Rockville Express strong league contenders

david photo - rockville expressThe Rockville Express Baseball program looks to continue its winning ways as the playoffs are right around the corner. The Rockville Express has a 17-13 record and currently holds the No. 4 spot in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL). 

After starting the season with a rough 0-2 start, the Rockville Express is one of only four teams with winning records in the CRCBL. The Express has been one of the more successful teams in the league for the last couple of years, posting a 56-34 record over the last two seasons and a CRCBL regular season championship in 2012. Their last league championship was in 2007.

The Express has had their fair share of former players going on to play professionally. A total of 35 former Express players have been drafted or are playing professional baseball, including Justin DeFratus, who plays for the Philadelphia Phillies, and Joe Smith, who has played for the Mets, Cleveland Indians, and Los Angeles Angels. 

The Express has five players in the CRCBL Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.

The Express has been batting well with a team batting average of .258 and five home runs this season. Four players have batted over .300 with at least 90 at bats.

The Express isn’t pitching as strongly, with a team ERA of 3.71.  The Express has 221 team strikeouts on the season.

Outfielder Romeo Cortina leads the league in homeruns with four and has a batting average of .317 on the season. Pitcher Mike Bittel, from Seton Hill University, is No. 5 in strikeouts on the year.  Bittel also has the sixth best ERA in the league with a 1.71.

Other players near the top in categories include Brandon Benson, from Georgia College & State University, and Anton Constantino from Slippery Rock University. Benson is fifth in the league in RBI with 20. Constantino is tied for second in the league with three wins.

The Express are going through a rough patch in their season as they are 2-3 in the last five games. The team won their last game 5-4 against the D.C. Grays.

The team’s next game is against the FCA Herndon Braves on July 17 at Montgomery College at 7 pm. The Braves won 5-3 the last time they played The Express. The Express are 1-2 on the season against the Braves.

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