THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
(25 June – 6 July 2007)
Coca Cola Pitcher and Player of the Week
COCA COLA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Brewster’s 6-foot, 2-inch, 215-pound first baseman Yonder Alonso (Miami) earned the latest Coca-Cola Player of the Week honors, thanks in large part to his 3-for-4, four-RBI performance Saturday against the Hyannis Mets. Alonso’s two home runs in that game, a solo shot and a three-run blast, helped lift the Whitecaps to an 8-4 victory. Alonso was hot at the plate all week, hitting .400 in five games to raise his season average to .358, good for fourth place among the league’s hitters. He also compiled a .750 slugging percentage to place fourth in the category. Alonso’s big week helped propel Brewster to a 3-2 for the week as the Whitecaps moved to 10-8-1, just one point behind second-place Chatham.
COCA COLA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Wareham left-hander Andy Oliver (Oklahoma State) gave up just two hits and one earned run in 15 innings of pitching to earn Coca-Cola Pitcher of the Week honors. He started two games, shutting out Harwich over eight innings on Sunday and giving up just one run against Cotuit on Saturday. Oliver struck out 18 batters, moving into second place among the league’s pitchers with a total of 33, and walked only seven. He lowered his earned run average to 1.75 and that of his team to 3.28, fourth best in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Kevin Wolfe, CCBL intern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Brewster Has an Up and Down Week;
Upset Victory over Y-D Is Whitecaps’ High Point
BREWSTER, Mass. -- The Brewster Whitecaps lost a couple of very close games last week, sandwiched around a big win against the Cape Cod Baseball League’s East Division powerhouse, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
Brewster opened the week at Harwich Tuesday night in what turned out to be a very good pitchers’ duel. The Whitecaps eventually fell to Harwich, 2-0, at Whitehouse Field. Blake Tekotte (Miami) and Jacob Priday (Missouri) each had two hits for Brewster, which had scoring opportunities all night but could not manage to push any runs across the plate. Whitecaps starter Brad Kledzick (Wake Forest) turned in a solid performance, striking out seven Mariners in the 6-1/3 innings he worked. He allowed the two Harwich runs, but both of them were unearned.
Brewster hosted Y-D on Wednesday and scored an upset 5-3 victory over the Red Sox. The first three hitters in the Whitecaps order led the way as David Doss (South Alabama), Yonder Alonso (Miami) and Tekotte went combined for five hits in 12 at-bats, with three RBI and one run scored. Ryan Cook (Southern Cal) and Ben Hornbeck (Kansas State) combined to throw seven great innings in the weather-shortened game.
The Whitecaps faced the Red Sox again the very next day at South Yarmouth, where Brewster was able to push across just one run in a 4-1 defeat.
The Whitecaps received a quality start from right-hander Matt Couch (San Diego), but that wasn’t enough as Trevor Holder (Georgia) dominated on the mound for Yarmouth-Dennis.
Bad weather forced postponement of Friday night’s scheduled game against the Cotuit Kettleers.
John Hannemann, CCBL intern (email@example.com)
Rituals, Superstitions Keep Chatham Players Loose;
It’s “Crazy Arms” for A’s when 2-Out Count Reaches 2-and-2
CHATHAM, Mass. – Athletes are some of the most superstitious people you will meet, and the most superstitious athletes are baseball players. Meeting a ballplayer without any superstitions or rituals is like meeting a Bostonian who hates the Red Sox … it just doesn’t happen.
These rituals come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from team to personal and can be found at every level of play. The Chatham A’s are no exception.
One of the most noticeable rituals among the A’s is what they call the “2-2-2.” It’s performed when there are two outs and the count on a batter is 2-and-2. The A’s say the 2-2-2 can be used as either an offensive or defensive maneuver. In a 2-2-2 scenario, players will either rub their hats or do “crazy arms.”
“ ‘Crazy arms’ works every time we use it,” said shortstop Scott Lyons (Mt. San Antonio). “It’s the best so far, so we’re going to keep doing it. It really makes everyone get together and it brings the mood down to a fun level.”
The A’s don’t stop with the 2-2-2. In a 3-2-2 situation, they “rock it out” by putting their hats on backwards.
“It really helps keep everyone on the bench in the game, and it keeps our energy up.” said second baseman Kyle Seager (North Carolina).
