08/06/2006 9:26 AM
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
(30 July – 5 August 2006)
Sprinting to the Finish Line
Coca Cola Pitcher and Player of the Week
COCA COLA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Matt Danford (North Carolina) was virtually unhittable for Harwich this week as he pitched 10 innings, giving up only four hits and two runs, neither of which was earned, for an ERA of 0.00. Danford’s control was excellent all week long as he struck out 10 batters and walked only one. He pitched eight innings in his start against the Orleans Cardinals to earn a win and pitched two almost flawless innings of relief against the Y-D Red Sox, allowing only one batter to reach base. His efforts against the Red Sox were a large part of the Mariners’ win that night. Harwich finished the week at 3-3 and looks to wrap up their season on a high note with a win at Brewster tonight.
COCA COLA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tyler Henley (Rice University) has made it four weeks running now that someone from Y-D has been named the Coca-Cola Player of the Week. Henley hit for a 1.000 slugging percentage this week by crushing three home runs and two doubles on the way to driving in six runs and scoring seven times himself. He had an impressive batting average of .450 and an on-base percentage of .476 as well as one stolen base. He is now tied for third in the league in homers with seven and stands alone at second for slugging percentage at .564. The Red Sox will be looking for Henley to keep his bat swinging as they start the playoffs this week in a best-of-three series with the Brewster Whitecaps.
By Kevin Wolfe, CCBL Intern [email protected]
A Fight to the Finish
BREWSTER, Mass. – As the regular season comes to an end, the Brewster Whitecaps are still in a tight race for a spot in the playoffs, and with the ups and downs of the last two weeks, the Whitecaps are pushing even harder for positive results.
Throughout the season many of the Brewster players have been consistently productive. Shaun Seibert (Arkansas) has been practically perfect, earning his sixth win last Thursday against Orleans. Seibert is still leading the League with a 6-0 record and a 0.39 ERA. His ability to pitch to any type of batter and keep control of the ball is unlike most in the CCBL, which is why Seibert was the starting pitcher for the East in Saturday's All-Star Game. Throwing a perfect first inning, Seibert made it an easy beginning to what turned out to be a one-sided game favoring the East.
Justin Snyder (San Diego) has been relatively unknown for most of this season outside of the Brewster community, but his contributions have been a big part of the Whitecaps’ success. He has had over 35 hits so far this season and is second on his team in RBIs with 14. Snyder has also been great in the outfield, and all of his skills and efforts were recognized when he was chosen as a member of the All-Star team. During the All-Star Game, Snyder was a key defensive player and also helped out with the lack of pitching by throwing for one inning without giving up a run.
Also showing off his pitching ability was Matt LaPorta (Florida), who is usually known for his power hitting but ended up pitching 1 1/3 innings during the All-Star Game, striking out two. LaPorta also made it to the tiebreaker round of the home run hitting contest and was responsible for one of the hits in the East's victory.
After the All-Star Game, LaPorta has kept busy, putting up runs for the Whitecaps and taking batting practice with the Boston Red Sox. As an unsigned draft choice for Boston, LaPorta is in the process of preparing for his last year at Florida and for the future beginning of his career as a professional baseball player.
Matt Cusick (USC) is another Whitecap who has been a very big factor in the team's success. Cusick is one of the league leaders in batting average and has been on a roll these last two weeks. Last week, Cusick went 3-for-4 in two consecutive games with six singles. He had eight hits and two RBIs in six games. Cusick was also a member of the East All-Stars who played a great defensive game at third base.
One of the most consistent and reliable players on the Whitecaps is Colin Cowgill (Kentucky). Over these last couple weeks, Cowgill has hit at least once in every game he has played. He has had four RBIs and has added six more hits in eight games, helping the Whitecaps stay in playoff contention. Andrew Romine (Arizona State) is yet another unsung hero on this Brewster team for his adaptability, switching positions and often sacrificing a bunt to advance a runner. He is one of the leaders in RBIs for the Whitecaps, adding three this week.
All of these guys as well as the remaining players and the coaching staff are feeling the mounting pressure of these next few days. These next several days will decide who stays and who goes home. Right now it looks like all bets are safe with the Whitecaps.
By Johnna DeChristoforo, CCBL Intern [email protected]g
Coach Schiffner Keeps his Team Playing Hard
CHATHAM, Mass. – The Chatham A’s have played with a never-say-die attitude all season long. Even with a sweltering heat engulfing Cape Cod and the recent elimination from the playoffs, the Chatham A’s continued to play hard and work towards the goal of improving as individual players and as a team.
The team is lead by their veteran manager, John Schiffner, who leads current Cape League managers with 312 wins. Only Eddie Lyons (331 wins) and Don Reed (334 wins) rank ahead of Schiffner. “I thoroughly enjoyed this league as a player and wanted to come back as a coach,” Schiffner said. “I thought that would be as an assistant coach. To be a head coach is just fantastic. I'm so thankful for the A's for giving me the opportunity.” John Schiffner may not be leading his team to the playoffs, but he knows the league has provided memories and skills that his players will have for the rest of their lives.
