THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
(1 August – 8 August 2004)
Written by John Garner, Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
Cape League Interns Britt Berry, TJ Lasita and Brian MacPherson
Contributing writer, Bruce Hack, CCBL Historian
Hyannis and Brewster earned playoff spots on the final day of the regular season.
Hyannis defeated West-rival Cotuit 5-4 in 10 innings to finish in second two points ahead of Cotuit. Joe Holland drove in Mike Costanzo, who doubled, with single to left in the bottom of the tenth. Costanzo had given the Mets a 4-3 lead in the eighth with a 2-run home run. He came in to pitch in the ninth and allowed the tying run to score and then picked up the win when he scored in the tenth.
Despite losing 3-2 to Harwich Brewster took second place in the East when Orleans lost 3-1 to Chatham. Brewster began the day a point ahead of Orleans and held that advantage.
The playoffs begin on Tuesday with a 3 p.m. contest between Brewster and Yarmouth-Dennis at Red Wilson Field in South Yarmouth. The West division matchup is at 7 p.m. at Arnie Allen Diamond when Hyannis travels to Falmouth.
Coca Cola Pitcher and Player of the Week
COCA COLA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Yarmouth-Dennis’ Nick Moresi (Fresno State) heated up at the right time and helped propel the Red Sox to a first place finish in the East Division.
The Clayton, CA native batted .444 (8-for-17) with two home runs, three RBI and four runs scored as Y-D went 5-1 in the regular seasons final week.
Moresi belted a two-run home run in an 8-1 win at East-rival Brewster on Tuesday (8/3). In a 4-4 tie with Orleans on Saturday (8/7) he doubled and hit a solo home run.
He finished with six home runs, 17 RBI and a .265 batting average.
COCA COLA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
The final week of the season had two pitchers shine for teams that were playing the role of spoiler.
Bourne’s Mike Madsen (Ohio State) tossed his second three-hitter of the season with a complete game 2-0 win over Wareham on Wednesday (8/4). He limited the Gatemen to three singles, walked three and struck out eight.
The Canfield, OH native finished 5-1 with a 1.31 ERA, sixth in the league. He shared the league lead in complete games (2) and shutouts (2).
Chatham southpaw David Huff shares Pitcher of the Week honors as he pitched a complete game five hitter against Bourne on Thursday (8/5).
In the 1-0 win he walked one and struck out nine as the A’s dealt the Braves a blow in their hunt for the second playoff spot in the West.
Huff (UC Irvine), from Huntington Beach, CA, finished at 3-3 with a 1.31 ERA, fourth best in the league. He split time between the bullpen (8 relief appearances) and starting (four starts) for Chatham. Huff had 48 strikeouts in 49.1 innings and walked nine.
Playoff spots were not the only things decided on the final day of the regular season.
The race for the Thurman Munson Award, given to the batting champion, came down to the last game of the season. Going into Sunday’s action Brewster’s Ryan Patterson (LSU) was in first at .330 followed by Orleans’ Jordan Brown (Arizona) at .328 and Hyannis’ Pat Reilly (Arizona) at .320. Patterson went 1-for-4 to finish at .32727, Reilly was 2-for-4 to finish at .32673 and Brown went 0-for-4 in the only late game of the day, and finished at .318. Patterson edged out Reilly by five ten-thousandths of a point (.0005401), the second closest race in modern-era history. His .327 is the second-lowest average to win the batting title. Lou Merloni (Cotuit) won with a .321 average in 1993.
Daniel Carte (Winthrop) became the 22nd player in the modern era (since 1963) to win two thirds of the Triple Crown. The Falmouth rightfielder lead the league in home runs (11) and RBI (38). He was also first in slugging percentage (.560), total bases (89) and second in runs (30). No player has won the hitting Triple Crown.
Warner Jones (Vanderbilt) lead the league with 188 at bats, the third most in history and with 57hits. This is the second year he has pace the league in both categories. He also had a league-high 16 doubles.