Seager has his own personal rituals, too. Before batting, Seager must touch his toes nine times, and when running onto the field, he makes it a point to jump over the line, a ritual he says is pretty common.
Pitcher Alex White (North Carolina) wears the same clothes at every game, but he made sure to clarify that he does wash them after each game. White also has some in-game rituals, such as turning to the right after he catches a ball thrown from third base.
A’s manager John Schiffner is not without his own superstitions. Schiffner said that everything down to the type of deodorant he uses has become a part of his game-day routine. Gabriella Remington, CCBL intern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WBZ’s Internet Game of the Week Inspires Harwich;
Mariners Finally Snap Nine-Game Losing Streak
HARWICH, Mass. -- Harwich may finally be breaking out of its season-long slump. The Mariners ended a nine-game losing streak and won three of four games last week in Cape Cod Baseball League action.
With an off day last Monday, the Mariners were ready to go on Tuesday and hungry for a win that had eluded them for 10 days.
It just happened to be the night that WBZ103.com came to Whitehouse Field. It seemed to get the players pumped. Not only was legendary Boston Bruins broadcaster Fred Cusick doing the play-by-play, but a full production crew was present. Audio and video feeds of the game were provided on the WBZ Radio web site, which could be accessed worldwide.
“With all of the cameras here and the place being packed with people, this is the Cape Cod Baseball League you read about,” said Mariner star Josh Zeid (Tulane).
More than 1,500 fans showed up and they were able to experience all of the excitement of the big production as well as a solid 2-0 victory by the home team over the visiting Brewster Whitecaps.
Big right-hander Brett Jacobson (Vanderbilt) scattered seven hits over seven shutout innings to earn the victory. Jacobson worked out of jams all night as Brewster stranded five runners at third base.
Kent Mathes (Alabama) made a big first impression in his first game as a Mariner. In his second at-bat, Mathes doubled down the left field line. After J.B. Paxson (Western Kentucky) sacrificed him to third, Mathes scored on a fielder’s choice as Jared Bolden (Virginia Commonwealth) hit a ground ball to short.
Harwich’s other run came in the seventh inning, and lefty Evan Crawford (Auburn) threw two shutout innings to close out the game and pick up his second save of the season.
Harwich next traveled to Falmouth, where the Mariners fell, 4-3, for their only loss of the week. Zeid pitched a terrific game as he struck out 10 Commodores in 6-2/3 shutout innings, but sloppy infield play was the story and Falmouth took advantage of the defensive collapse. Three of the Commodores’ four runs were unearned.
Harwich returned home to face the best team in the Cape League’s West Division, the Bourne Braves. The Mariners were firing on all cylinders and scored a convincing 9-3 victory.
Kyle Day (Michigan State) went 2-for-4 and homered on a deep shot to right field, but the big bat was that of Mariner third baseman Jeremy Wise (Oklahoma), who stroked four hits, including a double, while scoring three times. By the end of the game, Wise had raised his batting average by more than 100 points. Wise also made three great defensive plays in the game.
Winning pitcher Dan Hudson (Old Dominion) worked seven strong innings, giving up only one run while striking out eight.
The Mariners did everything right in this one. Offensively, their nine runs scored were a season high; their pitching was superb and, most importantly, they played errorless baseball.
Their bats were quiet when the Mariners next faced the Gatemen in Wareham, but Harwich won, 1-0, behind the servings of lefty Corey Young (Seton Hall). Young pitched 7-2/3 innings, scattering five hits and striking out four in a dominating performance. Crawford came on in the eighth to get the game’s last four outs, striking out two and not allowing a hit while picking up his second save of the week.
The game’s only run came in the first inning as Johnny Giovatella (New Orleans) scored on a Steve Strausbaugh (Western Carolina) double. From that point on, pitchers Young and Crawford slammed the door on the Gatemen. John Hannemann, CCBL intern (email@example.com)
Constant Presence of Big League Scouts
Nothing New for Orleans Cardinals Players
ORLEANS, Mass. -- The Cape Cod Baseball League draws major league scouts to virtually every game. With their speed guns, notebooks and stopwatches, they’re easy to spot. The Orleans Cardinals welcome the scouts to their games, and with a prime spot behind home plate reserved for scouts, the players make sure to show off their skills and talent at every game.