On Monday, July 31, the A’s traveled to Arnie Allen Diamond to take on the Falmouth Commodores. The offense exploded for 10 runs and Vance Worley pitched seven effective innings as the A’s went on for the 10-4 win. Allan Dykstra (Wake Forest) contributed to the offensive explosion with three hits and three RBIs. One of his hits came in the form of a line drive homer in the top of the fifth. On Tuesday, the A’s traveled to Cotuit to take on the Kettleers, with a potential loss meaning elimination from the playoffs. The A’s sent their ace to the mound in the form of Ricky Hargrove (Houston) and the lefty from Texas didn’t disappoint. In seven innings of work, he struck out six and gave up only two runs. However, Cotuit’s Dave Duncan (Georgia Tech) matched Hargrove and propelled his team to a 2-1 victory.
After Thursday’s player recognition night, The A’s traveled to Brewster and took on the Whitecaps. The Whitecaps were looking to secure a playoff berth, but the A’s relished the role of spoiler and went on to a 10-4 win. Seth Williams (UNC) hit a three-run homer in the seventh put the A’s up 10-1. Rich Sirois (UConn) got the win for the A’s.
The A’s still have two games left on the schedule, with another chance to play spoiler on Sunday night when they head to Eldredge Park to take on the Orleans Cardinals. The Cardinals are still alive in the playoff hunt, but a loss to the A’s on Sunday would mean elimination.
By Jonathan French, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Plenty of All-Stars in Harwich
HARWICH, Mass. – The Mariners have gotten themselves out of last place, but it seems apparent that there will not be a playoff game in their near future. Maybe it's just not meant to be, but this Harwich team nonetheless has what it takes to make it to the postseason.
The Mariners’ secret weapon, Damon Sublett (Wichita State), has been a force at the plate and on the mound. When Sublett is in the game he makes things happen. Last week against Chatham, Sublett had a two-run homer and an RBI single and then came in to get the save. Over the next few days he added six RBIs, including three singles and a triple. He may not have made the All-Star team, but he has been an All-Star for Harwich.
A couple guys who did make the All-Star team and who have continued to play major roles for the Mariners this season are Josh Donaldson (Auburn), Antone DeJesus (Kentucky), Tony Watson (Nebraska), and Dan Merklinger (Seton Hall).
Donaldson has had his name all over the CCBL this summer. He represented the Mariners in the home run hitting contest and was the starting catcher for the East last Saturday, and he is still among the league leaders in batting average, RBIs, hits, doubles and extra-base hits. DeJesus started the All-Star Game in the outfield and went 1-for-3 with two RBIs. And these last couple of weeks have been no different for both DeJesus and Donaldson, who have a combined 18 hits in 12 games.
Although Watson and Merklinger did not play in the All-Star Game because of the team’s pitching rotation made tight by all the make-up games, they were both very involved in supporting the team. Watson has continued to have a successful season with a 4-2 record and a 1.93 ERA. In his start against Hyannis last week, he went six innings and had seven strikeouts, and in the second game of a doubleheader against Orleans he pitched for another six innings but unfortunately couldn't come up with the win. Merklinger is also having a great season, adding another win to his record against Wareham last week. But this Wednesday, the Brewster Whitecaps tarnished his perfect record, making it 4-1. However, Merklinger is still posting a 1.21 ERA with 47 strikeouts and is still one of the top five pitchers in the league.
Devin Thomas (Brown) and Josh Horton (North Carolina) have been another dazzling duo. Thomas has been on fire these past two weeks, hitting in every game he has played in, getting himself 11 hits and three RBIs. Horton has had nine hits and five RBIs in eight appearances. Both guys are great all-around ball players and have contributed to the Mariners all season long, and their hard work hasn't gone unnoticed by the watchful eyes of the scouts.
Anchoring this Mariners’ team these last couple of weeks have been Andy D'Alessio (Clemson), Brandon Guyer (Virginia), Brandon Menchaca (Delaware) and Johnny Giavotella (New Orleans). These guys have had a combined 27 hits, with 11 RBIs in 13 games.
All of these great players and numbers but still no postseason; it’s hard to understand, but staying in line with head coach Steve Englert's summer philosophy, these guys are letting the world of baseball know what they can do. Win or lose, the scouts are watching each performance and these guys are putting on a great show.
By Johnna DeChristoforo, CCBL Intern [email protected]
“I Will Survive”
ORLEANS, Mass. – The theme for this week’s Orleans Cardinals is Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” The only playoff spot still in contention exists between the Orleans Cardinals and Brewster Whitecaps. Brewster has the upper hand because of their three-point lead with two games left, but the Cardinals will continue to play hard and hope for a weekend miracle. Two wins by the Cardinals and two losses by the Whitecaps will secure a playoff berth for Orleans, and then they will have truly survived.
Saturday’s 44th installment of Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game was well represented by the Orleans Cardinals and especially by Josh Satin (California), who went on to win MVP for the victorious Eastern Division. Satin commented before the game that it was an "honor to play in this league and there was no bigger thrill than when the coach told me I made the All-Star team.” Satin led all players with three RBIs and a home run.
