The long drought over, Bourne looks to go back-to-back
By KENDRA BUTTERS
BOURNE ----- The Bourne Braves are looking to pick up where they left off last summer. After a 21-year drought for the franchise and 44 years for the town, the Braves left little doubt that the top was where they belonged after sweeping Cotuit to capture the 2009 Cape League championship.
Bourne will have a plethora of fresh faces on the field this summer. Only Michael Dimock (Wake Forest), Zack MacPhee (Arizona State) and Pierre LePage (Connecticut) will again call Doran Park home, with LePage returning for his third year. But the lack of veterans is no reason for fans to fear. LePage was their lone returning player last season and it is safe to say they were pleased with the outcome.
Though MacPhee had a quiet summer on the Cape in 2009, he will be coming back hotter than ever. The 5-8 Phoenix native is batting .430 with a team-high 53 RBI and 52 runs for the Sun Devils. He’s also second on the team with eight home runs.
LePage was instrumental in helping the Braves capture their first title, hitting .308 and stealing 17 bases. The 5-7 sparkplug is batting .316 with 36 RBI for the Huskies.
Dimock has a 6.10 ERA with the Demon Deacons, but he leads the team with 50 strikeouts.
Sophomore Anthony Meo (Coastal Carolina) will provide insurance for the Braves. The 6-1 right-hander has a 1.76 ERA in 11 starts, with 58 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings.
Another righty to keep an eye on is sophomore Kevin Brady (Clemson). A reliever for the Tigers, he has 28 K’s in 24 2/3 innings, with a 4.01 ERA. Reliever Brian Busch (Florida State), a 6-2 sophomore, has struck out 45 in 45 1/3 innings.
With 14 pitchers on the current roster, the rotation is far from set before the first game on June 14 against the Falmouth Commodores.
The Braves boast six pairs of teammates, including some freshmen who are making noise in the SEC.
Freshman catcher Austin Maddox (Florida) is batting .352, with a team-leading 14 homers and 52 RBI. Bourne fans are hoping that his teammate, infielder Nolan Fontana (Florida), makes it over the bridge. He has committed just one error in 191 chances and is second in runs scored for Florida with 34. But he has also been invited to play for Team USA.
Also joining the Braves is 5-11 sophomore infielder Anthony Rendon (Rice). Last year’s National Freshman Of The Year leads the Owls with 15 home runs and 54 RBI.
Another leader is Ryan Wright (Louisville). The 6-1 shortstop is batting .364 with a team-high 58 RBI. Given Freshman All-America honors in 2009 by Louisville Slugger, Wright is second on the Cardinals with 12 home runs.
Field manager Harvey Shapiro returns for his eighth season. Also returning is pitching coach Josh MacDonald. New to Bourne this summer are assistant coaches Jason Walck and Aracelio Rivera Jr. Walck comes to Bourne after finishing his third year on the University of New Orleans’ coaching staff. Walck works with hitters and outfielders and has also served as first base coach. Aracelio finished his seventh season as assistant coach at De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif. He coaches hitters and infielders.