Atlantic Baseball League..Graczyk and Mannuccia Start With Great Expectations
There are 3 divisions in the Atlantic Baseball League. Each one with a distinctive name, like the Wolff Division named after legendary sportscaster of the ‘50’s Bob Wolff, the Kaiser Division named after the legendary high school baseball coach Jack Kaiser, and the Hampton Division which is practically a league of their own that also serves as a division in the Atlantic Baseball League. It stretches from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and into Torrington Connecticut. Their lists of former players that have moved on to the big stage include Frank Viola, Jaime Moyer, Craig Biggio, Eric Young, and Matt Morris just to name a few. This summer, the league is being led offensively by outfielder Zack Graczyk. He’s a freshman who’s been excelling in Division 2 baseball with C.W Post University, and this year he’s raising more sights as a Torrington Titan in the Atlantic Baseball League. As a freshman this past spring, Gracyzk was an All-East Region 1st Team member, the Rawlings Regional Rookie of the Year, All-East Coast Conference 1st team member, and the ECC player of the year. Graczyk was a step above what a freshman is supposed to be in college baseball, and the country took notice. This summer, he’s continuing with his prowess hitting .448 after 29 at bats, and is trying to get his team past the 1st place Staten Island Tide in the Kaiser Division.
Another freshman bat in the league is Chad Livingston of the Westhampton Aviators. He didn’t get to play much at SE Louisiana University, only 13 at bats and hit .154 learning that college baseball is no joke like the microphone fiend. But, as a Tide this summer, Livingston is hitting .440 after 25 at bats and is tied for 2nd place with the Southampton Breakers in the Hampton Division. In his last game against the Riverhead Tomcats, Livingston had two RBI doubles and a pair of runs scored by the 3rd inning in a 7-1 victory. Two pitchers looking to gain stability and using the summer leagues to attain it are North Fork Osprey’s James Stone, and freshman Anthony Mannuccia of the Sag Harbor Whalers. Stone is 3-0, 0.00, after 15 innings and 13 strikeouts. His spring was spent pitching 18 innings at Fordham University. Stone was tagged up pretty often and his ERA of 7.36 showed the pain.
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The learning process is obviously part of learning and building careers, and it’s no different in the world of baseball. Mannuccia on the other hand is coming off of a successful outing with Hartford University. In his last game he shut out Albany for 7 innings allowing 4 hits and struck out 7. That game is what secured him the America East Rookie of the Year award that he took with him into the Atlantic Baseball League. As a Sag Harbor Whaler this summer, it’s simply an extension of that whirlwind freshman season at Hartford. Mannuccia has gone for 19.1 innings and has escaped the early games with a 1.40 ERA due to a low amount of walks allowed (3). At this point Mannuccia’s Whalers are in dead last in the Hampton Division and have only won 4 games. They are the bottom dwellers offensively as a team, but in pitching, the teams ranks 6 th in the league. The team with the best record in the league is the Staten Island Tide with a record of 7-1 at the moment.
By Adrian Nevarez
DFN Sports Staff Writer