America's League

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Western Division Preview

06/06/2022 7:32 AM

Article By: Kaley Brown

Bourne Braves

Fresh off of their West Division title season last summer, the Bourne Braves are looking to return to the Cape Cod Baseball League championship series again in 2022. Infielder Josh Moylan (East Carolina), a member of the 2021 Braves, returns to Bourne for another summer of competition. He was also ranked as the second-best American Athletic Conference (AAC) Major League Baseball Prospect by D1Baseball. The Braves possess a strong pitching staff, composed of but not limited to Ian Cooke (Connecticut), Carter Holton (Vanderbilt) and Ryan Ramsey (Maryland). Ramsey owns a 2.28 ERA through 51.1 innings of work and six starts, as well as a 7-0 win-loss record and 53 strikeouts for the Terps. Bourne will have a number of options at the catcher position, including Tomas Frick (North Carolina) and Ryan Leitch (Marshall), both of whom are batting .309 and .311 on the season, respectively. A number of hard hitters will call themselves Braves this summer, such as outfielders Brendan Cumming (Princeton), Jack Hurley (Virginia Tech) and Evan Sleight (Rutgers). Bourne also welcomed a new skipper this summer in Scott Landers in search of the team’s first championship since 2009.

Cotuit Kettleers

After finishing in second place in the West, the 2022 Cotuit Kettleers will compete with a familiar face in pitcher Jake Brooks (UCLA), who has anchored the Bruins’ starting rotation this spring. He showcases a 2.70 ERA, 47 strikeouts and a 5-2 record through 53.1 innings. Fellow hurlers Kenya Huggins (Chipola), Alden Mathes (Richmond) and Austin Troesser (Missouri) are set to start games for Cotuit, as well. The Kettleers will employ Caleb Lomavita (Cal Berkeley) and Justin Miknis (Kent State) behind the dish to also catch relievers Joey Dixon (Stanford) and William Privette (Col. of Charleston). Cotuit’s lineup is set to be a dangerous one with the likes of infielders Brooks Baldwin (UNCW), Cam Collier, (Chipola), Chandler Simpson (Georgia Tech) and Peyton Williams (Iowa) batting for the team. Simpson is showing out for the Yellow Jackets with a .494/.576/.605 slash line, 40 hits and 12 stolen bases this spring. Head coach Mike Roberts returns to Cotuit’s helm for his 18th season and looks to manage the 2019 champions to another Cape League title this summer.

Falmouth Commodores

In Falmouth, the Commodores bring on a number of returning players from 2021 including outfielder Jace Bohrofen (Arkansas) plus pitchers Lucas Gordon (Texas) and Brady Tygart (Arkansas) for the 2022 season. Gordon is tossing an exceptional season for the Longhorns through 9 appearances and 37.2 innings, rocking a 2.63 ERA and 27 strikeouts. Alongside Gordon in the starting rotation will be Grayson Hitt (Alabama) who is also having a stellar spring, touting a 2.78 ERA for the Crimson Tide. Catching Hitt and the rest of the pitching staff will be Angelo Cantelo (Lewis), Corey Collins (Georgia) and Jack Payton (Louisville). Falmouth will have no shortage of hits this summer as the Commodores’ lineup will feature the bats of infielders Maui Ahuna (Kansas), Colby Halter (Florida) and Brayden Taylor (TCU). Longtime Commodores head coach Jeff Trundy returns to manage his 23rd season with Falmouth – it is clear that his roster is built to win this year.

Hyannis Harbor Hawks

The Hyannis Harbor Hawks are set to make some noise across the Cape League in 2022 with a loaded roster, including members of Louisiana Tech’s baseball team in starting pitcher Jonathan Fincher (Louisiana Tech) and outfielders Philip Matulia (Louisiana Tech) and Cole McConnell (Louisiana Tech). McConnell brings a .354 batting average thus far in his spring season, plus 45 hits through 33 starts. Joining Fincher in Hyannis’ starting rotation is Tyler Cleveland (Central Arkansas), Ty Good (College of Charleston), Brandon Llewellyn (Pepperdine) and Hurtson Waldrep (Southern Mississippi) among other hurlers. The team’s closer will be lockdown righty Thomas Balboni (Northeastern), who has logged five saves through 11 appearances for the Huskies. The Harbor Hawks’ starting lineup is bolstered by the bats of infielders Justin Boyd (Oregon State), Justin Janas (Illinois) and Rocco Peppi (Long Beach). Boyd is having a phenomenal spring season for the Beavers, batting .345 through 29 games. The Harbor Hawks have a new, first-year head coach in Cape League Hall of Famer Eric Beattie, a member of the Hall’s 2014 class.

Wareham Gatemen

The 2018 CCBL champion Wareham Gatemen will have a couple of returning players from the 2021 season in outfielder Kellum Clark (Mississippi State), infielder Christian Knapczyk (Louisville) and starting pitcher Michael Sansone (Fairfield). Joining Sansone in the Gatemen’s starting rotation will be Chase Dollander (Tennessee), Cole Kirschsieper (Illinois), Cade Smith (Mississippi State) and Jason Woodward (FGCU). Catching them and the rest of Wareham’s arms will be Drake Baldwin (Missouri State) and Josiah Cromwick (Oregon), both of whom are also having good seasons at the plate, batting .371 and .296 respectively. Both have also only committed two errors apiece this spring. Alongside their bats in the Gatemen’s lineup will be outfielders Chase Davis (Arizona) and Alan Roden (Creighton) plus infielders Brice Matthews (Nebraska) and Torin Montgomery (Missouri). Notably, Roden is putting up memorable numbers for the Bluejays, batting .388 with 28 runs and 21 RBI through 26 starts in the outfield. Led by head coach Harvey Shapiro, a member of the Cape League’s 2020 Hall of Fame class, the Gatemen are ready to reclaim the CCBL championship title this summer.