“It’s the best summer league in the country, and this time of year is when you start to see a bunch of them (scouts),” said Orleans manager Kelly Nicholson. “Around the all-star game there are going to be a lot of them. So it’s a great opportunity for these guys to be seen by all the organizations.”
Orleans pitcher Will Atwood (California) said that while scouts visit colleges on a regular basis, the Cape League makes it easier for scouts to see all the good players at once, which draws more scouts to the league.
“The Cape League is the premiere summer league in the country and the scouts are always out,” said Atwood. “It makes it interesting and it gives the guys incentive to play at the best level they can.”
The Cape League’s use of wooden bats gives the scouts a good indication of how a player will perform in professional baseball.
“Any time you do something good with a wooden bat, scouts take notice and it’s a plus,” said first baseman Jose Jimenez (Tampa).
Jimenez is still adjusting to playing in a wooden bat league/ He was batting .239 at this writing, the third highest batting average for the Cardinals. Dennis Raben (Miami) and Eric Reese (Fordham) were hitting .274 and .273, respectively.
Facing pressure to perform at a high level, it’s a wonder the players seem so collected on the field. But Jimenez said he and his teammates have become accustomed to having the scouts around.
“I’m used to seeing them at school,” Jimenez said, explaining that to avoid fixating on their presence, he treats each scout as “just another person in the crowd.” Gabriella Remington, CCBL intern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Yarmouth-Dennis Keeps Rolling, Builds
Lead in East to Nine Points over Chatham
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. -- The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox started the week in first place in the East Division with a record of 9-3-1 and with a roster as strong as any in the Cape Cod Baseball League. So when Diego Seastrunk and Aaron Luna arrived July 2 after helping the Rice Owls to a third-place finish in the College World Series, they knew they would be joining a team that was already firing on all cylinders.
“You just want to come in here with a great group of guys and add to a machine that’s already rolling … You hope to fit in and add to that team chemistry and to add to that success,” said Luna. That “machine” rolled to a 5-1 record last week and happily welcomed its two new players.
“It was easy coming in. It’s a fun group of guys,” said Seastrunk after Thursday’s 4-1 Y-D victory over Brewster. “I got a hit, too … that helped. Everybody likes a guy who gets a hit.”
Seastrunk, like most players in the Cape League, wants not only to have his team be successful, but to develop into a better individual player while on the Cape this summer.
“I just want to get some work with the wood bat to get ready for the next level. The more you swing it, the more you get used to it. So the more at-bats I get, the better,” said Seastrunk.
Yarmouth-Dennis started the week with a 4-3 victory over Orleans in 12 innings. Third baseman Nick Romero (San Diego State) had the only RBI for the Red Sox and right hander Eddie Burns (Georgia Tech) pitched 6-1/3 strong innings, giving up just two earned runs. But it was 6-foot right-hander Shawn Sanford (South Florida) who would come on to blank the Cardinals in the 11th and 12th innings to get the win.
Next, the Red Sox took on the best of the West and defeated the Bourne Braves, 6-5. Bobby Gagg (Coastal Carolina) picked up his third win of the season as catcher Buster Posey (Florida State) and outfielder Colin Cowgill (Kentucky) each drove in two runs. The winning continued Tuesday at Red Wilson Field where right hander Terry Doyle (Boston College) and company beat the Hyannis Mets, 5-0. Doyle threw 7-1/3 shutout innings and struck out seven Mets to raise his season record to 3-1.
The Red Sox were surprised by Brewster, 5-3, on Wednesday but were able the very next night to avenge that loss when the Whitecaps traveled to Y-D. Solo home runs by shortstop Gordon Beckham (Georgia), Grant Green (Southern California) and first baseman Sean Ochinko (Louisiana State) helped the Red Sox win, 4-1. Matt Wickswat (Santa Clara) struck out five in 3-1/3 innings and Trevor Holder (Southern California) pitched 4-1/3 scoreless innings to collect his first Cape League win.
The Red Sox closed out the week July 6 at Chatham, where Burns allowed just one run in seven innings to collect the 4-1 win and right-handed reliever Nick Cassevechia (Baylor) pitched two shutout innings to earn his league-leading fifth save.
