THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
(3 July – 10 July 2005)
Coca Cola Pitcher and Player of the Week
COCA COLA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Orleans’ Chris Pettit (Loyola Marymount) knows all about timing. SportTicker Boston has named Pettit Player of the Week after hitting .400, with two home runs, a whopping .867 slugging percentage and six RBI for the Orleans Cardinals. Pettit is tied for first place in the league in home runs (4) and sits in second place in both batting average (.329) and RBI (14). He also leads the league in extra-base hits (10), slugging percentage (.600) and on-base percentage (.400). In the overall hits category, Pettit is third in the league with 23 - only two away from claiming first overall. Fans will be watching to see if Pettit can continue his torrid pace as a potential Triple Crown threat.
COCA COLA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
With the week Derrick Lutz (George Washington) of Chatham has strung together, there’s no doubt that he is the Coca Cola Pitcher of the Week. In three appearances, Lutz anchored the A’s by posting two saves and 11 strikeouts while giving up only four hits over five innings pitched. Most impressively, Lutz’s ERA over this period was 0.00. The six-foot right-hander from Grantville, PA, sits in second place overall with five saves. In eight relief appearances this season, Lutz has struck out 19 batters and walked one while giving up only six hits. Michael Kydd, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
Cory Looking Forward To Brave New Future
Looking ahead, and not back, seperates Bourne Braves lefty Forrest Cory III from a lot of other Cape League players this summer.
Cory, out of the College of William & Mary, pitched the past two summers for the Peninsula Pilots of the Coastal Plains League. The Pilots, located in Hampton, VA, nor far from Cory's hometown of Newport News, VA, offered the talented lefty a "learning experience". But make no mistake, Cory is thrilled to be showing his ability here on the Cape this summer - and is not looking back.
"This is where you want to be to showcase your stuff (to major league scouts)," noted the 6'3" southpaw, who raised his record to 3-0 after a 6-4 win at Y-D Saturday afternoon. "You're facing (as a pitcher) some very good hitters here."
So far, Cory has impressed many with his stuff, as his 3-0 mark and 1.16 earner run average will attest to. He also picked up his first save as a Cape Leaguer with two scoreless innings of relief in a 2-0 win over Y-D last week. In that game, Cory faced a situation that Red Sox Nation fans have seen too much of lately - runners on second and third and no outs in the ninth inning. But unlike Boston's troubled closer Keith Foulke, Cory bore down to fan the next Y-D batter and get the following hitter to pop to short. After what Cory called an "unintentional intentional walk" to load the bases, the lefty got the next Y-D batter to ground weakly to second to end the game.
"Coming out of bullpen is different for me," stated Cory. "As a starter I work on three pitches (in the bullpen) before the game. But coming in relief, I only work on my two best pitches. But I feel I'm versatile enough to work either as a starter or as a closer."
Although he was only 3-4 with a 5.81 ERA for The Tribe this past season, Cory, who'll be a senior at W & M this fall, led his team in starts with 15 and innings with 83 2/3. Other coming to the Cape this summer may have had gaudier marks at their colleges this past season, but its Cory who is currently ninth in the league in ERA with his 1.16 mark. He's also now tied for second in the league in wins.
"I'm hoping to work on my fastball (up here)," explained Cory. "With the wood bats, I can pitch more inside to lefthanded hitters. I can be more aggressive with my pitches facing wooden bats."
RUNNING THE BASES - The Braves finally replaced the departed Nick Francona, son of Red Sox skipper Terry Francona, on their roster when they signed Tulane hurler J.R. Crowel for the rest of the summer. Crowel, a lefty, was 10-1 with as 4.86 ERA for the Green Wave this past season...The Braves' win at Falmouth on Thursday nite gave them a four-point lead over Cotuit and Wareham in the West Division heading into this weekend's play...Romas Hicks of Georgia State picked up his fifth save of the season in the win at Y-D Saturday. Currently, Hicks is tied for second in the league in saves. Scott Sanford, Website Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harris Climbs To Top Of League In Three Categories
After starting off slow, Cotuit’s Bryan Harris has found his swing and has climbed to the top of the major power categories. Harris has caught fire as of late and has knocked in ten runs in the last seven days. Harris’ .344 average is good for the league’s best and his 15 RBIs also put him into first.
Harris has been switched around the infield playing many different positions. With Todd Davison at first, the 6’2’’ right-hander has found a home at third base. Harris started eighteen games for LSU in the spring and started ten of them at third base.
In his first stint with Cotuit in the 2004 summer, Harris hit .309 and primarily played first base for the Kettleers. Harris isn’t concerned about what position he will play each day, he is just happy to be out there.
