Champions, Yordany Salva has been moved to the Sussex County Miners of the CanAm League and will join former Plattsburgh Thunderbird Gavin Stupienski as the only two catchers on the team.

Salva was a former Kansas City Royals draft pick who played with the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds in 2017 and Puerto Rico Islanders in 2018 and 2019.

Hes been considered as the leagues top catcher and is now going to continue his career with the Sussex County Miners in the Canam League.

Article by Empire Media

ISLANDERS/THUNDERBIRDS TO PLAY SERIES VERSUS PUERTO RICO NATIONAL TEAM

AGUADA, PR –  The Empire League and the Puerto Rico National team has agreed to play a series of exhibition games in preparation for the 2019 Olympic Games. These games will be played in the historic stadium of San Juan Hiram Bithorn where most Major League Puerto Rico series are played.

These games will provide exposure to the Empire League players looking to play in national teams. The dates will be July 4, July 9th and July 11th. The team that will be participating in these games will be a combination of the Puerto Rico Islanders with reinforcements of the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds who will be playing in a series down in Puerto Rico.

The Empire League played in these exhibition games last year and came up short in a well fought games as the Puerto Rico national team defeated the Empire League select team 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th inning.

“Its about opportunities for everyone. The national team needs good competition to practice and they got it last year from us and they went on to win Gold. Puerto Rico Islanders catcher Yordany Salva won a gold medal last season as a part of that national team.  It should be fun and exciting to watch and  we are happy for the exposure our guys will get as well as the competition we will provide the national team as they prepare for world competition.” – Jerry Gonzalez Director of Baseball

These guys will be streamed lived through facebook and other social medias. Follow us at Empire Pro League on facebook for more.

Article by Empire Media

YORDANI SALVA SENT TO GARY SOUTHSHORE RAILCATS OF THE AA

TAMPA, FL – The Empire Professional Baseball League has officially sent 2-time EPBL Champion and Puerto Rico National team catcher Yordani Salva to the Gary Southshore Railcats of the American Association.

Salva won a championship in the EPBL in 2017  with Plattsburgh  and in 2018 with the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Salva posted  a .222 batting average in only 30 plate appearances in 2018 while throwing out  a league high 85% of base runners.

Article by Empire Media

MATT QUINTANA SIGNS WITH JOLIET SLAMMERS

TAMPA, FL – The Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League have signed  Right handed pitcher Matt Quintana for the 2019 season. Quintana spent the 2018 season with the Puerto Rico Islanders, Champions of the Empire  League.

Quintana posted Cy Young numbers  in 2018 with a 1.39 ERA  going (7-0) with 1 complete game and a shutout in 51.2 innings pitched. He only walked 16 batters while striking out 75.

Article by Empire Media

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