THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
(20 June – 26 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
Coca Cola Pitcher and Player of the Week
COCA COLA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Hard-hitting catcher Frank Curreri (U. Mass.) led the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox to a 6-3 start and first place in the Eastern Division by batting torrid .522 with 12 hits in 23 at bats. The Weymouth, Mass., native leads the league in batting and on-base percentage (.606). The sophomore backstop was 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI in a 9-7 loss to Hyannis on Nantucket. He is tied for the lead with nine runs scored and third in hits with 12.
Y-D teammate and catching partner Matt LaPorta (Florida) shares Player of the Week honors after hitting .389 in the first nine games, including three home runs and eight RBI. The Port Charlotte, FL resident shares the league lead in home runs and RBI and is first in slugging at .667 and hits (14). He had a three-run home run on opening day and another one on the 20th in the Red Sox 11-2 win vs. Harwich.
COCA COLA PITCHERS OF THE WEEK
Three pitchers shared pitcher of the week honors for the first week of the season
Two of them are Brewster Whitecaps. Sophomore Josh Cribb (Clemson) got his Cape League career off to a great start. The righthander was one out away from a no-hitter when an infield single ended his bid for history. He finished with a one-hitter and struck out 10. The lefthanded ace for Brewster Matt Goyen (Georgia College) joins his teammate in sharing pitching honors. Goyen compiled a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA, 17 strikeouts and just two walks. The southpaw from Athens, GA allowed one hit in 7 IP with 11 strikeouts in a 6-1 win over Hyannis on the 25th. Cotuit’s Tony Sipp (Clemson) is the third pitcher to be honored. Sipp, made three relief appearances and one start, had two saves, a 0.00 ERA and 19 K’s in 13 IP.
Hyannis Mets Battle Fog, Y-D Red Sox
to Capture Nantucket Pennant Game
HYANNIS – The struggling Hyannis Mets put a happy ending to an otherwise dismal week by capturing the 3rd annual Nantucket Pennant Game with a 9-7 victory over the Y-D Red Sox Saturday afternoon on a fog-shrouded Tom Nevers Field.
The Mets halted a four-game losing streak with the come-from-behind win over the Red Sox, a contest with was halted 58 minutes because the heavy fog limited the vision of the players on the field.
Shane Robinson (Florida State) led the charge with a two-run homer, a sacrifice fly and two runs scored. Left-hander Graham Taylor earned the win with three innings of solid relief, while Mike Costanzo, who also lined an RBI single, saved it with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Hyannis welcomes the return of several players from the NCAA College World Series, including last year’s starting shortstop Justin Tordi (Florida), hard-throwing right-hander Mark Sauls (Florida State), first baseman Pat Reilly (Arizona) and outfielder Kyle Keen (Georgia).
“These players should give us a shot in the arm,” said Hyannis GM John Howitt. “We’ve lost some tough one-run games and we hope the addition of these players will put us over the top.”
Despite their 3-6 record and last place ranking in the West Division, the Mets rank second in the league in both batting (.246) and sixth in team ERA (2.76). -John Garner, CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
Falmouth picks up the pieces, hits hot streak (4-5, 4th in West, 4 straight wins)
In one swing of the bat, it seemed to all turn around for Daniel Carte and the Falmouth Commodores.
Tied at four with Cotuit and entering the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday, the Commodores were still searching for their first win of the season. Similarly, right fielder Daniel Carte was still searching for his first base hit of the Cape Cod Baseball League season. Then the search ended. Carte swung at the first pitch he saw to lead off the ninth, and he deposited the horsehide over the center-field fence for a walk-off home run. Falmouth finally had a win, and Carte finally had a batting average.
But the success didn’t stop there. Through Saturday’s games, Falmouth had won four straight. Carte had hit in four straight, including a home run in three straight.
“I’m glad the way we’ve competed,” said manager Jeff Trundy. “I’ve seen better things lately, and obviously as you see better things, hopefully that translates into scoring more runs than the other club is going to get.”
