OLD ORCHARD BEACH, ME – The Puerto Rico Islanders first baseman and league leader in Home Runs, Jacob Bissell, defeated New York Bucks Simon Palenchar in the final round to win the 2018 Empire League All Star Game Home Run Derby.
Bissell, will now join the team as their regular first baseman.
Bissell is leading the league with 4 Home Runs and is currently in 4th place in RBIs with 24 in 104 plate appearances. He was a key player in the game versus the Puerto Rico National Team and will now have his second chance in the Frontier League.
The Islanders, who are currently in 2nd place in the standings, will look to replace Bissell to begin the second half of the season which will begin on Tuesday night to decide who will make the 2018 EPBL Playoffs.
Article by Empire Media
AGUADA, PR – The Puerto Rico Islanders defeated the Plattsburgh RedBirds in game one of todays double header in walk off fashion.
Not the kind of walk off we are used to but a walk off is a walk off. The Game ended on a wild pitch to score the runner from third.
Angel Perez and Jacob Bissell powered the team with a home run blast each while Kyle Schade had two hits in the game including a double and 2 runs. JJ Bissells big fly gave him 3 RBIs in the day and the Empire League lead in Home Runs with 4.
Luis Contreras got the start for the Islanders and went 5 innings of work striking out 8 RedBirds batters. He did give up 4 earned runs and got the no decision. John Patrick Gonzales tossed 2 innings allowing 2 runs striking out 1 batter and earning the victory.
The RedBirds sent out Damian Boyum to close the game out for the RedBirds as they scored 4 runs in the top of the 6th inning and gave up 2 runs to the Islanders offense in the 6th to tie the ball game.
In the bottom of the 7th tied at 1, Marcus Guzman was hit by the pitch. He then stole second base and advanced to third on a ground out to the right side of the field. He would then end up scoring the game winning run on a wild pitch to end the game in a rare walk off moment.
The Islanders remain in first place and improve to (15-8) on the season.
Article by Empire Media
AGUADA, PR – The Puerto Rico Islanders sent Matt Quintana to the mound and thats all they needed as he tossed a complete game shutout to defeat the Plattsburgh RedBirds and remain at the top of the standings alone in first place.
The Islanders All Star went all 9 innings without allowing a single run. He struck out 10 RedBirds batters giving up just 2 hits and walking 3 batters. A major league performance for the All Star right hander who earned a league leading 4th victory of the season.
The Islanders scored 5 runs on 5 errors by the RedBirds and that right there says it all. Kyle Schade and remaining red hot for the Islanders Shota Sugawara both had 2 hits in this one with Schade driving in 2 runs. Marcus Guzman also drove in two.
Matt Quintana improves his record to a perfect (4-0). The team is now (14-8) sitting alone in first place.
The teams will face off once again tomorrow for a double header starting at 10am and 2pm.
Article by Empire Media
TAMPA, FL – The Empire League has announced the players who will be participating in this years All Star Game in Old Orchard Beach Maine on July 16th.
The selection has been made by the Empire League based on statistics up until today. The All Star Game festivities are set to begin at 3pm Eastern Time with the Home Run derby followed immediately by the All Star Game.
The Home Run Derby will feature the most powerful hitters in the league that will have 10 outs to advance until the 2nd round of 4 players. The 2nd round will determine who will advance to the final 2 spots in RD 3 of also 10 outs.
The All Star Game will feature the best in the league in terms of statistics .The Top team in each division will determine the manager of the teams.
The West side will feature the Plattsburgh RedBirds, New Hampshire Wild and New York Bucks. The East side will be the Puerto Rico Islanders, Aguada Explorers and the hometown Old Orchard Beach Surge.
Tickets for the game will be available at the gate box office.
For a complete list of the All Star Game participants, click here
AGUADA, PR – The Puerto Rico Islanders have defeated the Old Orchard Beach Surge for the third straight game in pitching duel.