“Bryan is an easy going guy. He loves the game and will play whatever role our team needs,” claims Cotuit GM Bruce Murphy.
Having a year of experience in the Cape League can make a tremendous difference for some players. Adjusting to the different parks, the bats and just the atmosphere in general takes time for some of these young players. Harris definitely has a leg up on many players who are spending their first time in the Cape.
Clay Dirks, another LSU standout, has been wonderful on the mound for Cotuit thus far. Clay has recorded sixteen strikeouts in 23 innings and has posted a 2-0 record while recording a 1.14 ERA.
Dirks, a 6’4’’ lefty, is not an overpowering pitcher, but many in the league have found him to be quite a crafty pitcher. His off-speed pitches leave many batters wondering what could have been and are a great combination for his accurate fastball. At LSU the past two seasons, Dirks has recorded a total of eighteen wins. With an exceptional repertoire of pitches, Dirks brings big crowds to the ballpark and has many in Cotuit hoping he can lead his team to the playoffs. Nick Mucci, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
Hamilton Leading Commodores
Although his team suffered through a five-game losing streak earlier in the season, Commodores’ skipper Jeff Trundy was not overly concerned. “Once we get everyone here, we will complete the team adjustments,” he said.
Like many Cape teams, Falmouth was missing some key players in the early going due to other commitments. One such player was Mark Hamilton, a sophomore from Tulane missed time at Falmouth as his team competed in the College World Series.
The Tulane team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for the vast majority of the 2005 season, and they proved why they were deserving of the distinction. The Green Wave made it all the way to the World Series before falling to Baylor by a score of 8-7.
In that game, Hamilton, who was playing left field, hit a two-run homer in the second inning to stake his team to an early lead.
Hamilton is no stranger to playing in championship games, as he was a member of Falmouth’s 2004 Western Division winning squad. In 2004, he finished third in the league with seven home runs and 29 RBI. Hamilton also represented the West in the home run derby competition at the annual all-star game. His summer on the Cape caused him to be named the No. 14 prospect in summer baseball by Baseball America.
Hamilton continued in Tulane where he left off in Falmouth, hitting .322 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI this spring. Despite missing time with a wrist injury in the middle of the season, the left fielder still managed a .603 slugging percentage.
Falmouth was glad to see Hamilton return, as he has made a significant impact in the seven games he has played. In 25 at bats, he is hitting .400 with 2 home runs and 11 RBI. In a game against Harwich last week, he went 4 for 5 with 3 runs scored and 5 RBI. Colin Reed, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Temporary Players Leading Hyannis Mets
Despite compiling the league’s worst record even after winning five of their last six games, the Hyannis Mets have received several solid performances from some unexpected sources.
Slugging infielder Kyle Norrid, who sat out this spring after transferring from Tennessee to Memphis, leads the team with a .280 batting average along with one homer and seven RBI.
On a team ranked ninth in overall batting average (.202), Norrid has consistently stayed above .250 and flirted with the magic .300 mark.
“Kyle has been a great story for us,” said Hyannis GM John Howitt. “He was originally signed as a temporary player and we’ve taken him on permanently. He’s given us a good bat in the infield.”
Norrid is a 6-0, 205-pound right-handed hitter who hails from Germantown, TN.
Another surprising performance has been turned in by catcher Teddy Dziuba, who is batting .265 and is among the league leaders with three home runs.
The 5-10, 185-pound left-handed hitting catcher from Babson played briefly for two other teams, including one at the end of last season and another during pre-season before being picked up by the Mets as a temp and finally signed as a permanent player just last week.
“We needed a catcher and Teddy has filled the bill, both in the batter’s box and behind the plate,” said Howitt.
At Babson, Dziuba, a native of Wayne, N.J., was named All-NEWMAC, NEIBA All-New England, and ECAC All-New England after leading the team with a .356 average, 12 doubles, 39 runs scored, 36 RBIs, and 33 walks (ranking 24th nationally).
In addition, his six home runs gave him 19 in his career. Dziuba is second in Babson history with a .368 average, fifth with 116 RBIs, third with 241 total bases, third with 80 walks, and first with a .616 slugging percentage. The junior catcher posted a .996 fielding percentage while throwing out nearly 30 percent of opposing base-runners.
After a 1-12-1 start, the Mets captured a 8-4 win over Orleans at Eldredge Park. Hyannis received a strong performance from lefty Ryan Kennedy (Virginia Tech), who hurled a two-hitter over the first 6 1/3 innings and struck out five.
Leading a 13-hit attack against the league-leading Cardinals were Jay Miller (Washington St), Norrid, Chris Johnson (Stetson), Mark McGonigle (Houston) and Brandon Paritz (Stetson), who had two hits apiece.