Cliff Pennington (Texas A&M) was the league’s top thief with 21 steals.
For the pitchers Dallas Buck (Oregon State) paced the league with a 0.77 ERA. The Falmouth righthander was 4-1 and tied for second with 65 strikeouts.
Harwich’s Dan Brauer (Northwestern) tied for the lead in wins with six. Brauer was 6-2 with a 1.90 ERA and tied for second in strikeouts with 65. He shared the wins lead with Cotuit’s Ryan Cahalan (Florida Southern College). Cahalan was 6-1 with all six wins in relief. He tied the league record for relief wins and his 28 appearances are third most in a season.
Brewster’s Matt Goyen became the first Whitecap to lead the league in strikeouts (80). The lefthander was 5-2 with a 1.25 ERA.
Wareham’s Kevin Whalen paced the circuit with 11 saves. He is the sixth Gateman to lead the league in saves.
Cape League "Rookie" Scorer Makes Debut
With eight games on Saturday August 7 because of rainouts, team and league officials were scrambling to ensure everything was taken care of. That included the official scorers. Bourne was hosting Brewster in a noon contest and official scorer Bruce Hack, who originally had been assigned the game, could not score the game because of a work commitment. In stepped his scoring mentor and father Carlton Hack, to make his debut as a Cape League official scorer. The senior Hack, who played in the league in the early sixties for the Otis Air Force Base team, handled the assignment like a professional.
The Hacks join Jim and Brian Higgins as the second father-son official scorers. -- Bruce Hack, CCBL Historian
Yarmouth-Dennis (27-17-1, first in East, 15-8-1 in division, 5-1 for week)
Championship teams historically are based on strong pitching staffs, with potent offenses there for support. If that’s the case, Yarmouth-Dennis should have nothing to worry about.
The Red Sox have scored more runs than all but one Cape League team this season, and a lineup anchored by Frank Curreri (UMass) and Matt LaPorta (Florida) should have no trouble scoring runs in the playoffs. The potency of the team’s offense has never been in doubt.
The real boost, though, came this week when Red Sox pitchers turned in back-to-back-to-back-to-back outstanding starts. Justin Keadle (Wake Forest) held Harwich to four hits and one earned run in 5 2/3 innings on Monday, and Daniel McCutchen (Oklahoma) dominated Brewster on Tuesday, tossing a complete game while allowing just seven hits and one run. Best of all, he didn’t walk a single hitter.
“My problems come when I start walking people,” McCutchen said. “When I start giving away free bases, that’s when I get into trouble.”
The next night, Brandon Morrow (California) bailed out the Red Sox offense with seven shutout innings and 10 strikeouts in a 1-0 win against Harwich. And on Friday, Cory VanAllen (Baylor) held playoff contender Hyannis to four hits in 6 2/3 innings.
If the pitchers continue to feed off each other, the Red Sox will be tough to beat come playoff time. And as they have clinched the East Division title, the first round of the postseason will begin at Red Wilson Field at 3 p.m. on Tuesday. -- By Brian MacPherson, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
Brewster (23-11, second in East, 11-13 in division, 2-5 for week)
In an unlikely turn of events, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox are 4-0-1 in their last five games, and the Orleans Cardinals won an astounding eight in a row and are 8-0-1 in their last nine games. Losing the secure lock they seemed to have earlier in the season, the Brewster Whitecaps entered the last day of the regular season with a one point lead over Orleans. The Whitecaps are a mediocre 3-7 in their last 10 games.
Equally as surprising as the change in the standings in the East is the surge of offensive power from Brewster second baseman Will Rhymes (William & Mary). Rhymes, who joined the Whitecaps as a temporary player, has proved himself time and time again at his position. Rhymes’ outstanding defense even earned him a spot on the 2004 All-Star roster as a reserve. Rhymes is now sixth in the league in batting average at .303, and tied for third in the league with 47 hits.
