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2022 New England Summer Series: Team Preview - GBG Northeast Hawks


Bruce Hefflinger and Dylan Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer and Editor in Chief/NW Scout

 

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Eight of the top organizations in New England have teamed up with Prep Baseball Report to form a new league that will benefit players and colleges alike.

The PBR New England Summer Series will begin in late June to the delight of those involved.

“College coaches can come out to see the best organizations in the area,” explained Rich Gilbride, the director of the league. “A bunch of colleges in New England have asked why can’t we get something together at one venue for them to come out and watch and we finally decided to get one together. Everyone thought it was a great idea.”

The eight-team league will play four games once a week at Fraser Field in Lynn, Ma,, a 5,000-seat venue that has played host to many minor league teams over the years. Games will be nine innings in duration and be held at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. every Tuesday beginning on June 28.

Players throughout each organization in the 2023-2025 graduating classes will participate.

“These are high-level organizations that already send kids on to play college baseball,” Gilbride said. “This will only help bring maximum exposure for players in each organization.”

The Expos, Gilbride’s organization, will be joined in the newly formed league by the U.S. 9 Prospects, GBG Hawks, J & M Baseball Academy, Northeast Baseball, New England Ruffnecks, River Rats and Team Boston. Each will play one game each week over a seven-week season, with play ending on Aug. 16.

2022 New England Summer Series: Team Preview - GBG Northeast Hawks

GBG Northeast Hawks

Chris Welch speaks about the organization.

An organization that started with three teams in 2010 will now have 25 this summer, with two 16U and 17U teams along with one 18U team.

“When we started our number one thing was player development,” noted Chris Welch, director of college development as well as head coach of one of the 17U summer teams. “We’ve kept that up and the result is high-level teams.”

In the beginning the youngest age group was 13U, but now it starts at 10 years of age.

“We strive to develop and I think we do a good job of developing over the winter,” Welch related. “One of the unique things we do is a four-month training program one or two times a week with individual training along with team practice on the weekends.

“Our core players come from 30 to 40 minutes away from the RBI Facility,” added Welch, whose organization is based out of Foxboro. “Our players choose to play with us while looking to improve, not just for college.”

The idea behind GBG Hawks focuses on the growth of those involved.

“Our philosophy is player development first, but that can be tricky,” Welch explained. “You try to find players that want to put the work in while finding coaches that want to make it work.”

The PBR New England Summer Series fits in well.

“We know the other organizations are really top notch,” Welch said. “We looked at our schedule and there were a lot of holes in it. This is good to fill in. It provides competitive games, but not a tournament. I think it can help with development and improvement. It’s a great opportunity for colleges to see high-level talent in the middle of the week.”

Welch also looks forward to the season ahead.

“We go into every year with the perspective of doing what’s best for the teams that year,” Welch explained. “But a lot of what we do are staples. PBR events on the north shore for sure and other tournaments.

“We as an organization don’t put focus on travel. Our top teams travel one weekend. Our 17s are doing the PBR LakePoint event this year for the first time. Other than that, there are plenty of opportunities in our area. The events we’ve done with PBR have been successful and we want to put focus on those.”

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