The Old Orchard Beach starter Ricky Schafer tossed a complete game for the Surge striking out 6 batters but made 2 mistakes that cost him big and the loss. The Puerto Rico Islanders Starter Matt Quintana went for 7 innings and striking out 9 Surge batters taking the victory.
The Surge took the lead in the 7th inning when Outfielder Ryan Chesney tripled to the right center gap and was driven in shortstop DJohn Subers single. Suber led the team offensively with 2 hits joining teammate John Tierney Jr . Tierney Jr has been red hot for the Surge lately in the lead off role but could not get a run across.
The Islanders answered back in the bottom of the seventh when Angel Perez scored on a passed ball to tie the game. Henry Blanco would single and would be followed by brother Herny Blanco who hit a towering home run over the left field wall to make it a 3-1 ball game. But the Islanders would not stop there as Shota Sugawara singled and JJ Bissell matched Blanco with a monster shot for himself of the right center wall to give the Islanders a 5-1 lead and the win.
Winning pitcher is Matt Quintana with Axel Cruz earning the save. Losing pitcher was Ricky Schafer. Both teams will face off tomorrow for the 4th game of the series in Aguada Puerto Rico at 2pm.
Article by Empire Media
RINCON, PR – The Islanders Ace from Curacao, Wendell Floranus, has set the new single regular season game strikeout record as he fanned 15 Old Orchard Beach Surge players in route to victory.
The Islanders defeated the Surge at the hand of Islanders Ace Wendell Floranus who was more then spectacular. Every pitch he made seemed to be perfect. The Old Orchard Beach Surge were able to string a couple of runs together after Floranus was pulled from the game in the 7th inning, but it was not enough. Floranus finished with 7 innings pitched allowing 4 hits and no earned runs with 15 strikeouts.
The Old Orchard Beach Surge rally started in the 8th inning when Islanders reliever Brendan Henriquez came in to pitch. The scoring began with a double by Alejandro Rodriguez followed by an Islanders error that allowed Surge Shortstop John Tierney Jr to drive in a run with a single. The Surge offense was led by John Tierney Jr and Daniel Dominguez in which both had 2 singles each and an RBI for Tierney.
Nick Landell was the offensive star of the game for the Islanders as he cranked a nice double to the left center gap and provided the Islanders with two runs. But it would all be left for starter Wendell Floranus.
Floranus has now thrown a total of 24 innings and has only allowed 5 earned runs while striking out a league leading 45 batters and only 8 walks in the season.
I’ve felt more comfortable as the season has gone by and i think my stuff is getting better every day. Today I felt great and i’m blessed to be able to say I have that record here in the Empire League – RHP Wendell Floranus
Matt Colon of the Surge couldn’t be ignored as he went for 4 innings allowing 2 earned runs while striking out 6 Islanders on just 4 hits.
With this win, the Islanders improve to (8-7) and are currently in second place with the Surge right behind them at (9-8) in third place.
Both teams will face each other off once again for game 2 of the series tomorrow afternoon at 1pm in Aguada Stadium in Puerto Rico.
Article by Empire Media
AGUADA, PR – The Explorers have come alive and together in the past two games to defeat the second place Islanders two games in a row.
The Explorers exploded for 16 total hits in this one to the Islanders 11 to defeat the Islanders by a large margin of 11-3. Brendan Henriquez started for the Islanders and was tagged for 10 earned runs in 6.1 innings of work taking the loss. Andre Solomon pitched a phenomenal game for the Explorers going for a complete game allowing 4 earned runs in what was the best game the Explorers have come together to play.
Terrell Tate, James Dockery and Cory Slater all stayed hot with 3 hits a piece while Terrell Thompson had two in the day. There was a lot of hitting going on and a lot of scoring for the Explorers who in two games have outscored the Islanders. Tate had 3 runs while Marc Culmer and James Dockery both scored 2. Dockery didn’t miss many baseballs as he had 3 doubles in this one.
Angel Garced, JJ Bissell led the offense for the Islanders as they both had 3 hits with two of Bissells hits being doubles. The Islanders signed new catcher Henry Blanco son of former major leaguer Henry Blanco and he made an immediate impact going 2 for 4 joining teammate Angel
Andre Solomon completed a well pitched game and will give the Explorers their 3rd win of the season and improve to (3-10) while the Islanders take the loss and sit at (7-5).
