THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
(17 June – 19 June 2004)
Written by John Garner, Director of Public Relations and Broadcasting
And Bruce Hack, League Historian.
Contributions from Cape League Interns Brian MacPherson, TJ Lasita, Britt Berry
Brewster Pitching and Hitting Earns 2-1 Start
The Opening Day match-up at Cape Cod Technical High School, home of the Brewster Whitecaps, couldn’t have been better. The contest pitted the defending co-champions of the Eastern Division, who were tied for the best record on the Cape in 2003.
Adam Gold (Cal-Berkley) started the game for the Whitecaps and went five innings, giving up six hits and one run. Ryan Falcon (UNC-Greensboro) gave up two hits and struck out five in three innings of relief, earning the win. In the 9th John Cronin (Richmond) shut the door on Orleans, pitching a 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout, and earning the save in the 2-1 win.
Brian Jarosinski (Maryland) stood out offensively, going 2-for-2 with an RBI. Jarosinski came into the game in the 6th inning as a pinch hitter for Ben Zeskind (Richmond) and tripled to left center to drive in the winning run. As of Sunday, Jarosinski leads the CCBL in batting average with .600, hits with 7, slugging percentage with .800, and is second in on-base percentage with .600.
Playing at Harwich on Friday, Brewster starter Phil Davidson (N.C. State) went four innings, allowed only two hits, walked three and struck out two. Davidson took the loss, in the 8-0 blanking by the Mariners.
While there were four errors total for the Whitecaps, there were also defensive gems on the diamond by Will Rhymes (William & Mary), James Boone (Missouri), and Marco Albano (Boston College). Second baseman Rhymes put on a show in the bottom of the 3rd inning for the crowd. With one out, he went to his right and stabbed a ball hit hard by Harwich’s designated hitter Josh Bell (Auburn) and made a beautiful pirouette turn and an off-balance throw to almost nail Bell at first. Later in the inning, Rhymes made an over-the-shoulder catch running towards right center to save two runs and end the Mariner third inning.
The Whitecaps traveled to Cotuit Saturday and Ben Zeskind (Richmond) hit a two-run homer to supply all the offense they would need behind a great combined pitching effort. Starter Matt Goyen (Georgia College), threw six innings and gave up only two hits. Brett Cleveland (Mississippi State) and John Cronin (Richmond) shut the Kettleers down for the final three innings. Five Whitecap singles in the top of the 9th gave them a four-run cushion and made the final score 4-0.
Brewster is now 2-1 and in a 4-way tie, in the Eastern Division with Harwich, Chatham, and Y-D.
Harwich Bats Alive With 19 Runs in First Three Games
Harwich opened the 2004 season at Chatham and Brent Lillibridge (Washington) quickly placed in his name in the record book.
The sophomore leftfielder hit home runs in his first two at bats, becoming the first known player to accomplish this in modern-era history. (Note – only two major league players have hit home runs in their first two major league at bats). Lillibridge was the fourth known player to hit a home run in his first Cape League at bat. He joined Carlton Fisk (Orleans, 1966) and current Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis (Bourne, 2000). Unfortunately for Harwich Lillibridge’s exploits were not enough as the A’s won 8-3.
In the 8-0 win Friday at Whitehouse Field against the Whitecaps, Anthony Varvaro (St. John’s) went six innings, struck out 10 and gave up just two hits. Pitching continued to be the story for the Mariners, as the bullpen combined for five strikeouts and allowed one hit over the last three innings.
Mariner bats were lively, touching Brewster pitching for nine hits and eight runs.
Harwich third baseman Tim Grogan (Western Kentucky) was the offensive story of the night. Grogan singled to left, bringing in two in the Harwich 4-run 6th inning. He had added two RBI in the 5th with a double down the right field line on a 3-1 pitch from lefty Colin Matheny (Rice). Grogan was 3-for-5 with four RBI in the win.
On Saturday, the Mariners tried to regain momentum against defending league champs the Orleans Cardinals and came away with an 8-2 win. Harwich sent Dan Brauer (Northwestern) to the hill. Brauer pitched five innings, giving up two hits, two runs, walked two and struck out seven. Devin Monds (Northeastern) pitched hitless and scoreless ball over the final four innings to earn the save. The junior right-hander walked one and struck out four.
