Onondaga, NY April 14, 2018: The Onondaga Flames will open the 2018 season against the Syracuse Salt Cats at Onondaga Community College Baseball Complex on June 1st at 7:00 PM. The New York Collegiate Baseball League contest pits friendly rivals that share the same home field. The defending Eastern Division Champion Salt Cats are the home team for this game. The Flames and Salt Cats are both in the Eastern Division along with the Syracuse Spartans, Rome Generals, Cortland Crush and the Sherrill Silversmiths.

This is the first game of the 40th season for the venerable NYCBL, a wood bat development league sponsored in part by Major League Baseball.  “Central New York is a great place to play collegiate summer league baseball. Our national roster this year is a tribute to the reputation of the league, which is truly on the rise again under the leadership of Commissioner Joe Brown, Head Coach of Cortland State and a New York State Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee.” commented Wayne Walker, Flames president.

Flames New Head Coach

The Flames will be led by Head Coach Mike Cordero, Chaffey College @chaffeypanthers (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) in his first year coaching in the NYCBL. Cordero has over 13 years of coaching experience ranging from NCAA Division 1 to high school levels.  Most recently he was the Recruiting Coordinator at Santa Barbara City College, where he helped the Vaqueros win the 2017 Western State North Championship.

A highly successful high school coach at Loyola High School (Los Angeles) and Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA) Mike brings a championship caliber attitude to the field and the classroom. While Head Coach at Loyola, his teams won a Mission League title and were ranked as high as No. 9 nationally. Additionally, Cordero’s program produced a Perfect Game and First Team All-American, Team USA Participant, MLB Draft pick and more than 25 college players. In 2016 his team was recognized by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) for Academic Excellence by maintaining a team 3.64 GPA.

Through Cordero, the Flames West Coast connection has generated a great deal of interest in the NYCBL. Almost one-third of the Flames 2018 roster hails from the Golden State representing schools including UC Santa Barbara, AZUSA Pacific University and Occidental College. California’s huge community college system is also well-represented with players from Orange Coast College, Chapman College, Chaffey College, Cypress College and Santa Ana College. Rounding out the West Coast is the University of Portland. “Mike has done a great job putting together this year’s roster. He made every effort to recruit players from coast-to-coast to combine with top players from New York, especially the Syracuse area. ” noted Walker,.

Mike Martinez To Lead Salt Cats Again This Season

The always competitive Salt Cats will be led again this season by Mike Martinez @Mmarti6044 a veteran of summer league baseball. A NYSPHSAA certified coach, Mike is also currently the Solvay High School Head Baseball Coach..The Salt Cats boast one of the most experienced staffs in the league. Mike’s brother, Manny, returns to the Salt Cats for his 7th year as Associate Head Coach and General Manager and Assistant Coach Rob Call, with over 15 years coaching experience, returns for his third season with the Cats  First Base Coach Time Hunter enters his second season as an Assistant Coach on the Salt Cats coaching staff.

Stiff Competition Expected

The NYCBL will be have twelve teams playing this year, up from ten in 2017. The return of the Onondaga Flames and the Niagara Power to league play has set the stage for heightened competition in both divisions.