As the week ended, a league-best 14-4-1 record put Y-D nine points ahead of second-place Chatham in the East Division. The Red Sox will be playing three straight home games this week at Red Wilson Field. Kevin Wolfe, CCBL intern (email@example.com)
Bruised and Battered Bourne Stays on Top in the West,
Gives Manager Shapiro his 200th Cape Cod League Win
BOURNE, Mass. — Bourne field manager Harvey Shapiro wasn’t doing any back flips over his team’s performance in the fourth week of Cape Cod Baseball League action. True, the Braves didn’t quite look like themselves – owners of the league’s most potent offense and a healthy lead in the West Division – when they fell to Falmouth and Harwich and tied Cotuit to close out the week.
“We’re hobbling a little bit, but we’re hanging in there,” Shapiro said. “I’m still concerned about our pitching, and we need to be a little more consistent. So we’ll see where we are in a week or so.”
Hobbling indeed! An injury-plagued Bourne squad still had enough in the tank to deliver Shapiro his 200th Cape League win, an 8-3 victory over Wareham. Shapiro is the ninth Cape League manager to hit the mark.
He had been expected to reach the milestone last year, but the Braves’ disappointing 2006 season left him 11 wins short. He got those 11 victories in a hurry in 2007. His lifetime record on the Cape climbed to 200-201-9, and, at 88-98-5, he was also closing in on 100 wins with the Braves.
“From a historical standpoint, it’s a significant accomplishment -- having that kind of success in Cape Cod baseball -- and I’m glad it happened with the Bourne franchise,” Braves general manager Mike Carrier said. “It was very funny to see the players throw the bucket of water over him in the post-game huddle -- he didn’t even see it coming.
“He really cares about the kids, and he has a very good reputation around the country for taking care of his players,” Carrier added.
Shapiro's Independence Day milestone was one of two highs for Braves last week, who stumbled a bit with losses to Yarmouth-Dennis, Harwich and Falmouth, and a 6-6 tie to Cotuit. The other came in a thrilling twelve-inning duel with Chatham on June 30. After falling behind early, the Braves rallied to send the game into extra frames, and won it with a seven-run explosion in the top of the 12th that had the Braves looking very much like themselves (table-set, hit in the clutch, rinse and repeat).
But if the Braves weren’t playing like themselves, it was because they were not, in fact, themselves. A week of bruises and bad luck had the team’s disabled list growing and the hair on Shapiro’s head getting grayer by the day.
On June 22, Brian Pruitt (Stetson), whose 19 RBI led the league, was hit in the head in batting practice, forcing him to the bench for three games. During that night’s game against Hyannis, a ball to the face ended Miami outfielder Dave Dinatale’s season on the Cape.
The injuries didn’t stop there, as two other offensive heavyweights, center fielder T.J. Steele (Arizona) and Kevin Hoef (Iowa), went down with ankle injuries. Steele hasn’t played since June 29 and Hoef has been unable to play since the win over Chatham. The Braves have missed their bats (.333 for Steele and a league-leading .396 for Hoef) and speed (eight combined stolen bases), as well as Steele’s rifle arm in center field.
“The big thing right now is for us to try to get healthy,” Shapiro said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job with the injuries that we’ve had, but we’re not all there. We’ve put together a lot of good games this season, and hopefully that will continue and these guys will go back to playing where they were.”
Several players have picked up the slack. Outfielder Ben Guez (William and Mary) took over in center for Steele and continued to produce at the plate, finishing the week third in the league in RBI with 17. First baseman Josh Satin (California) launched two of his three home runs last week, and local hero Bill Perry (Hartford) turned in a pair of multiple hit games, going 2-for-2 with a home run against Cotuit and 4-for-5 against Wareham. Addison Maruszak (South Florida), who has sparkled at shortstop, broke out at the plate, going 5-for-10 with a pair of RBI in the team’s three mid-week games to raise his average to .236.
“We’re right in the middle of a small losing streak, but we’ve got a great group of kids,” Carrier said. “We have had three or four of our regulars that have been unable to play. When your best players are on the bench, and you can still find ways to win, it shows a team-oriented style of play that I really enjoy watching,” Liz Hoffman, CCBL intern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hot Bats Keep Cotuit in Second Place in West;
Shuck Gem Gives Hope to Struggling Pitching Staff
COTUIT, Mass. -- Cotuit worked in pairs this past week, tallying two wins, two losses and two ties while maintaining its grip on second place spot in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s West Division.