Ryan Patterson (LSU) has moved into first in the league batting race at .330, two points ahead of Jordan Brown (Orleans). He is fifth in the league with 24 RBI. Andy Hunter (Minnesota) at .291 is also hitting well for the Whitecaps. Brewster bats have been lively, and as a team the Whitecaps lead the league with a collective batting average of .246. Brewster is third with 23 home runs.
The Whitecaps traveled to McKeon Park in Hyannis on Wednesday to take on the Mets, who were in second place in the West Division. Josh Cribb (Clemson) took the hill for the Whitecaps, and went five complete innings, giving up seven hits, four earned runs, one walk, and striking out three. Cribb left the game down 4-3 and was relieved by Ryan Falcon (UNC-Greensboro). In the Brewster seventh with two on and two out, Steven Tolleson (South Carolina) singled to left to knot the game at four runs apiece.
Falcon would give up only one hit in the next four innings pitched, which would come in the bottom of the seventh. In the top of the ninth with two out, Will Rhymes doubled down the right field line. Tolleson struck again, following with a single down the right field line. This tiebreaker would be all the Whitecaps would need to win, as Falcon shut down Hyannis hitters in the bottom of the ninth.
Falcon earned the win, his third, moving him to 3-2 on the season. Tolleson was 3-for-4 in the game with two RBI and Patterson was 3-for-4 with three RBI. -- Britt Berry, 2004 CCBL Intern, bBerry@capecodbaseball.org
Orleans (22-21-1, third in East, 9-14-1 in division, 5-1 for week)
When nothing else is working, go back to the fundamentals and work from there.
Of course, for the Cardinals, plenty else is working. Orleans pitchers tossed 32 consecutive scoreless innings in a streak beginning last Saturday, and catcher Drew Butera (Central Florida) has thrown out eight of the last 10 opponents attempting to steal bases – including Cotuit speedster Dennis Diaz twice.
But the real impetus to Orleans’ hot streak – they’re unbeaten in nine straight entering Sunday’s final game – has come from its execution of small-ball techniques such as bunting, stealing, and moving the runner along.
Tuesday’s win was the perfect example. Chatham pitcher Justin Cassell matched Orleans’ Erik Averill out for out, and the game was scoreless entering the eighth inning. Seth Dhaenens (Arizona State) singled to right, and the Cardinals then laid down three consecutive bunts to get two runs home. The final bunt was a perfect suicide squeeze laid down by Matt Cooksey (George Mason) that actually resulted in two runs when a throw to the plate went to the backstop.
“It’s a matter of knowing your players and knowing who can bunt and who can run, and who can’t,” said Orleans coach Carmen Carcone.
Orleans isn’t just winning games with small ball, though. Four different players have homered in the last week, including slugger Jordan Brown – a master at moving the runner along with a well-timed ground ball to the right side. -- By Brian MacPherson, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chatham (21-23, fourth in East, 13-11 in division, 5-3 for week)
With a three game win streak by the A’s, combined with a three game losing streak by the Harwich Mariners, Chatham has dug itself out of a hole in the bottom of the East Division and into fourth place, two and a half games behind Orleans. Chatham has split its last ten, going 5-5.
Chatham hitting is at a collective .266, fifth in the league, and A’s hitter Steven Head (Mississippi) is hitting well at .283. Chatham pitching continues to be solid.
A’s lefty Ryan Mullins (Vanderbilt) boasts a 5-0 record on the year with a 1.82 ERA, and is fourth in the league in strikeouts with 64. Mullins is tied for the league lead in shutouts with two, and is tied for the league lead in complete games with two with teammate David Huff (UC-Irvine). Huff is 3-3 on the season, third in the league in ERA at 1.09.
