Daren Wood gets taste of NECBL competition

Keeping his eye on the dream
Fri, 09/07/2018 - 7:30am

Hard work and determination on the baseball field leads to good things. Just ask Daren Wood who played the final weeks of the season for the Kingston, Rhode Island-based Ocean State Waves. The Waves are part of the New England Collegiate Baseball League where amateur players like Wood hone their pitching, hitting and fielding skills with an eye on someday playing for a professional ball club.

Wood, a 2016 graduate of Wiscasset Middle High School, was a standout pitcher and catcher for the Wolverines. You might remember he helped lead the team to the Class C quarterfinal playoff round his senior year. After the season ended he was named to the Mountain Valley Conference first team all-stars. He was also a WMHS “Academic All-Star.”

Gregg Wood of Wiscasset, Daren’s father and coach of the Wolverine baseball team, emailed the Wiscasset Newspaper the week of Sept. 2 about Daren’s success at being called up to play the last 16 games of the baseball season for the Waves. The season ends the first week of August because most of the players, Daren included, are college students.

“The Waves are one of 13 teams that make up the NECBL,” Wood wrote. “Many of the league’s players are from Division I baseball schools like Vanderbilt, Cal State, Fullerton, USC and Stanford to name a few.”

NECBL’s motto “Keep your eye on the dream” is very fitting since close to 150  Major League Baseball alumni have played in the league according to NECBL's website.

Wood stated, Daren joined the Waves in mid-July as a catcher. He caught five games, two of which were played against the Sanford Mainers.

He went two for five at the plate and drove in two runs. “Daren finished the shortened regular season with a .417 batting average,” continued Wood.

After graduating from high school Wood continued playing baseball, first in Portland’s celebrated Twilight League. He played seven different positions for his team and finished with a very respectable .306 batting average during the 24-game season. His overall performance earned him a spot on the All-Twilight Team made up of the league’s best players.

During the summer of 2017 Daren played in the Greater Northeast Collegiate Baseball League (GNCBL) at The Ball Park in Old Orchard Beach. He led the league there in hitting, with a .464 batting average.

“This summer Daren started his season in the GNCBL and was promoted to the New England Collegiate Baseball League in mid-July,” continued Wood in his email.

Daren attends Widener University outside Philadelphia where he is majoring in mechanical engineering. He’s also the son of Karen Hefler and brother to Grant Hefler who played baseball for the WMHS Wolverines, too.