Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bobcats Media Day presented by Elliot Sports Medicine

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Bobcats Media Day is set for Sunday, March 9, once again hosted by Elliot Sports Medicine at the River's Edge Conference Center at 4 p.m. Players will receive their 2014 jerseys, have portraits taken for the season, conduct interviews and meet with Elliot Sports Medicine staff in this pro-style event. Bobcats staff photographer Kevin Littlefield will be on hand for the photo shoot and members of the media are invited for player and coach interviews.

For parents, this is a great opportunity to meet with orthopaedic doctors and ask questions, learning about arm health and preventative care. In 2013, the New Hampshire Bobcats and Elliot Sports Medicine formed a partnership that combines youth baseball with the state's most comprehensive health and orthopaedic care center. Elliot Sports Medicine is the presenting sponsor and official healthcare provider of the Bobcats, an elite travel program offering instruction and long-term development of the state's top players.

The Bobcats and Elliot Sports Medicine physicians offer educational discussions on strength training, preventative care, rehabilitation and overall arm health throughout the off-season and regular season. In addition, Elliot Sports Medicine is the presenting sponsor for the Bobcats Classic on April 12-13, at Gill Stadium of Manchester.

"In a short amount of time, the New Hampshire Bobcats have established themselves as a powerful and respected program. We are thrilled to be working together and providing our extensive resources to help these kids stay healthy and chase their long-term goals," said Jonathan Mack, MD, Medical Director of Elliot Sports Medicine.

The Manchester-based Bobcats provide winter training and play a 25-30-game schedule from April into July. The rapidly growing program consists of development teams ages 11 through 15. Home games are played at St. Anselm College and Manchester Memorial High, in addition to games at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, home of the Double-A Fisher Cats.

"This partnership couldn't be more of a perfect fit. When I hurt my shoulder last year, I was blown away by the by overall experience -- from x-rays to physical therapy -- that was provided by Elliot Sports Medicine," said Kevin Gray, Bobcats director of operations. "It's comforting to know we can count on Elliot Sports Medicine for the very best in year-round healthcare for our players."

The Elliot offers expert personal and individualized care in the diagnosis and treatment of all orthopaedic conditions, including sports injuries, trauma care, joint replacement surgery and most musculoskeletal conditions. Elliot Orthopaedic Surgical Specialists offer experienced sports medicine physicians, caring therapists, and the most advanced equipment to help you return to sports. Our on-site x-ray, advanced imaging, bracing services, and all electronic medical records are fully integrated within the Elliot Health System to provide fast, high-quality and streamlined medical evaluation and treatment for your sports injury.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Have fun!"

Some younger Bobcats had a chance to practice today with Kevin McGowan, drafted in the 13th round by the New York Mets in 2013. The 6-foot-6 righty played at Nashua North and emerged into a dominant pitcher at Franklin Pierce, reaching 97-mph on the radar. McGowan worked with Bobcats pitchers and gave an important message to the group: "The biggest thing is to keep having fun." Last season, McGowan pitched for the Brooklyn Cyclones, making 14 appearances and posting a 5.28 ERA with 27 strikeouts and eight walks. He is off to Florida this week for some early workouts before the official start of spring training. Good luck, Kevin!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hunter Judd to lead 16u Bobcats

The Bobcats are excited to announce the addition of former Southern New Hampshire University pitcher Hunter Judd to their coaching staff. Judd, 22, grew up in Pittsburg and led his high school team to a state championship in 2009. He will serve as head coach of the 16U team during the summer of 2015. Judd guided the Bobcats 15u squad to the New England Baseball League semifinals in 2014. A year earlier, he coached the Bobcats in the Fall League and also served as the Goffstown junior varsity coach, guiding the club to a 16-0 record. He was also a student-assistant coach at SNHU. In 2010, he Judd won the prestigious Wendy's High School Heisman Award for athletic and academic excellence and community service.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Let's keep working on that foundation for success. Practice with a purpose. Do the little things right. Push yourself when the coach isn't watching ... The Bobcats are excited about two more tournaments we have entered, War at the Shore for Memorial Day weekend in East Lyme, Conn., and Baseball Heaven on Long Island on May 30-June 1. All teams are going except the 15u team at Baseball Heaven ... Congrats to Jack Dalton, who won a Bobcats BP jacket with a flawless performance in Knockout on Sunday. 