Mullins took the mound for the A’s last Sunday night at Chatham’s Veterans Field. He came away with a complete game 2-0 win over Harwich. Mullins gave up only three hits, no walks, and struck out 13. Head and Travis Storrer (Clemson) provided the offense for the A’s, each driving in a run and going 1-for-4 and 1-for-3, respectively. -- Britt Berry, 2004 CCBL Intern, bBerry@capecodbaseball.org
Harwich (20-24, fifth in East, 11-13 in division, 3-6 for week)
Due to the Mariners’ 3-7 record in their last 10 games, combined with the win streaks their East division rivals, Harwich finds itself in last place at the beginning of Week 8 of the CCBL season. Harwich is, however, only two points behind fourth place Chatham.
Despite the unfortunate slide of the Mariners, several players have had individual success. Brent Lillibridge (Washington) is second in the league in stolen bases with 16. Zach Ward (Gardner-Webb), Dan Brauer (Northwestern), and Craig Hansen (St. John’s), continue to pitch well for the Mariners, and have been standouts all season. Brauer is tied for the league lead in wins with six, and is tied for second in strikeouts with 65. Hansen is tied for second in the league with nine saves.
The Mariners traveled to Lowell Park in Cotuit to take on the Kettleers on Tuesday night. Kevin Lynch (Florida State) took the mound for the Mariners, going seven strong innings and giving up only five hits, one earned run, one walk, and striking out eight.
Harwich struck early with a four-run first inning, and would scatter four more runs during the remaining eight innings to win 8-2. Lillibridge was 1-for-4, knocking in two. Coby Mavroulis (Texas A&M) was 2-for-4 with one RBI. Eric Eymann (Illinois) and James Holder (Cal-Berkeley) were both 2-for-5, each with one RBI.
Lynch earned the win improving to 3-1. Devin Monds (Northeastern) and Hansen combined for two innings of work, and gave up no hits, no runs, no walks, and each struck out one batter. -- Britt Berry, 2004 CCBL Intern, bBerry@capecodbaseball.org
Falmouth (25-18-1, first in West, 15-8-1 in division, 5-3 for week)
If he keeps this up, there just might be some good news and some bad news ahead for Jensen Lewis.
The bad news: his future as a play-by-play announcer might be put on hold. The good news: the delay will be caused by a long career as a professional baseball player.
A communications major at Vanderbilt, the Commodore hurler dreams of one day calling games from the broadcast booth. Lewis’ voice was heard announcing the lineups over the public address system at a Falmouth home game this summer, and he filled in to do a couple innings of play by play last year for the Commodores.
Make no mistake, though. Lewis’ sights are set on the pitcher’s mound, not the radio booth.
“We can do that when the 20-year career is over,” he said. “That would be nice.”
That 20-year career is looking more possible with each new start. Lewis made two appearances this week, running his record to 4-0 with a win Monday against Brewster, and throwing two scoreless innings against Hyannis on Saturday.
“I think what I’ve really done is taken the mentality that I need to pitch to my strengths, and then just let everything else happen,” he said. “I really like to be aggressive and attack, have a really quick tempo.”
As one of the quickest workers in the Cape League, the Cincinnati native has made mowing down hitters, 1-2-3 innings and sub-three-hour games his specialties.
The West Division All-Star brings a 1.73 ERA to the table, with 53 strikeouts against 15 walks.
He credits much of that success to being a veteran of the Cape League. Lewis made 15 appearances for the Commodores last summer, earning three saves.
“This year coming in it was a lot easier, just knowing what was ahead. With the long season, knowing not really to pace yourself, but to understand the work you have to put in everyday.”
Congratulations to Commodores pitching coach Greg DiCenzo who ran and finished his first Falmouth Road Race on Sunday.
