Hornell’s Eck to finish summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League
Most players of the New York Collegiate Baseball League have returned home for rest and relaxation before heading back to campus this fall.
That’s not the case for Eric Eck (Wofford).
Not long after his NYCBL season ended, Eck agreed to make the trip to Massachusetts and finish the summer season with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the Cape Cod Baseball League. In doing so, the 6-4 right-hander fulfills one of his dreams.
“When you’re younger, you got two thoughts in your head,” Eck said. “I want to play baseball was one of them, another one for me was I want to go play in Cape Cod. When I got back home and got the call, there was no doubt in my mind. I have no problem being up here any longer. Just as long as I can get an opportunity to play. It’s an amazing baseball atmosphere.”
Growing up in Atlanta, GA. Eck first learned of the CCBL during a baseball trip with the East Cobb baseball association.
“One of my summers I played around the Boston area and then I got to see a Cape Cod League game,” Eck recalled. “It was incredible. They bring in fifteen hundred people a night to come watch these guys play summer baseball. I remember watching the game and seeing the unbelievable level of play. I really thought back then that it would be pretty awesome if I could be here one day.”
Eck made 14 appearances with Hornell this summer including two starts late in the season. He struck out seven, walked zero while allowing seven hits and two runs (one earned) over six innings for a win on July 18th. Eck followed that with a 12-strike out performance Saturday in game two of the NYCBL Western Division Semi-finals.
“He was tremendous all summer,” Hornell coach Tony Fuller said. “He obviously came to us and had great stuff. He showed that throughout the year.”
“He was phenomenal,” Fuller said of Eck after the game. “He settled in and kept us in the ball game. He gave us an opportunity to win. That’s all we ask out of him.”
The Buford, GA. native went 4-2 with two saves for the Hornell Dodgers. He struck out 43 and walked 11 in 29.2 innings of work. He surrendered just five extra base hits.
“You can never take anything away from the NYCBL,” Eck said. “You definitely find a good share of really good players there. I couldn’t ask for anything more as far as the competition. Instead of coming straight into the Cape, that was a really good stepping stone.”
Eck will be a spot reliever for a Hyannis club that is one game out of the CCBL playoffs with seven games remaining.
Eck along with several other NYCBL players gained the attention of the MLB Scouting Bureau during workouts prior to the league all-star game in mid-July. Eck got the interest of the Atlanta Braves who had a hand in his placement with the Harbor Hawks.
“That’s what this league (NYCBL) is all about,” Fuller explained. “It’s not always about winning and what not. It’s about giving each player his chance to make a name for himself and move up the ladder. His ability and his work that he did this summer has given him an outstanding opportunity to pitch in the Cape Cod League.”
Eck went 4-3 in 26 appearances out of the bullpen this past spring for the Wofford Terriers of the Southern Conference. As a freshman, he had 16 appearances including nine starts for the Terriers.
The Cape Cod Baseball League was founded in 1885. One of every six Major Leaguers has spent at least one summer on the Cape including Tim Lincecum (Harwich ’05) and Mark Texeria (Orleans ’99). Click here for the all-time list of Cape Cod alumni with MLB experience.
The Cape Cod Baseball League and New York Collegiate Baseball League are members of the Northern Alliance of College Summer Baseball. The NACSB also includes the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, Florida Collegiate Summer League, Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, Southern Collegiate Baseball League and the Valley Baseball League.