Worcester, Mass. – A trio of Clark University stars will spend their summers travelling around New England as members of three teams in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
Clark head coach J.P. Pyne returns for his second season as the manager of the Worcester Bravehearts, while Kyle Bonicki is back for his second season in the league – this time suiting up for the Nashua Silver Knights and Cal Slepkow is making his inaugural appearance in the league with the Pittsfield Suns.
The FCBL is made up of elite level collegiate student-athletes from all over the country playing baseball in a minor-league style format in a season that runs from mid-June to mid-August. Teams in the league are all based in New England with locations like Brockton, Mass., Bristol, Conn. and Portsmouth, N.H.
Each team will play a 56-game regular season schedule split evenly with 28 home games and 28 road games.
Pyne's first season with the Bravehearts saw him lead them to a West Division Championship, a berth in the championship series and he managed the West Division All-Star Game.
At Clark, Pyne has turned around the program, combining to win 44 games in his first two seasons, including notching a school-record 26 victories in 2017 when they made their first postseason appearance since 2010.
Bonicki, meanwhile, burst on the scene for the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs. He wound up setting the league record for hits in a season (75), finishing second in the league in batting average (.403) and earning a spot on the All-Star team.
With the Cougars, he became the program's first-ever All-American in 2017 while earning New England Player of the Year honors from D3 Baseball. Now a two-time first-team all-conference selection, Bonicki finished the year ranked in the top ten in the NEWMAC in several statistical, including batting average (.391) runs scored (50), hits (61), doubles (20), triples (7), stolen bases (12), on-base percentage (.462) and slugging percentage (.686).
He had at least one hit in 33 of the 39 games this season, recorded 20 multi-hit games and had four separate hitting streaks of seven games or more.
In addition to those eye-popping numbers, Bonicki set single season school records in doubles (20), runs scored (50), at-bats (156) and total bases (107).
Slepkow should be a frontline starter for Pittsfield after a stellar sophomore campaign with Clark under Pyne's tutelage. He was named both the NEWMAC and Worcester Area Pitcher of the Year after going 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA.
So far in his career, Slepkow is 10-2 overall with a 3.06 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 123.1 innings pitched.
Key Dates To Keep In Mind:
Friday, June 2: Pittsfield at Nashua (Slepkow vs. Bonicki)
Sunday, June 4: Pittsfield at Worcester (Slepkow vs. Pyne)
Saturday, June 17: Bravehearts at Nashua (Bonicki vs. Pyne)