After a rain-out Friday, the Mets posted a 3-2 win at Falmouth Saturday, thanks to two-hit performances by Johnson and Mike Baxter (Vanderbilt) and a solid relief outing by lefty Charlie Furbush, who earned his first victory.
Chris Duke (San Diego CC), with a 1-1 record and a 2.84 ERA and Mike Koons (Arizona) with a 1-1 mark and 2.40 ERA lead the Mets’ mound corps. John Garner, Jr., Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting, email@example.com
Two Shutouts Highlight Week For Gatemen
Wareham’s pitching continues to be its strong point as the staff combined for two back-to-back shutouts against Bourne and Cotuit. On July 4th, Brad Furnish, Shawn Haviland, Bobby Bramhall, and Justin Masterson combined for a six-hit shutout against the Braves. Furnish is second on the team in strikeouts and in 25.2 innings has compiled a 1.75 ERA.
Furnish started 14 games for the Horned Frogs as a sophomore, recording a 4.14 ERA and compiling a 5-6 record. Furnish has pitched well in his first four appearances. Although he admitted he was nervous in his first start, Brad settled down in his next three appearances.
“Pitching for the first time I was real juiced up. I left a few balls up in the zone and both were hit over the fence,” Furnish said.
Furnish is just one of five Gatemen pitchers who has an ERA of under two. The staff is second in the league with a 2.30 ERA something that has allowed them to contend for first place in the East Division.
In a seven-inning game Tuesday, Wade Leblanc and Jeff Mandel held their arch-rival Cotuit to a six-hit shutout. Nick Mucci, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Walters Shines For Struggling Whitecaps
While rain is not a stranger to the Cape, on the days the Brewster Whitecaps were able to play, their opponents were ready to pour on the offense, leaving Brewster with a 1-5 record on the week.
A bright spot for the Whitecaps continues to be South Alabama’s right-handed starter P.J. Walters (4-0), who leads the league in wins and boasts a 1.57 ERA with 29 strikeouts.
“I’m trying to get ahead of batters and not give up walks to help keep our guys in the game,” said Walters. Of the four runs that have scored against him, Walters is aware that three batters reached base via a walk or hit by pitch.
In the Whitecaps’ solo win of the week, Walters tossed six innings against the Harwich Mariners, yielding only six hits while striking out nine before giving way to reliever Jonathan Hovis (UNC). Hovis combined with Brian Donahue (Amherst College) for the last three innings and limited the Mariners to just two hits.
Florida’s Brian LeClerc led Brewster’s offense in the win picking up two RBI in a 3-4 performance. Tommy Lentz of Winthrop and Aaron Bates (NC State) added two hits apiece for the Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps hope that the addition of pitchers Kevin Dryanski (Arizona State) and Ricky Fairchild (Tulane) will increase their chances to pull out needed victories. Matt Oxendine (North Florida) and Fullerton’s Dan Dorn are expected to add to Brewster’s offensive lineup which continues to be ranked near the top of the league with a .247 team batting average. Jenna Kubesch, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
Strong Pitching Continues To Lift Chatham A’s
Chatham Field Manager John Schiffner said he has “no complaints” about his team’s play of late, and nor should he, as the A’s continue to lead the league in team pitching and are one percentage point behind league-leading Brewster in overall hitting.
The starting pitching has been spectacular, as teammates Jared Hughes and Robert Woodard were named Coca Cola Pitcher of the Week in back-to-back weeks. Chatham is also doing a nice job on the offensive side, led by infielder Evan Longoria (Long Beach State).
Longoria, a six-foot-two inch sophomore, is currently seventh among all CCBL batters with a .310 average. He has hit three home runs and driven in 10 runs, but his .517 slugging percentage is perhaps his most impressive statistic. This is the fourth highest in the league and has anchored the middle of Chatham’s lineup.
This spring, Longoria showed he was a well-rounded player, hitting .320 with five home runs and 30 RBIs. He scored a team-high 34 runs, and was also 10-for-11 in stolen base attempts. In a 4-1 loss to Orleans last Sunday, Longoria went 3-for-5. Colin Reed, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sizemore Leading Mariners Offense
After beginning the season with four straight victories, the Mariners have fallen on tough times, dropping nine of their last 10 decisions. Though not much has gone right for his team lately, manager Steve Englert did praise the play of infielder Scott Sizemore.
“He has been swinging the bat well,” Englert noted. “He’s been playing well for us all year.”
Sizemore, a sophomore from Virginia Commonwealth University, has been used primarily at third for the Mariners thus far, but he can also play second base or shortstop. He leads all Harwich regulars with a .297 batting average and a .393 on base percentage.
“He’s been our only offensive threat,” Englert said. Only two other starting players are hitting over .200 at this point in the season.