After stumbling out of the gate, Falmouth has begun to find ways to win ballgames. The Commodores took an early 3-0 lead Thursday against Brewster, only to relinquish the advantage and go to extra innings. In the tenth, Falmouth posted two runs and closed the door in the bottom half of the inning to preserve a victory.
“I didn’t like the fact that we jumped out in front by three runs and then didn’t score again until the tenth inning,” Trundy said. “But at the same time, to be able to put an inning together in the tenth after they tied it up was big for us.”
Saturday, after abandoning another early lead, catcher Mike DeCarlo hit a walk-off home run over the left field fence to keep the winning streak alive. DeCarlo’s home run ended a 0-for-13 streak, making him the second Commodore in four nights to end a hitting slump with a game-winning home run.
“After starting the way we did, we’re just looking for some good efforts from
people,” Trundy said.
Beginning the season in the Western Division basement, the Commodores are now inching their way up the standings at 4-5. -- T.J. Lasita; CCBL Intern; TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
Bourne pitcher making waves early on (6-3, 1st in West, 1 win)
While the Cape Cod Baseball League season is just beginning to heat up, Bourne Braves hurler John Lewis has quickly made a name for himself as one of the league‘s best arms.
Lewis, a right hander out of Stony Brook, is 2-0 in his first two starts this season. Through Saturday, Lewis allowed just six hits in 13 innings of work this season and has yet to allow an earned run. Lewis has fanned ten hitters, while walking just two.
“He’s locating his fastball and keeping it down,” said manager Harvey Shapiro. “He’s done a good job of getting ahead of hitters.”
On Thursday, Lewis picked up his second win of the season, an 8-3 victory against Orleans. Lewis lasted six innings, allowing just one hit and an unearned run.
With Lewis leading the class, pitching has been the Braves’ saving grace this season. Bourne won back-to-back 1-0 ballgames earlier in the week.
The Braves’ team ERA is 1.39, tops in the league. The team batting average is .164, ninth in the league. Shapiro said he expected pitching to be his team’s strong suit.
“I think it has to be,” he said.” I think you have to have good pitching any time you’re going to win in baseball.”
Win is exactly what the Braves have done. Through Saturday, the Braves have won four of their last five, putting them in sole possession of first place in the Western Division. -- T.J. Lasita; CCBL Intern; TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
Versatile player leads Cotuit (5-4, tied 2nd in West, 2 straight wins)
Nine games into the Cape Cod Baseball League season, one thing appears certain for opponents of the Cotuit Kettleers: they’re going to be seeing a lot of Tony Sipp. What’s not so certain is in what capacity they might be seeing No. 23.
Sipp, a lefthander from Clemson, has proved early on to be on of the league’s most versatile players. On Friday, Sipp scattered four hits and allowed one run in seven innings of pitching in a 2-1 win against Chatham. One game earlier, in a 5-4 loss to Falmouth, Sipp had gone 1-for-3 with a walk as the team’s designated hitter. On Tuesday, in addition to hitting in the third spot in the order, Sipp took the hill out of the bullpen, striking out four batters in two innings of work to earn his second save.
“Tony’s versatility has helped us to be a better team, because he’s able to relieve, he’s able to start and he’s able to DH for us,” said Cotuit manager Mike Roberts. “When you’ve got a youngster that can help in that many areas, it’s extremely important.”
On the mound, Sipp’s 19 strikeouts through Saturday put him in a tie for first place in the Cape League. On the basepaths, Sipp has stolen three bases.
Stolen bases are not something uncommon for the Kettleers, though. With 30 steals through nine games, Cotuit is far and away the league leader in larceny.
“We’re trying to learn how to run the bases. I feel like that’s an ingredient of the game that needs to be taught to young players,” Roberts said. “We want to continue to learn how to run the bases, how to steal bases and how to put pressure on the other team.”
Entering Sunday’s games, Cotuit had stolen 12 more bags than the Harwich Mariners, who are sitting in second place with 18.