The Kettleers got off to a rough start as they dropped back-to-back games with a 6-2 loss to Yarmouth-Dennis on June 29 and a 7-2 loss to Falmouth the next night. Cotuit then opened the new month with a 1-0 victory over the same Orleans team on July 1 and beat the Cardinals again, 7-6, on July 5. Cotuit also tied two games due to darkness, against top-seeded Bourne and Hyannis on July 3 and 4.
During those six games, four Kettleer hitters -- Josh Harrison (Cincinnati), Ryan Lollis (Missouri), Reese Havens (South Carolina) and Ryne White (Purdue) -- combined for a total of 23 hits. Lollis stroked a game-winning, two-RBI double against Orleans on July 5 to cap a 2-for-4 performance. White’s hot bat lifted him into second place on the league’s individual batting list with a .388 average, while teammate Mike Bianucci (Auburn) was tied for second in home runs with three. Bianucci also had run his stolen base total to eight.
As the Cotuit pitching staff continued to work out the kinks, sophomore lefty J.B Shuck (Ohio State) turned in a strong, six-inning shutout performance against Orleans on July 1, allowing just two hits and fanning 11 Cardinals. In his first 17 innings, he sported a 2.65 earned run average with 17 strikeouts.
Over-all, though, the Kettleers’ pitching staff owned a league-worst 5.69 ERA and had given up the most home runs (13) and bases on balls (83).
The good news for Cotuit is that. despite its struggles on the mound, the team continued in second place in the West and had the league’s fourth highest batting average at .261. Erica Bailey, CCBL intern (email@example.com)
Commodores Continue to Tread Water in West;
Strong Pitching Keeps Falmouth’s Playoff Hopes Afloat
FALMOUTH, Mass. -- The Falmouth Commodores can’t seem to string together a consistent winning streak. They posted three victories last week, but lost three times as well and their Cape Cod Baseball League record stood at 7-11 at week’s end.
The Commodores ended June on a high note by defeating West Division runner-up Cotuit, 7-2, on June 30, but then suffered back-to-back losses at the hands of East Division teams Brewster and Chatham on July 1 and July 3. Falmouth sent up a few fireworks to get the wins rolling again as they beat visiting Harwich, 4-3, on the Fourth of July and added another victory the next day when they topped Wareham, 5-1.
The win against Cotuit was due in large part to an outstanding pitching performance by sophomore right-hander Aaron Shafer (Wichita State). The Kettleers were fourth in the league in batting with a .261 average, but that didn’t impress Shafer, who kept Cotuit’s hitters off-balance throughout the game. Shafer scattered seven hits and struck out seven Kettleers.
In the eighth inning, Shafer gave up back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases before striking out power hitter Reese Havens (South Carolina) to end the threat. College teammate Conor Gillaspie (Wichita State) backed Shafer’s pitching with a three-RBI, 4-for-5 performance which included a solo home run in the first inning and a two-bagger in the second.
Missouri pitcher Aaron Crow played a leading role as the Commodores beat division rival Wareham, 5-1, on July 5. In six innings of work, Crow scattered five hits, gave up just one earned run and struck out five Gatemen. Falmouth’s offense produced some extra fireworks in this one, banging out 10 hits, including two singles and a double by teammate Matt Hague (Washington) and two hits by David Adams (Virginia).
Two of Falmouth’s three losses last week were by just one run as a lack of consistent and timely hitting continued to plague the Commodores. Thankfully, their pitching has kept them alive in the race for a West Division playoff spot. Erica Bailey, CCBL intern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hyannis Battling for Second Place in West;
Mets, Gatemen to Play Friday Night in New Bedford
HYANNIS, Mass. -- After three full weeks of play, the Hyannis Mets were sitting in third place in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s West Division at 7-9-2, just two points behind second place Cotuit. The Kettleers, considered to be the Mets’ natural rivals, happened to be at McKeon Field on Wednesday, where the two teams played to a 4-4 tie.
It’s a perfect rivalry since both teams’ homes are in the town of Barnstable and both are battling for a playoff spot.
“It’s tough, because we’re friends with a lot of players on other teams from college and we don’t know a lot of the history (between Cotuit and Hyannis),” said first baseman Shane Peterson (Long Beach State). “We just play everyone as hard as we can,” added Peterson, who homered for Hyannis Wednesday.