Drew Davidson (Illinois) was 1-for-4 with two RBI, and Tim Grogan (Western Kentucky) was 1-for-5 with two RBI. Charlie Lyons (Alabama) had a double and an RBI and John Slone (Miami-Ohio) and Eric Eymann (Illinois) each drove in a run.
The Mariners are 2-1 and in a 4-way tie for first place in the standings with Brewster, Yarmouth-Dennis, and Chatham on the young season.
Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox Play Small Ball for Big Wins
The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox began their season Thursday at McKeon Park in Hyannis with a 7-4 win over the Mets in front of a crowd of 721. Justin Keadle (Wake Forest) started the game for the Red Sox, striking out five and walking one in six innings. He gave up eight hits and three earned runs and earned the win to start out 1-0. Joshua Faiola (Dartmouth) earned the save, pitching masterfully through three innings giving up two hits, no runs, no walks, and striking out six.
Matt LaPorta (Florida) stood out offensively, going 2-for-5 with three RBI. Chase Gerdes (Baylor), Joe Anthonsen (Campbell), and Steven Kleen (Pepperdine) all had an RBI in the win and Frank Curreri (UMass) went 2-for-3.
On Friday the Red Sox traveled to Chatham for the A’s home opener at Veteran’s Field and gave the fans an atypical game for both teams of the top talent in college baseball. Both teams played out of character, combining for 7 wild pitches, 14 walks, two passed balls, and seven hit batters. Blame it on Chatham’s notorious fog or first-week jitters. However, the teams put up a combined 28 strikeouts in an 11-2 loss for the Red Sox.
Y-D’s Wes Hodges (Georgia Tech) was hit by the pitch from Andrew Miller (UNC-Chapel Hill) with the bases loaded to strike first. Jacob Butler (Nevada) grounded out to end the Red Sox threat. Y-D bats were silent, with only three hits in the game. Hodges and Butler each had an RBI in the loss. Blake Holler (Stanford) took the loss and goes to 0-1.
The Red Sox had their home opener in South Yarmouth Saturday. Dan McCutcheon started the game for the Red Sox and pitched four innings, giving up a hit and striking out six. Josh Faiola (Dartmouth) came in the game and earned his second save with a three-up, three- down ninth inning, including a strikeout to end the game.
The game was tied at 4-4 when Frank Curreri’s (UMass) sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 8th gave Y-D the lead. Matt LaPorta (Florida) had started off the inning with a double down the left field line. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to 3rd, then Curreri sent the ball to deep left field, bringing home Jacob Butler (Nevada), who was pinch running for LaPorta, with the winning run. Tyler Bullock also homered in the 5-4 win for the Red Sox..
Chatham A’s Start Off at 2-1
The A’s began their season Thursday with an 8-3 win over Harwich at Veterans’ Field with James Avery (Niagara) on the mound. Avery threw 5.2 innings and gave up seven hits and three earned runs. He walked two and struck out five, earning the win.
Chris Cody (Manhattan College) came on in the final 3rd of the 5th for damage control of the Harwich hitters. Cody was brilliant, walking only one and striking out five in 2.1 innings of relief. Kyle Bono (Central Florida) entered the game to close out the 9th and was very successful with a 1-2-3 inning--2 weak grounders and a strikeout from the Mariners.
Brian Adamski (Beloit), Johnny Defendis (Rutgers), Matt Camp (N.C. State), and Jake Muyco (N.C. State) each had an RBI. Adamski was 2-for-4. All of Chatham’s offense came in the 4th inning when with one out, eight consecutive batters reached base and scored.
Chatham played at home again Friday night with an 11-2 win over Y-D. After the Y-D Red Sox scored early, the A’s quickly retaliated in the bottom of the first, when Y-D’s Blake Holler (Stanford) walked four and threw four wild pitches, leading to three Chatham runs.