“We’re going to make mistakes, but those mistakes are Coach Roberts, not the players. I don’t get on them at all,” Roberts said. “We’re working in practice and in games on our base stealing, and they’re improving. I’m proud of their improvement.”-- T.J. Lasita; CCBL Intern; TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
Wareham leans on leadoff hitter’s consistency (5-4, tied 2nd in West)
Leading off the home half of the first inning Saturday night, Wareham second baseman Warner Jones took a Casey Hudspeth fastball off the left shoulder and trotted down to first base. That hit-by-pitch marked the ninth consecutive game Jones had reached base safely this season.
The Vanderbilt standout finished Saturday’s game 0-for-3, also reaching on an error. Prior to that performance, Jones had hit safely in Wareham’s first eight games of the Cape Cod Baseball League season.
Pitchers generally are in control early on in the Cape League season, as hitters make the tough transition from aluminum to wood bats. Jones has made the conversion with ease.
“It’s very impressive,” said Gatemen manager Cooper Farris. “He’ll look bad on one swing, then the next swing he’ll hit a double off the wall.”
As the Wareham leadoff hitter, Jones is among the league leaders in hits (11), doubles (4), extra base hits (5) and RBI (6), through Saturday’s games.
“I’m just glad we got him,” Farris said. “He could have gone to Team USA — he got an invite--but he didn’t want it. He knew this was big and knew he had to prove himself up here this year. I just wish I had about six more of him.”
Jones’ presence at the top of the lineup has set the table for several other Gatemen hitters to shine. Nine games into the season, the Wareham offense ranks fifth in the league with a .218 batting average.
Not to be outdone, the team’s pitching staff is currently third with a 2.41 team ERA.
It’s this kind of balance that put Wareham near the top of the Western Division standings at 5-4 through Saturday.
“It’s very important to be balanced, both on the mound and in the field,” Farris said. “Because if you’re lacking in one of them, you’re going to fall in the other one.” -- T.J. Lasita; CCBL Intern; TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
Red Sox stay atop East (6-3, 1st in East)
At the end of this week, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox remain hot, winning six of their first nine and holding strong atop of the Eastern Division, tied with the Bourne Braves for the best record on the Cape. The Red Sox are first in the league in batting at .247.
The Sox’s Matt LaPorta, a catcher from the University of Florida, is tied for the league lead in RBI with eight, home runs with three. LaPorta is second in hitting at .389 and first in slugging at .667. Another offensive gem on the diamond for Y-D is Massachusetts native Frank Curreri (UMass-Amherst). Curreri stands high atop the league leader board with an astounding .522 average. Curreri also leads the league with a .606 on-base percentage through Saturday’s games. Joe Anthonsen (Campbell) is 7th in the league, batting .323 with five RBI.
On the mound for the Red Sox, Josh Butler (San Diego) is tied with several other Cape League pitchers with a 0.00 ERA. Butler has walked none, struck out 10, given up only five hits and has a 1-0 record. Lee Hyde, the lefty coming off his freshman campaign at Georgia Tech, also looks strong for the Sox. Hyde is tied for first in the league with Cotuit’s Tony Sipp (Clemson) with 19 strikeouts.
The Red Sox picked up player Ben Crabtree (Ohio) from Cotuit this week. Crabtree was a temporary player for the Kettleers at the first of the season, and spent some time behind the plate for the Brewster Whitecaps in their 2003 season. -- Britt Berry, CCBL Intern, bBerry@capecodbaseball.org
Pitching keeps Orleans afloat (3-6, 5th in East)
The league champion Orleans Cardinals find themselves in an unfamiliar place through nine games – at the bottom of the Eastern Division standings.
Despite the team’s disappointing record, though, Orleans pitchers have been nothing short of dominant. In six games last week, the team’s hurlers combined to post an earned run average of 1.24, including two five-hit shutouts against Harwich. Flamethrower Romas Hicks (Georgia State) tossed six shutout innings in two appearances, and Ryan Self (Georgia Tech) allowed just one run in 10 innings pitched last week.
