Play ball! Gatemen hit the field for home opener on June 13
The Gatemen will return to Spillane Field for summer baseball during the team’s home opener on June 13 at 6:30 p.m. against Cotuit.
Top college players from across the country come to the Cape Cod Baseball League to compete in what many consider the premiere amateur baseball league. Many former players have gone on the careers in the big leagues, including former Gatemen George Springer, who earned the title of World Series MVP last year as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This year, fans may want to keep an eye on Ryan Kreidler. The shortstop and third baseman had been drafted by the Cubs, but opted to graduate from UCLA.
“Going into the draft, I was pretty dead set on going to UCLA, so I just imagined getting drafted late as a total bonus,” Kreidler said. “My family and I really value college both academically and through the relationships you build throughout, so missing out on the best three or four years of your life to get put in Rookie Ball or Low-A didn't seem to match up in our eyes.”
At UCLA, Kreidler has been a starter throughout his first two seasons playing both shortstop and third base despite some ups and downs at the plate and in the field.
Kreidler is hitting just .238 through 100 career games to date and he knows that his bat needs to improve if he is going to play at the next level.
“I need to become a more consistent hitter and find my potential at the plate. I don't think I've shown that in college up to this point, but I definitely believe I can hit at the highest levels of baseball,” Kreidler said. “I have a lot of confidence in myself at the plate, and I definitely want to maximize my potential there to see how good I can become.”
Last month, Kreidler has shown flashes of what his offensive potential is. On May 15, Kreidler went 2-5 with five RBI in a win against CSUN.
Heading into the summer, Kreidler said he is committed to improving his game and has the pleasure of doing so for the Wareham Gatemen.
“Coach Savage [Head Coach at UCLA] told me about this opportunity to play in the Cape and I was all for it. Playing in the Cape has been a goal of mine ever since Cody Keefer, a Davis Senior High School graduate, got to play in the CCBL All-Star game at Fenway Park years ago,” Kreidler said. “I'm really excited to get to Wareham and I'm excited to get to work and win a title.”
The competition of the Cape League also stuck out to Kreidler. A collection of college baseball’s top players in one area was the perfect place to improve his game.
“At UCLA we see really good arms and really good bats throughout our Fall scrimmages and Spring schedule, so I am looking forward to expanding that level of competition into the summer,” Kreidler said.
So what is going to separate Kreidler from some of the best players that the country has to offer?
“One thing I know from playing baseball for this many years is that there will always be a player with better tools than me, but I think the thing that separates me as a player is my feel for the game and my baseball IQ,” Kreidler said. “I have high hopes and goals for myself this summer and am looking forward to succeeding in the Cape because I think this is a big summer for me in my development.”