Just because it’s tough for the players to get involved with the rivalry doesn’t mean the manager and coaches aren’t aware of how much is at stake when the Mets take on the Kettleers. “We know how much time, talent and effort both communities put in to it and how much a win means,” said Hyannis manager Greg King. “We let the players know that, but sometimes it’s hard for them because they have good friends on the other teams.”
The tie on Wednesday evened the season series between the Mets and Kettleers at 1-1-1. But Cotuit wasn’t the only team Hyannis had to worry about last week as the Mets managed two wins over Chatham while losing to Yarmouth-Dennis and Wareham.
In the July 1 game against the A’s, the Mets got big performances from three different hitters. Outfielder Dan Brewer (Bradley), designated hitter Kiko Vazquez (Central Florida) and Peterson all had three RBI to back up right-handed pitcher Andrew Doyle (Oklahoma), who collected his league-leading third win as the Mets rolled to an 11-8 victory. On Thursday, third baseman James Darnell (South Carolina) drove in three runs to lead the offense and right-hander Matt Daly (Hawaii) did his part by striking out seven while giving up just two earned runs to collect the win as Hyannis won again over Chatham, 8-3.
With the halfway mark of the 44-game season coming up this week, King said his players need to focus on just a few key things in order to make a run toward the playoffs.
“I think we’ve got to get better pitching and timely hitting. If you have a chance to score a run, you’ve got to take advantage because they’re just that hard to come by,” the manager said after Wednesday’s game in which the Mets stranded nine runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the eighth and final inning.
This Friday, the Mets join with the Wareham Gatemen in introducing the Cape League’s brand of baseball to the city of New Bedford. Both teams will travel to Walsh Field in the Whaling City for an official league contest scheduled to get under way at 7 p.m. Kevin Wolfe, CCBL intern (email@example.com)
Wareham Winning Streak Is a Wash;
Gatemen’s Week Concludes with Four Straight Losses
WAREHAM, Mass. -- Wareham general manager John Wylde is a self-professed “numbers guy.” Wylde, who does double duty as the Cape Cod Baseball League’s statistician, is up until 3 a.m. most nights crunching the numbers from that evening’s games. He clocks pitchers and times 60-yard dashes with unusual scrutiny, looking for an unseen edge in the secrets that the numbers hold.
But no matter how hard he crunches, this time, the numbers simply don’t add up. They cannot explain Wareham’s league-worst 5-14 record any more than they can explain a 10-game losing streak, followed by a four-game winning streak, followed by four straight losses. Nor can the numbers explain why a talent-packed roster, which includes nine returnees from last year’s CCBL runner-up squad, has been so inconsistent in 2007.
The Gatemen’s statistics aren’t turning any heads, but neither are they the worst in the league. At week’s end, their pitching was in the middle of the pack with a team ERA of 3.30 and one of the Cape’s best starters in right-hander Wade Miley (Southeastern Louisiana). Their team batting average, .220 at week’s end, was the same as Falmouth’s and 10 points higher than that of Orleans, yet both the Cardinals (10-8) and Commodores (8-11) had far better records than the Gatemen.
“I really can’t put my finger on it,” Wylde said. “When we were on the winning streak, the guys hit in the clutch and the pitchers made the big pitches. We began to get the two-out hits, or get that strikeout with runners in scoring position. During the losing streak, the same guys in the same situations weren’t getting the hits or making the pitches.”
The team's competition might have something to do with it. Two of the Gatemen's losses last week were to Orleans and Bourne, the top team in the West Division. The four wins that preceded the slip came over Hyannis (twice), Falmouth and Harwich, the last-place team in the East.
But the Wareham-Falmouth history illustrates what plagues the Gatemen, and what Wylde cannot put his finger on. The two teams have split their four meetings this season, and it is the two different Gatemen squads that showed up in the same uniforms that has Wylde so puzzled.
Wareham got the best of the Commodores on Opening Day, courtesy of a strong start from Miley and a ninth-inning rally that showcased the team’s grit and explosive potential. It was solid relief pitching and much-improved hitting that kept Falmouth at bay in the second Wareham win, also a 5-4 affair, on June 29. But in the two losses, the latest a 5-1 decision last Thursday, the Gatemen managed just 13 combined hits of the Falmouth staff and left 15 base runners stranded.