Falmouth handed out team awards before the final game on Sunday. Matt Antonelli (Wake Forest) won the Arnie Allen Award, named after the longtime Falmouth volunteer. The top pitcher award, has been renamed the Eric Milton Award, in honor of the former Falmouth hurler who is being inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame this year. Dallas Buck (Oregon State) was the recipient. Buck was 4-1 with a league-leading 0.77 ERA and 65 strikeouts. The team MVP award was shared by Daniel Carte (Winthrop) and Cliff Pennington (Texas A&M). Carte lead the league in home runs (11) and RBI (38). Pennington paced the circuit with 21 stolen bases and had three home runs and 20 RBI. -- By T.J. Lasita, CCBL Intern, TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
Hyannis (21-22-1, second in West, 11-12-1 in division, 3-4 for week)
Despite the friendly confines of McKeon Park, the Hyannis Mets split a rare Saturday doubleheader and set the stage for a winner-take-second contest against the cross-town rival Cotuit Kettleers Sunday.
They won the opener 5-3 over visiting Wareham and dropped the nightcap 4-1 to the West Division champion Falmouth Commodores.
“We had a chance to be in the driver’s seat, but couldn’t get it done against a tough Falmouth team,” admitted Hyannis GM John Howitt. “Now it’s all done to one final game against Cotuit.”
A Cotuit win over Wareham set the stage for a match-up between Hyannis and the Kettleers Sunday at McKeon, where the winner will capture a second-place finish in the Western Division and the right to face the Commodores Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the divisional playoffs.
Cliff Pennington‘s three-run homer in the eighth inning provided the winning runs and a perfect ninth inning in his first appearance on the mound gave him a save while wrapping up the Falmouth win. Hyannis's Joe Martinez (Boston College) pitched well until the eighth inning, having allowed only three hits in his first seven shutout innings.
The Mets broke the deadlock in the sixth inning, when Mike Costanzo (Coastal Carolina) led off with a walk and came around on a RBI double by Joe Holland (Tulane).
Holland went 2-for-4 for the Mets, while Mike Baxter (Vanderbilt) had hits in his first three trips to the plate, finishing 3-for-4.
The two-hour game was the Mets' shortest of the season. The Mets' leading hitter in the doubleheader was Baxter, who went 4-for-6 with two walks and a run scored and Holland, who was 4-for-8 with two doubles, a run scored, and three RBIs.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Hyannis Mets used a four-run third inning to help themselves to a come-from-behind win over Wareham.
The Mets sent all nine batters to the plate in the third. With Shane Robinson (Florida St.) on first after a single, Ray issued consecutive walks to Baxter, Jay Miller (Washington St.), and Costanzo to send the first Mets run home. Holland followed with a two-run double to tie the game. A single by Pat Reilly (Arizona) brought Costanzo in for a 4-3 Mets lead.
Mets’ starter Matt Buschmann (Vanderbilt) earned the win, improving to 4-3 on the season. Randy Boone pitched well in 2 2/3 innings of relief, while the versatile Costanzo came in to pitch from first base, retiring the side in order in the ninth for his fourth save.
The Mets picked up an insurance run in the eighth inning, when a Mike Costantino double scored Holland from second. Holland finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs. Kyle Keen, Baxter, and Miller also had singles for Hyannis.
. This game was played after being rained out on four separate occasions: July 5, July 13, July 28, and August 5. With his 10th steal of the season, Pat Reilly became the first Met to move into double digits in stolen bases.
The Mets dropped a tough 3-2 contest at Y-D Friday when Ryan Rohlinger's single scored Jim Rapoport in the bottom of the ninth.
Reilly ranks third in the league in hitting with a .320 batting average and is second with a .421 OBP, while Costanzo is tied for third with 27 RBI. Chris Robinson (Illinois) is batting .294 while Keen is hitting .271. The Mets rank second in the CCBL at .243.
Mark Sauls (3-1, 1.76) and Mike Wlodarczyk (Boston College, 4-0, 2.08) are the top two starting pitchers for Hyannis. -- John Garner, Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
Cotuit (20-23-1, third in West, 8-15-1 in division, 4-4 for week)
There’s no prom, no study hall and no SAT’s, but to Casey Hudspeth, this Cape League season feels an awful lot like his senior year in high school.
