05/21/2002 11:09 AM
for immediate release: 21 May, 2002
Former Chatham A's Closer Hits the Spotlight
CHATHAM - Wake Forest righty ace David Bush seemed poised for greatness when he first impressed Major League Scouts in the summer of 2000 while pitching relief for the Chatham A's, but they say a patient pitcher is a smart pitcher.
Cape League All-Star relief man David Bush (Chatham 2000-2001) was featured in Sports Illustrated last week as Wake Forest enjoys a number 3 national ranking.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2002
Drafted in the fourth round (109th overall pick) by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the June 2001 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, it seemed certain the Wake Forest senior-to-be would ink a deal and head to the professional ranks. His 0.84 ERA in 19 appearances, 11 saves and 28 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched for the 2000 Chatham A's, and his masterful presence as the cornerstone of the nationally-ranked Demon Deacons, made it look as if the Devon, PA native was on his way.
But playing his cards right, Bush held out on signing with Tampa Bay at the onset of the 2001 summer season and arrived at storied Veterans Field to pitch once again for John Schiffner's A's. Bush wasted little time showing his hard work the previous summer - Bush was named a Cape League East Division All-Star in both 2000 and 2001 campaigns -- had paid off. Leading Chatham to the playoffs once again, Bush preceded his postseason prowess by stunning a Keene, NH crowd of 2,500 by shutting down the New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Stars. All totaled, Bush resisted the temptation of a cash signing bonus and a quick leap to the Minor Leagues by collecting 1 save, striking out 35 in 26 2/3 innings and lowering his ERA to 0.34 in 19 appearances.
Completing his senior year at Wake Forest, Bush has taken his game and the Demon Deacons to a new level, giving Head Coach George Greer - also a former Chatham player and CCBL Field Manager - his best single-season win-loss record to date (42-9-1), Wake Forest's first-ever 40+ win season, a second consecutive national ranking (3rd in the nation), and a fourth shot at an ACC title. The Demon Deacons already hold the record for championship titles in the ACC.
To top it all off, Bush was featured last week in Sports Illustrated.
According to Wake Forest's official baseball web site, Bush is poised this week (Wake Forest is seeded second in the ACC Tournament, May 21-26) to shatter a slew of records. "It's only fitting that Wake Forest senior All-American closer Dave Bush will likely tie and possibly break the ACC appearances record at the conference tournament this week," the web site states, and goes further to state that Bush needs just two appearances to tie UNC's Thad Chrimson for appearances (141), and three saves to tie Chrimson (41). Bush was also named ACC Tournament MVP his freshman year.
However Bush fares in the ACC Tournament this week, his full-page feature profile in Sports Illustrated seems a fitting tableau to a collegiate career done the right way. For a kid who came to Wake Forest as a catcher and took a chance at pitching to get more playing time, and for someone who opted for two seasons in the Cape League rather than resting on the laurels of one successful, albeit brief summer, it appears Bush is poised to cash in on his patience and dedication to becoming the best pitcher he is capable of becoming.
It's a good bet that Major League Baseball scouts have noticed the same thing and this coming Draft may very well spell success in just the way David Bush has waited for.
Demon Deacons' Roster Filled with Cape League Stars
Not to take away from David Bush's spotlight, but the majority of his Wake Forest teammates (and head coach George Greer) have all tasted success in the Cape League.
Wake Forest's Kyle Sleeth (Cotuit 2001) has had an incredible year and now stands at 14-0 on the spring.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2002
In fact, a quick glance at the current Demon Deacons' roster and it reads almost like a Cape League All-Star roster. Joining Bush on this year's squad are Nick Blue who played infield for the Harwich Mariners last summer, Ryan Johnson (Chatham A's 2001), CCBL East Division All-Star Adam Bourassa (Y-D Red Sox/Manny Robello 10th Player Award), Stephen Ghutzman (Wareham 2000-Falmouth 2001), Cape Cod product Brad Scioletti (Orleans 2001), Eric Maycroft (Hyannis 2001), Kyle Sleeth (Cotuit 2001), Ben Clayton (Chatham 2001), Adam Hanson (Cotuit 2001), Brad Comer (Y-D 2000 and Ryan Braun (Chatham 2000). On a roster of 36 players and pitchers, one third of those listed (12-36) played in the CCBL. To top it all off, Coach Greer not only played in the Cape League for the 1967 Chatham A's -- alongside Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Famer the late Thurman Munson (Kent State/New York Yankees), but he managed the Cotuit Kettleers for a long stint in the 1980s.
Sleeth, at 12-0 as of Monday, and a 2001 Cape League West Division All-Star, is pegged to be drafted almost as highly as Bush.
-- Sean Walsh/CCBL 2002