“It takes people sometimes some time to gel, and there’s no question this year has been difficult,” Wylde said. “We’ve had a steady influx of guys as we’ve tried to put all this together, and it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what goes wrong each time.”
And with the season approaching its halfway point, here are three more numbers that will be haunting the statistical guru until they turn around: 5, 14 and 44.
“Five-and-14 is obviously not a good record,” Wylde said. “It’s a short season — just 44 games — and we need to try to get back on track.” Liz Hoffman, CCBL intern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: The two Cape Cod Baseball League games postponed Friday night, July 6, due to inclement weather and lightning storms were rescheduled for Tuesday, July 10 -- Orleans at Hyannis and Cotuit at Brewster, both with 5 p.m. starts
API CLINICS: Cotuit field manager Mike Roberts will conduct Athletes Performance Inter-Active clinics for Cape League players next weekend (July 14-15), from 9 a.m. to noon at Red Wilson Field in South Yarmouth. The players will learn about core fitness, nutrition, flexibility and drills.
WHO’S HOT … AND WHO’S NOT: Continuing his red-hot batting stroke is Kevin Hoef (Iowa) of the Bourne Braves, who was leading the CCBL with a .396 batting average as the week began. His Braves teammate Brian Pruitt (Stetson) was the loop leader with 19 RBI and ranked fourth in batting at .346.
Hard-hitting Shane Peterson (Long Beach State) of the Hyannis Mets topped the league in hits (24), while batting 375, good for third place behind Hoef and Ryne White (Purdue) of Cotuit at .388 … Falmouth’s Aja Barto (Tulane) and Mike Bianucci (Auburn) of Cotuit shared the stolen base lead with nine each.
Slugging shortstop Gordon Beckham (Georgia) and first baseman/outfielder Dennis Raben (Miami) were tied for the home run lead with five round-trippers apiece, while Raben was one RBI behind Pruitt with 18
Southpaw Evan Crawford (Auburn) of Harwich led the CCBL with a microscopic 0.56 ERA and had struck out an impressive 26 batters in 16 innings pitched.
Yarmouth-Dennis closer Nick Cassavechia (Baylor) led the league with five saves, while Wade Miley (SE Louisiana) of Wareham was the pacesetter in innings pitched (35) and strikeouts (34) while posting a 1.29 ERA.
Bourne led the league with 111 runs scored and a .278 team batting average, followed by Y-D (.271) and Chatham (.263) … Orleans (.210), Wareham (.220) and Falmouth (.219) brought up the rear …
Taking over the team ERA lead was the East Division-leading Y-D Red Sox, whose pitchers compiled a cumulative 2.26 ERA, followed closely by Orleans (2.35). Cotuit was a distant 10th in team pitching with a 5.69 ERA.
IT’S MILLER TIME: Former Chatham A’s southpaw Andrew Miller, the CCBL’s top pitcher and pro prospect in 2005, hurled a three-hitter over seven innings with six strikeouts in Detroit’s 9-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, July 6. Teammates Sean Casey (Brewster ’94) and Brandon Inge (Bourne ’97), who were hitting .299 and .251 with 11 HR and 41 RBI, respectively, led the tigers to a three-game weekend sweep of the BoSox.
FALMOUTH ALUM SPARKLES: Speedy centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who led the Falmouth Commodores to the 2004 CCBL championship finale, impressed Boston Red Sox fans with a .375 batting average before being sent back to Pawtucket so he could play in the Futures Game Sunday in San Francisco. In an International League twin bill Friday at Rochester, N.Y., Ellsbury cracked four hits, including his first Triple-A homer. He also drove in three runs, scored twice and stole two bases.
WELCOME TO THE FENS: Fifty of the top CCBL prospects will be invited to Fenway Park on Tuesday, July 17, for the annual Boston Red Sox workout. The players will take batting, infield and outfield practice from 10 a.m. to noon.
GAME OF THE WEEK ON WBZ: This week’s CCBL Game of the Week on WBZ Radio 1030.com featured the Bourne Braves at Wareham Gatemen on Monday, July 9, beginning at 6:50 p.m. Next week, it’s Harwich at Orleans on Monday, July 16, starting at 6:50. Broadcast legend Fred Cusick provides the play-by-play commentary.
John Garner, Jr.
Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
Interns: Erica Bailey, John Hannemann, Liz Hoffman,
Gabriella Remington, Kevin Wolfe