Back in 2003, as pitcher for Sarasota High, Hudspeth went 5-0 and earned third-team All-State honors, serving as both a starter and a closer. After a Freshman All-American spring at South Florida, Hudspeth made his way to the Cape, where he again finds himself with a split role: starter and closer.
“I enjoy it,” he said. “Being a closer, the intensity is there and it makes it a lot more fun. But I also really like starting. I’ve just been doing it my whole life.”
Hudspeth opened the week for Cotuit out of the bullpen, recording the final two outs and earning his second save of the season in a 7-5 victory against Hyannis. Two nights later, Hudspeth was called on to start, taking the loss against Harwich.
While his performance may have suffered, Hudspeth has the team in mind.
“It helps to have time off, because your arm is strong,” he said. “But my team needs me, so I’m going to do whatever I can.”
This summer, Hudspeth has been one of Cotuit’s most reliable pitchers – starter or reliever. Through Saturday, Hudspeth featured a 2.59 ERA, with 29 strikeouts.
He’s seen success as a starter and a closer, but that success has come with some minor adjustments to Hudspeth’s strategy on the hill.
“In relief, I just come out and throw as hard as I can because I’m only there for one inning,” Hudspeth said. “Starting, I try to make it where I can go seven or eight innings every game.” -- By T.J. Lasita, CCBL Intern, TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
Wareham (20-24, fourth in West, 14-10 in division, 1-7 for week)
While the outcome of the game might not have been what they were looking for, the Wareham Gatemen pitching staff was nothing less than masterful Friday evening.
The Gatemen were defeated, 3-2, by Orleans in a 14-inning thriller (the longest game of the 2004 season) that lasted nearly four hours at Wareham’s own Spillane Field. The Gatemen did not come out on top on the scoreboard, but they did allow just eight hits on the night in 49 official at bats in the ballgame – a .163 clip to accompany 12 strikeouts. Only one Cardinal, Tyler Greene, recorded two hits on the day. The shortstop finished 2-for-6 with a walk on the evening.
Gatemen starter Anthony Cupps (Mississippi) surrendered just three hits in seven innings of work. Reliever Tom Thornton (Notre Dame) followed suit, allowing three hits over the next 4.1 innings. Closing out the game, Adam Trent (Young Harris) gave up two hits in the final 2.2 innings of the marathon, but picked up the loss.
Fittingly, as the clock neared 11 p.m., it was a walk, not a hit, that doomed the Gatemen. Leading off the top of the 14th, third baseman Seth Dhaenens drew a free pass. A pair of strikeouts later, Dhaenens remained on first with two outs.
Timing was on the Cardinals side, however, as they recorded two hits in the same inning for the first time in the game. A single by Matt Cooksey advanced Dhaenens, and a Greene base hit to right put Orleans up for good. -- By T.J. Lasita, CCBL Intern, TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
Bourne (19-24-1, fifth in West, 10-13-1 in division, 4-3 for week)
If they looked at his statistics from last spring, Mike Madsen’s teammates might not have expected a huge contribution from him this season.
But that’s exactly what they got.
Madsen, who posted a 4.83 ERA with Ohio State this season and went undrafted by major-league teams in June, has flat-out dominated the Cape League. He started the All-Star Game for the West Division based on his 4-0 record and 0.51 earned run average to that point, and he’s continued to excel as the season has progressed.
On Wednesday, Madsen tossed a complete-game shutout – his second of the season – against Wareham, holding the Gatemen to three hits while striking out eight. He has allowed just seven earned runs through the entire summer.
But Madsen wasn’t the only Bourne hurler to impress this week. Vince Bongiovanni (Miami) went toe-to-toe with Chatham’s David Huff in an epic pitchers’ duel on Thursday, allowing seven hits and just one run in 7 2/3 innings to take a tough loss. The next night, John Lewis (Stony Brook) went eight innings for the Braves and held Cotuit to five hits and two earned runs without a walk. -- By Brian MacPherson, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 firstname.lastname@example.org