Starter Andrew Miller (UNC-Chapel Hill) went six innings, racking up 12 strikeouts, and giving up only one hit and two runs in the win. He walked four and hit a record-tying four batters. Miller earned the win for the A’s and is now 1-0.
Chatham players Matt Camp (N.C. State), Tom Shanley (George Washington), Rob Jacobsen (George Mason), and Johnny Defendis (Rutgers) each drove in a run. Camp also went 3-for-4 in the game. Ryan Bono was the main man on offense driving in three runs. His single to centerfield in the bottom of the 8th inning, knocked in two and wrapped up the A’s victory.
On Saturday, the A’s jumped on Hyannis Mets pitcher Matt Buschmann (Vanderbilt) early at McKeon Park. With runners at first and third, Buschmann made a pickoff move to 2nd and Tom Shanley (George Washington) came in from 3rd, beating the throw, to make it 1-0 Chatham. However, the A’s couldn’t hold the Mets’ hitting and lost 5-1.
Rocky Start For League Champion Orleans
Despite several strong performances from its pitchers, Orleans dropped two of its first three games.
The Cardinals opened the new campaign at Brewster on Thursday. Starting pitcher Dennis Robinson of Jacksonville allowed just one run and six hits in five innings to keep his team in the game, but Orleans came up short by a score of 2-1. First baseman Gordie Gronkowski of Jacksonville created the Cardinals' only run when he stretched a potential single into a double and later scored on a double play.
Orleans broke into the win column for the first time in Falmouth Saturday, 7-5. Starter Erik Averill of Arizona State held the Commodores at bay for five innings to earn the victory, and the Cardinals broke through in the third inning with five runs, their best offensive performance to date. Catcher Sean Richardson of Kansas capped the inning with an RBI double, one of his two hits in the game. Romas Hicks of Georgia State struck out the side in the ninth for the save.
But when the Cardinals returned home to Eldredge Park on Sunday, they again could not support their starting pitcher. And though Orleans righthander Matt Torra threw no-hit ball for 3 1/3 innings, striking out seven in the process, the Harwich bats eventually came alive. The Mariners scored six runs in the fourth inning and cruised to an 8-2 victory. Catcher Drew Butera of Central Florida and shortstop Luis Rivera of Florida International scored the Cardinals' only runs.
Despite the team's slow start at the plate, outfielders James Payne (.286) and Colin Curtis (.273) have found success. Second baseman Blake Sharpe drove in two runs at Falmouth, and his total leads the team.
Brian MacPherson, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
Wareham Opens Season With Two Victories
Through three games, the Wareham Gatemen have jumped to the top of the Cape Cod Baseball League's West Division.
In its home opener, with Red Sox great Rico Petrocelli on hand to throw out the first pitch, Wareham took care of the Falmouth Commodores, 7-2, on a chilly night at Clem Spillane Field. Second baseman Warner Jones (Vanderbilt) picked up two hits on the evening while driving in two runs.
Friday, nine innings were not enough to decide a game between West Division rivals Wareham and Bourne. They were deadlocked at zero into the bottom of the 12th inning, before shortstop Chris Gutierrez ended the drought with a run-scoring base hit up the middle driving in Harvard's Zak Farkes to bring the thriller to a close. Gutierrez, from Oklahoma State, went 3-for-5 on the evening.
Lefthander Brad Furnish didn't earn the win Friday, but that doesn't mean he didn't earn the respect of the Bourne Braves hitters. The hurler from Nebraska threw 7 1/3 innings of shutout baseball Friday, scattering just two hits. Furnish, a rising sophomore, struck out 11 Braves while walking just one.
The Gatemen found themselves in another tight ballgame Saturday night against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, but this time it didn't go Wareham's way. The Red Sox rallied in the eighth to put the Gatemen away, 5-4, but Wareham fought hard to make that rally necessary. Trailing 4-1 after five, Whit Robbins (Georgia Tech) hit a run-scoring double in the sixth to bring Wareham to within two, then Tyler Bullock (Baylor) tied the game with a two-run home run, the Gatemen's first of the season. A double, sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly in the eighth for Yarmouth-Dennis, however, sunk the Gatemen's chances at a perfect 3-0 start.
