05/26/2008 9:24 AM
Bourne Braves 2008 Season Preview
Worst-to-First in ’07, Bourne Braves
Will Rely on Small Ball for 2008 Success
BOURNE, Mass. -- Last season, the Bourne Braves produced one of the biggest turnarounds in the history of the Cape Cod Baseball League. They placed first in the West Division with a record of 25-17-2 after finishing dead last in 2006. The Braves hope to continue their winning ways in 2008 with some new faces.
Faced with the loss of many of their key players, the Braves have reloaded. Ryan Berry (Rice) will be with the team as a starting pitcher barring a trip to Beijing with Team USA. Rice Coach Wayne Graham describes Berry as “one of the best pitchers in the country.”
After Berry, the starting staff remains strong with the help of Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi) and Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State). Both are having winning seasons at their respective schools. Pomeranz has an ERA under 2.00 and has been striking out more than one batter per inning pitched.
At the back of the bullpen, Eric Pettis (California-Irvine) will be called upon to close the door for the Braves. He has already compiled double-digit saves this spring and is tied for sixth in NCAA Division I in that category.
Bourne also has a number of speedy infielders, readying the team for small ball this season. “With the quality of pitching in this league, you find yourself facing Friday night starters every night,” Braves General Manager Mike Carrier explained. “You really have to be able to move runners along.”
Bourne has the speed to do just that. Tyler Cannon (Virginia) has stolen 13 bases in 16 tries this spring; Dusty Coleman (Wichita State) is a perfect 10-for-10, and Jamie Johnson (Oklahoma) has been thrown out just once in 14 attempts. These three infielders will hit somewhere in the one, two, eight and nine spots in the Bourne lineup. Look for them to be the catalysts of the Braves’ offense.
With this kind of speed, Bourne hopes to win with pitching, defense and small ball.
Jim Chandley, CCBL Intern ([email protected])