When the Western Division starters sprint onto the field for the NECBL All-Star game on Sunday in Vermont, North Adams' Jeff Roy will help lead the team out just as he does in North Adams for SteepleCats' home games.
Roy, a speed and power threat, is one of five SteepleCats who will represent North Adams this weekend. He is the only starter. Tom Bamman was named the team's closer, while set-up man Matt Longfield will be in the bullpen. Charlie Law and Brett Clements are both reserves for the Western Division.
Roy has 20 steals and 10 doubles on the season, making him the all time leader in steals for the SteepleCats. He is also just the third player in NECBL history to have at least 20 steals and 10 doubles in a single season.
"It's just a lot of hard work, working out and doing everything to stay in shape," Roy said. "It's just running the bases well and hitting to contact. Speed is always a power threat, sometimes I can leg out singles into doubles."
Whether it's a single or a double, North Adams' manager Bryan Adamski knows Roy will get himself into scoring position.
"If Jeff gets a leadoff hit, I don't need to bunt him over," Adamski said. "I'll just give him the at-bat and he'll steal second. You're saving outs, is basically what you're doing when you have guys like Jeff and Shane [Klemke], who also runs well, at the top of your order."
The All-Star nod isn't the first achievement of the baseball
Roy has learned to trust himself and make good reads when it comes to stealing bases.
"That's what my head coach [Jim Foster] at URI says is just trust yourself and your speed," Roy said. "I don't really need to get the signs [to steal]. It's just about being smart, knowing what the count is and knowing how many outs there are. That and not running on stupid pitches.
"It's all about getting comfortable and trying to read pitchers. A lot of people think you steal on the catchers, but you don't. You go on the pitchers."
The sophomore outfielder from Cranston, Rhode Island is hoping to play baseball at the next level when he is done at URI.
"He is relentless, he is one of the fiercest competitors that I have seen play," Adamski said. "He's just flying around all over the field. He has the tools to play at the next level. It's fun watching him play each and every night."
After stealing 22 bases and batting .356 with 38 RBI, 15 doubles and 84 hits this spring for Rhode Island, Roy has hit .333, with 39 hits, 10 doubles and 20 stolen bases.
Adamski has also had the pleasure of watching four other NECBL All-Stars perform on the diamond night in and night out this summer.
Law is bouncing back from Tommy John surgery as a pitcher and making a name for himself with the bat.
"I think Charlie is the best two-way player in the league," Adamski said. "I think with what he's been able to do, and doing it while battling back from his laundry, list of injuries is pretty amazing."
Law leads the SteepleCats in average (.345), home runs (six) and RBI with 33. In 28 2/3 innings pitched this year he has an ERA of 4.40 with 28 strikeouts.
Clements has found a home in the middle of the SteepleCats' lineup as the No. 4 hitter. He's also has been solid behind home plate. He is hitting .333 with 18 RBI and three homers this year.
The SteepleCats' lethal late-inning pitching combination will also be on display.
"Longfield and [Bammann] are kind of two in the same," Adamski said. "They're the best late inning combo, I think, in the league. Those guys have been very solid for us back there."
Longfield has been a reliable lefty out of the pen in the late inning to set things up for closer Bammann. Bammann is second in the league with five saves.
Longfield features an ERA of 1.66 in 21 1/3 innings. He has struck out 30 opposing batters and allowed just six walks.
Bammann has compiled an ERA of 1.13 in 24 innings so far this year. He has allowed just 10 hits and three earned runs, while striking out 20 batters.
The SteepleCats' broadcaster, Chris Aliano, will also make an All-Star appearance. He was selected to broadcast the game for the Western Division.