07/07/2000 12:37 PM
- This week in Baseball
7 July 2000
|Cape League Bats Come Alive, Wareham builds grip on first place.
Photo by Sean Walsh
| Harwich Mariner outfielder Adam Stern slid into and maintained the lead on Cape League hitters last week, while the battle for first place in both the East and West Divisions continued to intensify.
With the deadline nearing to select this season's Cape League All-Stars for the July 22 Sprint PCS Cape League All-Star Game at Brewster's Whitecaps Field at Cape Cod Tech, the sound of wood against horsehide resonated loudly on Cape Cod this week.
While Chatham A's switch-hitting outfielder Todd Linden (Washington) crept up the ranks among the league leaders in hitting with a .348 clip and 12 RBI, Harwich Mariner outfielder Adam Stern (Nebraska) slid into and maintained his grip on the league lead at .373.
Bourne Braves' sluggers Max Krance and Kevin Youkillis remained steady in the league's top 10 at .328 and .311, respectively, but it was Brewster Whitecap Josh Persell (USC) who began coming on strong last week at a .320 pace and 10 RBI. Other newcomers to the Cape League top 10 sluggers last week included Falmouth Commodore David Mattle (Kent State), Hyannis Mets' Brendan Harris (William & Mary), Orleans' Brad Stockton (Georgia Tech) and Wareham's Ty Parker (Georgia Tech).
Just as the July heat began to simmer, so to did the battles for first place in both the East and West Divisions, with the Wareham Gatemen (13-7) looking exceptionally strong from the hill in the West and Orleans and Harwich tied for first in the East (as of July 5) at 11-8-1.
As Cape League hitters began to make the difficult adjustment to using wooden bats, it appeared as if the Wareham pitching staff began to hunker down and deliver one solid performance after another.
As a team, Wareham also led the Cape league in batting average (.260), but from the mound, no less than three Gatemen were among the league's top 10 hurlers, including: Rice University southpaw Jonathan Gonzalez (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Virginia Tech's Pat Pinkman (3-1, 1.20 ERA) and Harvard's Ben Crockett (3-0, 1.24 ERA). Crockett also remained the top Cape League strikeout ace, with 35 in 36 innings pitched.
Photo by Sean Walsh
|Georgia Tech's Brad Stockton takes a vicious hack and sends it over the fence..
And as Wareham's grasp on first place in the West tightened, the Orleans Cardinals' team opened some eyes by jumping from a 5-7 squad early last week to an 11-8-1 team this week, tied with Coach Buddy Custer's Harwich Mariners for first in the East.
In spite of dropping a fog-shortened, seven-inning affair to the host Chatham A's on July 4 -- a 6-5 nailbiter -- the Cardinals preceded the loss with a six-game winning streak, capped off Sunday (July 2) night at Eldredge Park with a 3-1 win over Falmouth. North Florida sophomore Matt Incinelli notched his second win of the summer (2-0) after going six innings and handing the reins to Cape League save leader Taft Cable (5), a 6-3 righty from UNC-Greensboro.
Falmouth's James Jurries (Tulane) hit his third homer of the season to tie the game in the seventh at 1-1, but Orleans' Mike Woods came through in the clutch in response, delivering an RBI-single to center in the bottom half of the stanza.