Bobcats 11u and 12u teams with Coach LaRocca.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter workout notes, Jan. 11-12

Great job this weekend by everyone who attended practice at Ultimate Sports Academy. Remember, there are no shortcuts. All of our teams are loaded with talent, and we have high expectations for 2014. Check out the New England Elite Baseball League by clicking on the link. Divisions for 2014 have been posted ... Congrats to the following players, who have been offered roster spots recently: Wyatt Allaire (12u) of Dover, Chris Chow (11u) of Hooksett (11u), Sam DiCicco (11u) of Hooksett and Jack Lano (11u) of Strafford. The coaches also gave some great messages to the kids this weekend about the mental game. Below, coach Chris "Mac" McKenzie talks about Stephen Drew's struggles at the plate (6-for-54 in the playoffs) and how he always played great defense.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Batting average can be evil

Numbers are such a part of baseball -- and they can be fun and informative -- but don't ever let a batting average define someone as a hitter. We stress "quality at-bats" and hardly ever talk about batting average because we're striving for something much bigger: developing players to consistently hit the ball hard and become a team player. Let's examine what could be a typical day at the plate for a young hitter:

First AB -- Runner on the second. Squares up the ball hard and rips a grounder to the shortstop, who makes an error. The runner scores. 
Second AB -- Great timing on the swing and rips a liner to center field that is caught.
Third AB -- Runner on third base, one out. With the infield playing back, he works the count and bounces a grounder to second base. He is out but the run scores.
Fourth AB -- Runner at second, nobody out. Waits on a curveball and hits a grounder to second base again, advancing the runner to third.

The team wins but the player went 0-for-4 in the scorebook despite having four quality at-bats. He isn't happy on the ride home. When he goes on Facebook later, his friends ask "how many hits you get?" The answer is none. His confidence takes a hit ... In reality, he should be commended for having four excellent ABs and helping the team win. The next game, he is feeling anxious at the plate and begins to press. He lunges at the first good pitch and bounces a week grounder to third because he's too early on the swing. Had the player been relaxed and confident, he might have smoked a double into the gap. This is a great lesson on the approach to hitting. It was first brought to my attention by Steve Springer of the Blue Jays, who sent me a CD about 10 years ago. The guy is a master of the mental side of the game ... Batting average makes for great eye candy when things are going well. Bobcats slugger Cody Morissette led all of 13u and 14U Elite Baseball League hitters with a ridiculous .627 average last season. This may sound funny but his stats were never mentioned until a year-end banquet. He also had a 34-game hitting streak, which was never mentioned until after the season. No need. The goal was to hit the ball hard every time. His first hit of the season actually was a bunt in a 32-degree game at Daniel Webster College.  -- KG

Connor Singh rips a pitch at Franklin Pierce tourney in 2013.

Photo by Kevin Littlefield

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter workout notes

The next practice for all teams is Wednesday night at the St. Anselm College Carr Center, which has three courts and a large batting cage. Please no outdoor footwear for practice. Bring a pair of sneakers ... Catchers, always bring your gear.
11U, 12U, 13U: Practice is 6:00-7:30 p.m.
14U, 15U: Practice is 7:30-9:00 p.m.

The opening weekend at Ultimate Sports Academy was a big success. The lighting, spacious field and netting system are much appreciated. Congrats to 11U player Christopher Chow, who won a Knockout championship and new Bobcats hoodie ... The Bobcats are preparing for a trip to Vero Beach, Fla., with games at Dodgertown on Feb. 15-17. We are also entering tournaments for all teams at "War at the Shore" on Memorial Day weekend and Baseball Heaven on Long Island May 30-June 1.

Baseball Heaven, Long Island, N.Y.