Gutierrez has led the way offensively for Wareham, posting a .364 average through the first three games, good for fifth in the league. His .462 on-base percentage is a team high.
At 2-1, the Gatemen are tied atop the West Division standings through three games.
Bourne routs Cotuit in opener, splits 1-0 decisions
After opening night of the Cape Cod Baseball League slate, it looked as though the Bourne Braves offense would be the club's strong suit. With the next two games as evidence, though, it appears the pitching staff may shine and carry the load.
To open the season, Bourne scored early and often, knocking off Cotuit, 14-1. Brennan Boesch (California) collected two hits, scored three runs and drove in three to lead the Braves. Catcher Devin Ivany (South Florida) also picked up a pair of hits and knocked in three, while scoring two.
John Lewis (Stony Brook) took the ball for Bourne and scattered five hits in seven innings. Lewis allowed one run, striking out seven.
Bourne’s 14 runs are the most on opening day for the Braves in their 16-year history. It is also the most runs scored on opening day by any Cape League team since 1990. The Braves also entered the record as five batters were hit by pitch in the opening day game.
The Bourne offense was silenced, however, one night later against the Wareham Gatemen. The Braves were held scoreless through 12 innings of play before Wareham's Chris Gutierrez ended the scoring drought and the ballgame with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Zak Farkes.
Saturday, the bats didn't replicate their opening day performance, but they did just enough. Bourne outlasted Falmouth, 1-0. Knotted at zero in the 11th inning, Greg Creek walked and eventually scored on a throwing error to end the game.
Bourne managed just three hits on the evening, getting its first off the bat of Greg Mangum, his first of the season, in the eighth.
Ivany and Boesch are both among the league leaders in RBIs, with three each. Mangum's two stolen bases thus far tie him for the league lead.
Cotuit off to 1-2 start
In baseball, one run can sometimes be a blessing and other times be a curse. The Cotuit Kettleers found out early on in the Cape Cod Baseball League season just how true this really is.
The Kettleers crossed the plate just one time on opening day, suffering a 14-1 loss at the hands of the Bourne Braves. Designated hitter Bryan Harris (LSU) and third basemen Chase Headley (Tennessee) collected four of Cotuit's seven hits in the game. The top three spots in the lineup combined to go 1-for-11 on the day.
Friday, one run was just enough for the Kettleers as they picked up their first win of the season in a thriller at Lowell Park, defeating Hyannis 1-0 in 12 innings. In the bottom of the 12th, with zeroes across the board for both teams, Cotuit's Bryan Harris led off the inning with walk. He moved to second on a passed ball, to third via a fielder's choice and eventually score the game winner on a throwing error.
Saturday, the offense remained dormant, as the Kettleers were shut out by Brewster, 4-0. The good news was Cotuit starter Csey Hudspeth's outing. The South Florida pitcher allowed just two runs on three hits in seven innings of work, striking out 11 Whitecap hitters.
Dennis Diaz has led the Kettleers at the plate thus far, collecting three hits and a .400 slugging percentage, both team highs. Hudspeth's 11 strikeouts currently tie him for second among Cape League hurlers, behind Chatham's Andrew Miller who has fanned 12.
Falmouth tripped up to open season
The Falmouth Commodores have struggled out of the gate, losing three in a row, but if Saturday night's 11-inning thriller is any inclination, the Commodore's aren't too far away from success.
Dallas Buck, a righthander out of Oregon State, took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before Bourne's Greg Mangum broke up the bid with a single. The Braves managed just three base hits on the day, but it was enough to pick up the 1-0 victory in extra innings. Leadoff hitter Matt Antonelli (Wake Forest) and number nine batter Danny Perales (USC) combined for four of the team's five hits on the evening.
Falmouth collected eight hits--twice as many as Wareham--but it was the Gatemen who came away with the 7-2 victory. Antonelli picked up two hits on the day, while third baseman Jason Delaney went 1-for-3 with an RBI and two walks.
Before the home opener on Friday the Commodores held a ceremony in which the field was named Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field.
