OLD ORCHARD BEACH — The Metallica song “Enter Sandman” has become perhaps the most famous and certainly the most widely-used entrance song in all of sports, most notably by New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, whose arrival from the bullpen in the Bronx has been signified by “Sandman’s” celebrated opening riff for the past 14 years.

Much like Rivera has been the best closer in Major League Baseball for the past two decades, Tyler Pogmore has been the best closer in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League this season, coming into the game to the strains of “Enter Sandman” and giving opposing batters nightmares the rest of the way.

Pogmore has been nearly unhittable so far this summer, racking up a 4-2 record and 10 saves while compiling a 0.35 ERA and 0.58 WHIP in 25.2 innings pitched.

Pogmore has given up just nine hits all season (a .107 batting average against), while striking out 27 batters and walking only six.

“He’s been dominant. Down this playoff stretch, every time we give him the ball we feel pretty good about the win,” OOB manager Chris Torres said. “I know for a fact if we can get to the ninth we can definitely seal the game up. He’s been unhittable all year.”

The fantastic summer has simply been a continuation of form for Pogmore, a rising senior at Roger Williams University. Pogmore didn’t allow a single earned run in 18 appearances with the Hawks this past spring, saving eight games and winning four more for a team that went 24-18.

“He’s got a fastball that runs at about 91,” Torres said. “He gets it in on hitters hands and breaks bats; very devastating when you’re in a wooden bat league. And he has a good changeup and that little slider to go with it. He commands all three pitches and he’s got a great mound presence.”

Because of those qualities, Torres said he could see Pogmore’s career extending beyond college.

“He’s got a lot of scouts looking at him and he’s maybe going to be a sign guy. He’s had a great year for us and hopefully his career will go a little bit further.”

Otero named pitcher of the night

Raging Tide starter Ryan Otero was named the FCBL’s “Pitcher of the Night” for his performance on Thursday against North Shore.

The righty out of the University of Miami pitched a complete-game shutout in the second game of a doubleheader over the Navigators. Over his seven innings of work, Otero struck out five batters, allowing five hits and one walk in OOB’s 2-0 victory; in total, Otero needed just 88 pitches (59 strikes) to get through the seven innings as he faced just 25 batters in total.

For the season, Otero is 3-2 with a 2.71 ERA in a team leading 63 innings pitched.

Playoffs explained

To call the FCBL’s playoff structure confusing and convoluted may be putting it nicely, but here’s a shot at explaining things:

The top six teams make the playoffs, which start Sunday with a pair of play-in games between the No. 3 and No. 6 ranked teams and the No. 4 and No. 5 ranked teams.

The No. 3 seed will play the No. 6 seed at the No. 2 seed’s field, with the No. 4 seed playing the No. 5 seed at the No. 1 seed’s location. The play-in games are scheduled for 3 p.m.

The winners of the play-in games will stay and play the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds at 7 p.m. These games will begin a best-of-three series for the right to go to the championship round. The play-in winners will then be at home on Monday and the No. 1 and No. 2 seed will be home on Tuesday (if necessary).

The championship round will then begin on Wednesday.

As of Friday, the Raging Tide (26-27) sits in a tie with the Pittsfield Suns (25-26) for the fourth seed, 0.5 games behind the North Shore Spirit (25-25).

Martha’s Vineyard (35-17) and Nashua (34-18) are battling it out for the top seed, while Brockton (23-26) currently sits in the sixth position.

With Friday night’s regular-season finale against Wachusett canceled, OOB will end its season on that 26-27 mark. Pittsfield and North Shore both have games on Saturday, meaning OOB won’t know its seeding until late Saturday night.

“Anything can happen in the playoffs,” Torres said after his team clinched a playoff birth with a doubleheader sweep of North Shore. “If we win that play-in game, we have a shot.”

Staff Writer Cameron Dunbar can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323.



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