FAIRBORN — Wright State pitchers Ryan Weiss and Zane Collins were making a statement in summer league with strong performances in the Cape Cod League, which fields premiere collegiate players for 10 teams in Massachusetts each year.
Collins is tied for the league lead in victories with four, has an earned-run average of 2.00 and 22 strikeouts for the Cotuit Kettleers. As part of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks staff, Weiss has recorded two wins, an ERA of 2.52 and 27 strikeouts.
After sitting out last summer to recover from a back injury, this type of experience was a first for Weiss.
“I’m used to playing against guys from Ohio and different states around Wright State,” Weiss said. “Here you get a different feel of how coaches treat their players and run their programs. It’s camaraderie that you wouldn’t expect.”
With top college prospects from all over the country in the league, one thing Collins has noticed is the different accents he hears. He has also seen a new level of talent at the plate, with players from national powers like Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss and UCLA to name a few.
“It’s every team’s best one-two-three hitters that I’m facing. The hitters are a step above everybody that we faced during the season,” Collins said. “Everything is so much more competitive. There are scouts and thousands of people there.”
Collins and Weiss were both selected as one of the 50 players in the Cape Cod League All-Star game.
“The All-Star game was probably one of the most fun moments of my life. Being able to share it with one of my best friends (Collins) was unreal,” Weiss said. “I became pretty close with a couple of guys on my team here, and both of them made the team too. When I think about it I get goosebumps because I was so blessed to be able to pitch in an environment like that.”
As a result of pitching against deep lineups this summer, Weiss says that he has learned to be more patient on the mound and play one pitch at a time like WSU coach Jeff Mercer preaches.
“At Wright State if I threw a fastball down the middle it might be a double, but here if I miss my spot it could potentially be a home run,” Weiss said. “In order for me to throw up a zero or have a solid inning I really have to hit my spots and focus in on every pitch. If you take one pitch off it can really be the difference maker in a game.”
The most significant take away for Collins was with his pitching mechanics that are sharper and now have more velocity. He feels this experience could be helpful in the future as well.
“This experience will help if I was blessed to have the chance to play at the next level, especially pitching against good bats and learning how to pitch to different guys,” Collins said.
Fall practices are set to begin for the Raiders in early September.
Story by Alan Hieber, Wright State University.