TWO FORMER MERRIMACK BASEBALL ALUMNI ADVANCING THROUGH PROFESSIONAL RANKS
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Two former members of the Merrimack baseball team are progressing through the ranks of Minor League Baseball this summer.
A 2010 alum and one of the top pitchers in program history, Ryan O'Rourke (Worcester, Mass.) has seen his dominance in the Florida State league this season transcend into a promotion in the Minnesota Twins organization, earning a call up to the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats on Tuesday.
A 13th-round selection of the Twins after graduating in 2010, O'Rourke had torn through the first half of the season with High-A Fort Myers, posting a 2.22 ERA in 17 games while posting a 5-1 record on the bump. The Worcester, Mass., native struck out 21 batters over 28 1/3 innings, keeping the opposition without an earned run until June.
The southpaw will now join the New Britain Rock Cats of the Double-A Eastern League. Over the course of the remainder of their season, O'Rourke will have the opportunity to play in ballparks not far from North Andover, where he dominated over four collegiate seasons. Other members of the Eastern League's Eastern Division include the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Manchester, N.H.) and the Portland Sea Dogs (Portland, Maine), both Double-A affiliates of the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, respectively.
Meanwhile, in Billings, Mont., recent Warrior graduate and CoSIDA Academic All-American Joe Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) has been quietly putting up excellent numbers for the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League (Rookie). Mantoni has not yielded an earned run over 6 2/3 innings, striking out 10 and walking four during that span.