The teams will travel to Cidra, Puerto Rico to play a double header tomorrow morning to decide the series. Game times are set to 10am and 2pm.
RINCON, PR – The Islanders top hitter outfielder Shota Sugawara has been suspended by the league for the next 4 games which will be the remaining games of this series.
Sugawara, who has averaged two hits per game absolutely crushing baseballs this season, had two hits again last night . However, Sugawaras third at bat may have frustrated him when the Explorers shortstop shifted into the third base shortstop hole. Sugawara hit a line drive that wouldve been a single but a well placed shortstop in an unsual place was able to make the play to prevent the Islanders outfielder from reaching base and potentially driving in two more runs.
On his final at bat, Sugawara struck out swinging and this is where the incident occured. After the strikeout, Sugawara turned to the back of the Left handers batters box and attempted to slam his bat into the ground breaking equipment and getting tossed out of the game.
Whether it was intentional or not, Sugawaras actions were under the leagues rules of conduct. Any player tossed from a game is to suffer a 3 game suspension. Additional punishment may be added if a player breaks more rules. In Sugawaras case, breaking equipment earned an additional game.
The Empire League does not tolerate such behavior and will continue to penalize players for unprofessional behaviors. Other examples around the league include Tyler McVicar of the Old Orchard Beach Surge who was released after being tossed for a second time this season.
Sugawara will serve his suspension immediately and will be excluded from all team activities.
Article by Empire Media
AGUADA, PR – The Empire League system is not all about just playing baseball. Its about building professional athletes to become the best they can be on and off the field while providing a fun, family oriented , positive entertainment for our families in our locations.
These first couple of weeks have been outstanding in our communities as each team has visited either youth camps, hospitals, or ran clinics to inspire young children to stay in school, get involved in sports and provide a positive dream for their futures.
The Puerto Rico Islanders Manager Tony Rodriguez with players Will Ramos, Luis Contreras and Willie Concepcion, got together with the Aguada Explorers manager Joey Molina and players Kyle Robinson, James Dockery, Terrell Thompson, Samuel Carter and Ryan Rivera, to provide a clinic for youth summer camps all around the Island. So far they have successfully provided knowledge, inspiration and created dreams for one of the 8 programs set up to visit.
The Plattsburgh RedBirds have also had camps and clinics for kids in the Plattsburgh community and have done a fantastic job involving themselves with the youth in all aspects of life led by RedBirds leader Sandra Perry and 13 of the 20 rostered players who had a blast in the past weeks camp.
In Old Orchard Beach, our Mascot Surgio and front office staff have toured the entire city sharing memories, taking pictures and putting smiles on children and adults faces as they have been non stop providing their own donated time to entertain and expose the leadership roles these ball players take on every single day.
These pictures show the character, love, passion for the game and involvement in the community that it takes to be a professional athlete. Here at the Empire Professional Baseball League, its not just about building a better baseball player, its about building an Empire! Building athletes into better people, involving the communities around us to create a fun, healthy, positive environment anywhere the league is around.
On behalf of the Empire League executives we thank those players, coaches, staff and communities for your hard work and support in continuing to make our homes an enjoyable and positive place for our future generation.
“This program that we have here is special. It’s not about the owners, its not about the coaches, our time has past. It’s about building an empire for these young ball players in becoming positive role models anywhere they go and inspiring the next generation to be better then us. Coming to a ball game and paying $5 at the gate doesn’t make this league rich. It helps with the expense of keeping this going. Every dollar we make goes right back to these men for everything they’re doing. With the help and support of our great communities, we can work together to make our towns better day by day. ” VP of Baseball Jerry Gonzalez
Below are some pictures of our recent interaction with our Empire League Communities. We would love to support as much as possible. Any members of the community that would like to work together with us, email us at Baseball@empireproleague.com
Article by Empire Media