Hamptons Collegiate Baseball forms own league

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Tomcats first baseman Jimmy Luppens crosses home plate after a home run in a game last summer.

For five summers, Hamptons Collegiate Baseball has provided baseball action to seven communities on the East End of Long Island. Another chapter will begin next summer as the organization becomes a league of its own, the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League (HCBL).

The organization said earlier this month it will continue its mission to provide free family entertainment for area baseball fans and inspire community youth while aiding in the development of collegiate athletes whose dream it is to make it to the major leagues.

“We are looking forward to taking this next step and working toward becoming one of the elite summer baseball leagues in the country,” said league president Brett Mauser. “Through the efforts and support of many we have reached this point, and we are excited about what the future holds.”

As Hamptons Collegiate Baseball, the organization had spent the last five seasons as a member of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. In 2012, HCB hosted more than 175 players from over 100 universities to play for teams located in Center Moriches, Riverhead, Sag Harbor, Shelter Island, Southampton, Westhampton and the North Fork. Since its inception, more than 550 players from over 190 universities, including from every major collegiate conference, have played on the East End. Nineteen Hamptons alumni played in the professional ranks in 2012, and the organization has had 17 players selected in the Major League Baseball draft.

The HCBL has applied to join the National Alliance of Collegiate Summer Baseball, which features a number of the top summer leagues in the country, including the prestigious Cape Cod League. In addition, the HCBL has filed an application to become sanctioned by Major League Baseball.

“Major League Baseball and the Alliance are two organizations that you want to have in your corner,” Mauser said. “Their support and direction would help assure that we continue to provide a great platform for student-athletes to develop their skills as they strive toward their goal of playing professionally.”

The first pitch for the 2013 HCBL season is scheduled for early June.