“It’s early – we’re just seeing guys for the first time,” said manager Carmen Carcone. “We’ve just got to see them, and then they’ll settle into roles. Once we get the roles defined, it’ll be easier to know what we’ve got.”
While the team’s pitchers held up their end of the bargain, Orleans often looked overmatched at the plate. The team managed a batting average of just .120 in five games between June 20 and June 25.
But the Cardinals, having lost five of their last six, broke out on Saturday on a rain-soaked Whitehouse Field in Harwich. Colin Curtis (Arizona State) had three hits and scored two runs in a 4-0 victory.
Part of the team’s hitting woes stemmed from its schedule – Orleans played four straight road games before returning to Eldredge Park on Sunday.
“Usually in our home games, we take early hitting, and once we start doing that, the bats will come around,” Carcone said. “I like what I see from my guys. We just need to hit more.” -- Brian MacPherson, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brewster moves into second (5-4, 2nd in East)
The Brewster Whitecaps are 2 points out of first place in the Eastern Division behind the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. The Whitecaps have a combined 1.88 ERA (second to the Bourne Braves) and a .239 batting average.
Southpaw Matt Goyen (Georgia College) is second in the league in strikeouts with 17 and has a 2-0 record for the Whitecaps. Goyen and his teammates Josh Cribb (Clemson) and Ryan Falcon (UNC-Greensboro) are tied with several other Cape League pitchers with a 0.00 ERA. Cribb pitched a complete game against the Orleans Cardinals at Eldredge Park on Monday night. He was one out away from earning a no-hitter when Matt Anderson (California-Irvine) singled over second base. Cribb struck out 10 and walked three in his impressive effort. He stands at 1-0 on the season and is the only Cape League player to have a shut out and a complete game as of yet.
At the plate for the Whitecaps second baseman Will Rhymes (William & Mary) is hitting .342, fourth in the league. Third baseman Ryan Roberson (George Washington) is tied for fifth in the league with six RBI. Roberson has 2 homers on the year, tying him with several other players for third in the league. Roberson has shown extensive power, pulling pitches deep in the count for towering homers. -- Britt Berry, CCBL Intern, bBerry@capecodbaseball.org
Harwich stealing its way to the top (4-5, tied 3rd in East)
The Harwich Mariners end this week tied for third in the Eastern Division with the Chatham A’s with a 4-5 record and four points out of first place. Offensively, Tim Grogan (Western Kentucky) is tied for 2nd in the league with seven RBI, and is hitting .333. Outfielder and freshman All-American Drew Davidson (Illinois) has been a hot hitter for the Mariners, with a .320 batting average, .400 slugging percentage, and .370 on-base percentage through June 26.
Dan Brauer, a lefthander out of Northwestern, pitched seven shutout innings in a 7-2 win over Wareham on the 25th. He allowed two hits, two walks and struck out seven.
Mariners Brent Lillibridge (Washington) and Ben Copeland (Pittsburgh) are tied for second in the league with five stolen bases. Harwich has set a league record with 18 consecutive stolen bases as a team. The Mariners are second to the Cotuit Kettleers who have stolen 30.
Harwich pitching has allowed only 2 homeruns and has struck out a league-best 96. -- Britt Berry, CCBL Intern, bBerry@capecodbaseball.org
Chatham falls into tie (4-5, tied 3rd in East)
The Chatham A’s are in a head-to-head battle for 3rd place with Harwich in the Eastern Division. The A’s first baseman Ryan Bono (Central Florida) is second in the league with seven RBI on the young season. Infielder Chris Getz (Wake Forest) has been on a hot streak, batting .357 with a .500 slugging percentage and a .526 on-base percentage through June 25.
Team batting is down, with an average of .195 through June 26. The A’s have pushed 32 runs across the plate, however, and have walked 38 times. While the A’s are 4-5, Chatham pitching has been effective, as the team ERA is 2.50 with Kyle Bono (Central Florida) and David Huff (California-Irvine) leading the pitching staff, each with a 0.00 ERA. -- Britt Berry, CCBL Intern, bBerry@capecodbaseball.org
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 email@example.com