This past spring at VCU, Sizemore started all 55 games for the Rams. He led his team in a slew of offensive categories, including doubles (24), triples (3), home runs (12), RBI (56), runs (57), walks (37), batting average (.364), slugging percentage (.673) and on-base percentage (.464). In addition, the infielder also swiped 10 bags in 21 attempts.
The Rams went 33-22 this past spring and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the sixth time in the past eight years.
Englert talked about his team’s struggles after a recent loss to the Red Sox. “We’re in a bad streak right now,” he said. “We’re not getting big hits, the starting pitching is struggling and we’re giving up runs.” Colin Reed, CCBL intern, email@example.com
Pettit Helps Lead Cards to First Place
In the fourth week of play, the Orleans Cardinals have finally made it to the top of the East Division, and have gotten there with strong offense, especially from outfielder Chris Pettit (Loyola Marymount).
Pettit is third in the Cape League batting .328. Last week, he went 1-for-3 in the Cards 6-2 win over the Falmouth Commodores. And that one hit was a two-run homer that came in the first inning. Pettit is currently leading the Cape League with four home runs.
The Cardinals are sitting pretty atop the East with a record of 12-7 and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. As a team the Cards are third in the league with a batting average of .239 and they are second in the league in pitching with a .206 ERA. Another Cardinal that is sitting atop the Cape League Leader board is right-handed pitcher Steven Wright (Hawaii). Wright is leading the league with 6 saves.
Also, the Cardinals own Manny Burris (Kent State)is currently leading the Cape league with 23 stolen bases. This ties the Cardinals record for stolen bases and it is only a matter of time before Burris beats the Cape League record. Stefanie Falco, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Errecart Boosts Y-D Red Sox
Even though the Y-D dropped below .500, they do possess one of the league’s top hitters in outfielder/first baseman Chris Errecart.
The Cal-Berkley product was named the Coca-Cola Cape League Player of the Week for the week of July 3.
“It’s pretty exciting. Anytime you can win an award like that, it’s an honor,” said Errecart.
Errecart is currently batting .321, which is good for fourth in the Cape League. He is also first in the league with a .610 slugging percentage and second in the league in on-base percentage with .410 as well as second in extra base hits with eight.
Errecart is an all-around team player and field manager Scott Pickler has plenty of compliments to give his first baseman, “Chris is a student of the game. Each day he comes and works hard until he gets it right.”
Pickler loves Errecart’s work ethic and says that he loves to win and always puts the team first. “Chris is also great at making adjustments at the plate,” said Pickler.
While the Sox are in third place in the Eastern Division they are still batting well as a team. The Sox are currently batting fourth in the Cape League with a .239 average. With the hitting going well the reigning Cape League champs are looking to turn things around. Thursday night at D-Y the Sox posted a 9-3 win over Harwich. Stefanie Falco, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
Around the Cape League Horn
Radio Game: The next Captain Parker’s Cape League Radio Game of the Week on PIXY 103 (102.9 FM) is Y-D at Chatham Monday at 6:45 p.m…Film At 9 O’clock: The award-winning documentary on the CCBL, "Touching the Game," will be shown at the Woods Hole Film Festival at 9:00 on Monday, August 1. Details on the location are available at www.woodsholefilmfestival.org ; League Corporate Nights: July 10th -- Nacona - Orleans; Cape Cod Potato Chips - Harwich; July 11th -- Cape Cod Potato Chips - Cotuit; Sullivan Tire - Chatham; Nacona - Harwich; July 13th -- Cape Cod Potato Chips - Falmouth; Key Span Employee Appreciation Night - Y-D; Hood Sampling - Falmouth; Sullivan Tire - Brewster; July 14th -- Sullivan Tire -- Y-D; Cape Cod Potato Chips - Harwich; Hood Sampling - Orleans; July 17th -- Cape Cod Potato Chips Appreciation Night - Hyannis…Re-scheduled Games: As a result of last Friday’s postponed games, the following is an updated list of rescheduled games: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 Chatham @ YD - 5:00 pm; Cotuit @ Bourne - 4:45 pm; Falmouth @ Harwich - 7:00 pm; Wareham @ Orleans - 7:00 pm; Wednesday, July 20, 2005 Wareham @ Chatham - 7:00 pm; YD @ Brewster - 5:00 pm; Tuesday, July 26, 2005 Chatham @ Hyannis - 5:00 pm.
Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game
Saturday, July 30
McKeon Park, Hyannis, Mass.
Schedule of Events
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 firstname.lastname@example.org
Interns: Stephanie Falco, Jason S. Itzkowitz, Jenna Kubesch, Michael Kydd, Nicholas Mucci, Colin Reed
Contributing Editor, Scott Sanford