Scarborough, Maine- Senior year has been a success for Ben Wessel on the baseball diamond. After being selected to represent Showcase League at the Perfect Game WWBA Northeast Qualifier and being named a Showcase League All-Star for the second consecutive year in 2011, Ben Wessel took home the SL Pitcher of the Year award this past fall. Ben has always been known as an all around player but over the past couple of seasons his right arm has gotten most of the attention. Wessel has signed a national letter of intent to pitch for the University of Rhode Island after graduation, so it might have been a bit of a surprise to some to see him tear up the leader board of the Southern Maine Athletic Association this spring as a hitter.
According to www.smaabaseball.com- Ben ends the season as the top hitter in the conference in batting average, home runs, and RBI’s- The Triple Crown. In addition he led the conference regular season in slugging percentage, on base percentage, triples, and total bases. Scroll down to the pitching stats and there he is again, posting a 0.62 ERA just behind SL Alum Keenan Lowe who led the SMAA with a 0.42 ERA. Ben led in opponent batting average at .167, and wins with 6.
“Ben works extremely hard and is invested into the game year round. He not only works as hard or harder than anyone else at improving the physical aspects of his game, but also the mental aspect. This past spring was truly a testament to hard work and dedication coming to fruition on the field. With the way Ben respects the game of baseball, there is no doubt in my mind he will excel at the collegiate level.” said SL Maine Director Dave Desmond in a release.
Wessel holds the Showcase League record for innings thrown in an All-Star game in an epic match up on campus at SNHU in 2010. His complete game shut out performance in the 2011 Perfect Game Northeast Qualifier helped the team finish undefeated in their first trip to the tournament despite not advancing to the championship round on a tie breaker. Showcase League tied the eventual tournament champions the Long Island Titans 2-2 with the game ending due to tournament time limits rules. The Titans would win a trip to the World Wood Bat Association World Championships in Jupiter, Florida.
Wessel credits the competition in the Showcase League and the wood bat experience with his success at the plate this past spring. ”You have no idea”, stated Wessel “working with the wood all fall you have to learn to find the sweet spot. Then you transition those skills to the BBCOR, facing the top pitching in the Showcase League then working with Vinny Degifico and Troy Wessel for batting practices.. that’s the reason.” Vinny Degifico is an assistant coach at USM and former professional player in the Red Sox organization. Ben’s father Troy also played professionally after his collegiate career at Plymouth State University.
Ben’s brother Sam has also played the past two seasons in the Showcase League, his younger brother Nate is a freshmen pitcher at Scarborough High School and also has the baseball gene.
“Ben has put together one of the best complete high school seasons I’ve seen.” said Showcase League Executive Director Shawn Manfredo, ”I had the chance to see him throw a complete game shut out against the defending state champions Cheverus this year, and hit a two run homer in the same game- his team won 2-0… that’s doing it all. He is also the only player to win a Showcase League Offensive Player of the Year Award (2010) and a Pitcher of the Year Award (2011), it is going to be fun following his box scores as his career continues at the next level.”