Unfortunately Falmouth could not through and fell to Orleans 7-5. Leftfielder Kris Harvey (Clemson) and designated hitter Paul Christian (Brown) both had two hits and knocked in two on the day. Harvey and pinch hitter Mark Hamilton (Tulane) both homered in the eighth inning. Hamilton’s came in his first Cape League at bat making him fifth known player in the modern-era to achieve the feat.
The bullpen shined for Falmouth on Friday and kept the Commodores in the game. After starter Phil Bartleski exited after five innings, the Commodores shut down the Orleans offense. Four Falmouth relievers combined to strike out seven hitters, allowing no hits in the final four innings.
Antonelli's .455 batting average through three games is third in the league. Perales is hitting at a .333 clip, tying him for sixth on The Cape. As a team, the Commodores' .208 batting average is third in the league.
T.J. Lasita; TJLasita@Capecodbaseball.org
Hyannis Mets Earn First win on Strong Pitching
After two tough losses, the Hyannis Mets earned their initial victory Saturday thanks to an eight-inning pitching masterpiece from Matt Buschmann.
Buschmann (Vanderbilt) threw 99 pitches, allowed just three hits, one earned run and struck out four in a 5-1 win over visiting Chatham at refurbished McKeon Park.
The A’s took a 1-0 lead, before the Mets answered with hits by Drew Locke (Boston College) and Mike Hernandez (Conners State) brought in one runner each in the bottom of the fourth. Hernandez went 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Hyannis scored two more runs in the fifth, and Mike Costanzo (Coastal Carolina) pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts.
In the Mets’ season opener Thursday, Bob Wood, 84-year-old son of legendary Boston Red Sox pitcher Smokey Joe Wood (34-5 record in 1912) threw out the first pitch before their game against inter-divisional rival Y-D. Matt LaPorta broke Thursday’s home opening game open in the ninth inning with a tape-measure two-run homer to lead the Red Sox to a 7-4 victory over Hyannis.
With Y-D leading 5-4, LaPorta drove a Joe Martinez (Boston College) fastball directly over the 405 foot sign in center field. Y-D had eight hits and Hyannis finished with 10. Thanks to an errant pick-off and a ball thrown past the catcher, the Red Sox scored two in the top of the first without recording a hit. A Y-D error and a passed ball in the third inning allowed Hyannis' Matt Inouye (Hawaii) to score the Mets' second run to make it 3-2 Y-D.
Martinez of Boston College relieved Hyannis starter Graham Taylor (Miami of Ohio) in the fourth inning after Taylor walked the bases loaded. Only one of Martinez's inherited runners scored as he struck out two Red Sox to get out of the jam. Martinez finished the game with nine strikeouts.
Despite a superlative pitching effort, Hyannis dropped a tough 1-0, 12-inning contest to Cotuit Friday at Lowell Park on a surprise two-out bunt.
The Mets' Mike Costanzo entered in the bottom of the 12th and threw eight consecutive balls, putting runners on first and second. Brett Hayes laid down a bunt right back to Costanzo. His throw soared over third base, scoring pinch-runner Nathan Southard. Saunders Ramsey threw a perfect eighth, ninth, and 10th and fanned three Mets’ batters.
Hyannis starter Ryan Kennedy (Virginia Tech) threw six no-hit innings and faced the minimum number of batters. He had eight strikeouts including five straight at one point.
The Mets had their share of opportunities. In the fourth, Matt Inouye (Hawaii), laced a leadoff single and moved to second on a Robinson throwing error. Jay Miller sacrificed Inouye to third, but Kettleers’ hurler Matt Luca forced a strikeout and a fly-out to end the threat.
With one out in the sixth, Hyannis' Brandon Ponder doubled to right, but right fielder Alvin Beamon threw him out at third.
Mike Hernandez leads the Mets in hitting (.375), while Josh Stinson (.333), Brandon Ponder (.286), Jay Miller (.273) and Mike Costantino (.273) are also hitting well. Pitching has been a major strength as the team has compiled a superlative 1.86 ERA and has allowed a .161 average by opposing batters. John Garner, Jr., Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 email@example.com