- By Michael Cooper Contributing Writer
Shawnee High School graduate and Wright State University baseball player Seth Gray may be spending his time at the beach this summer, but he hasn’t had much time to work on his tan.
The Cape Cod League, a prestigious summer collegiate baseball league in Massachusetts, is all baseball, all the time, he said.
“It’s an opportunity not a lot of people get,” Gray said. “I want to enjoy it and take it all in while I can. I’m here for baseball. We play every day.”
In 13 games this season, Gray is hitting .281 with four RBIs for the Hyannis (Ma.) Harbor Hawks, located about a mile from the Atlantic Ocean.
After a few weeks in Massachusetts, the level of competition is exactly what he expected.
“The best players in the country are here from all over,” Gray said. “I feel like I’m holding my own pretty well and competing the best I can.”
As a sophomore at Wright State this season, Gray started all 56 games at third base, hitting .267 with 54 hits, 37 RBIs, 15 doubles and three home runs. He was named to the All-Horizon League Second Team for the second straight season.
The Raiders went 39-15 this season, winning the Horizon League Conference Championship. Gray was named All-Tournament Team. The Raiders advanced to the NCAA Regionals where they were eliminated by Baylor University .
After his freshman season, Gray knew playing in the Cape Cod League was a possibility. He signed to play with Hyannis in February.
Clark County natives Adam Eaton and Derek Toadvine each played in the Cape Cod League before being selected in the MLB Draft. Eaton played for the Cotuit Kettleers, while Toadvine played for the Orleans Firebirds.
“It’s cool knowing some of those professional players have played here,” Gray said. “It’s exciting to see where my future is going to go.”
Professional baseball may be a possibility for Gray in the future, he said. Several of his Wright State teammates were selected in the Major League Baseball draft earlier this month.
“I think I’m in the right place to be drafted next year,” he said. “I think I’m going to have a good opportunity to play professional baseball.”
With scouts at nearly every game, he knows the importance of playing well this summer.
“I don’t feel much pressure,” Gray said. “I just go out and play hard every day. You can’t think ahead or think about the past. I just have to trust that the Lord will put me where I need to be.”
Last summer, Gray was asked to play in a collegiate summer league in Iowa, but opted to stay in Springfield and play with his hometown Champion City Kings. He knew it would likely be the last summer he would play locally. In 35 games, he hit .316 with eight doubles and three home runs as the Kings missed a playoff spot by one game.
“The support (in Springfield) was awesome,” Gray said. “It hasn’t changed. I still have all kinds of support from people back home. I receive all kinds of texts, phone calls all the time from people back home. I appreciate all the support people are giving me.”