The All-Star Game served as a nice break for the Cardinals, but they knew it was back to business after the game in hopes of making the playoffs. After an 8-1 win against the Hyannis Mets on Monday night at Eldredge Park, the Cardinals were hoping to make it consecutive victories when they again took on the Mets on Wednesday. However, the game did not unfold to the liking of the Cardinals, as they lost 11-3. The game may have been a low point for the Cardinals, but they knew they still had a mathematical shot at the playoffs. Thursday’s night off for Player Recognition Night at Fenway Park gave the team a chance to regroup.
On Friday night, the team played host to the Cotuit Kettleers and sent Ty Davis (Vanderbilt) to the hill in hopes of keeping their season alive. Davis did not disappoint the capacity crowd at Eldredge Park. In six innings of work, Davis struck out six and did not yield a single run. Matt Wieters (Georgia Tech) got his team on the board in the first with a solo home run to right field. A second run came in the fifth, when Steve Braun (Maryland) hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ryan Pond (NC State). Brett Cecil (Maryland) got the job done in the ninth to record his 11th save of the season. The 2-1 win kept the Cardinals alive for a playoff spot.
The Cardinals’ final two regular season opponents will be the Falmouth Commodores and the Chatham A’s. The two games are must-win for the Cardinals, who also need some help from Chatham and Harwich, who represent the final two opponents for the Brewster Whitecaps. If the necessary events unfold for the Cardinals, it will set-up a dramatic must win game against their rivals from Chatham on Sunday night at Eldredge Park.
By Jonathan French, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Brewster Capsizes in Y-D’s Wake
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. – The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox proved once again Friday night why they remain in first place in the Eastern Division as they beat the second-place Brewster Whitecaps 3-1. The Sox started strong in the first with a Brad Emaus (Tulane) homer to left field. The bottom of the third looked like it could seal the win for Y-D, as the bases were loaded with Jordan Pacheco (New Mexico), Tyler Henley (Rice), and Evan McArthur (Cal State Fullerton). However, Michael Taylor (Stanford) failed to capitalize on the opportunity as he grounded out to second.
Although the next three innings remained scoreless, the Whitecaps tied the game in the sixth as Colt Sedbrook (Arizona) walked with the bases loaded and allowed Matt LaPorta (Florida) to walk home.
However, the Red Sox would not be outdone as they answered back in both the sixth and seventh innings to win the game. In the sixth, Buster Posey (Florida State) scored as Danny Lehmann (Rice) flied out to center. In the eighth, Tyler Henley’s (Rice) quick decision to steal second led to the third and final run for the Sox. As Brad Emaus (Tulane) singled to third, Henley quickly advanced home and the Sox had another familiar taste of victory.
With such a talented team, it came as no surprise to fans that Yarmouth-Dennis had eight All-Stars this season. One of those All-Stars was Boston College ace Terry Doyle, who has had a stellar season on the Cape thus far, including pitching a no-hitter earlier this season which he marks as the highlight of his entire baseball career. Doyle, who has remained as a top pitcher in the standings each week and was honored as a Coca-Cola Pitcher of the Week as well as an All-Star, remains humble. He credits his competition with making him a better pitcher, noting, “The caliber of players I pitch against day in and day out have made me better. Everyone here is the three, four, or five hitter at their school and that makes for great competition.”
During his time here, Terry hoped primarily to improve on his velocity and then to get in better shape. It looks like he has succeeded in his goals: “I hoped to start coming into the league and luckily I’ve pitched very well and I’m happy with my performance.” On his off days, which are few and far between, Doyle has become an avid mini-golfer along with many of his teammates. As for going into the playoffs next week, the team looks to continue having fun and playing hard for that championship trophy.
By Courtney Reilly, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Braves Witnessing Gems in Bourne
BOURNE, Mass. – With the 2006 regular season coming to an end, the Bourne Braves are anxious to put an end to this summer and anticipate greater success for next year. Ending the season in fifth place in the Western Division, the Braves have been witness to their share of close games and remarkable pitching.
Continuing their streak of close games, the Braves began the week with back-to-back losses to the Harwich Mariners and the Y-D Red Sox. The Braves were outscored 10-7 in the two-game stretch. Striking early with a four-run lead against the Mariners, the Braves were unable to seal the deal in the fourth when they gave up three runs, eventually followed by an walk-off game winner in the bottom of the ninth. Matt Hall (Arizona State), Cat Everett (Tulane), and Adam Laplante (Wheaton) all played strong offensively for the Braves, each having multi-hit games of their own.
Though their chances to make the playoffs have been eliminated, the Bourne Braves were looking to be a factor in the playoff race with two games left to play against both Falmouth and Wareham. The Braves squared off in a doubleheader on Wednesday against Falmouth and were able to split the two games. Before being no-hit by four pitchers in the second game, the Braves pleased the home crowd with a victory in Game 1. Austin Krum (Dallas Baptist) put together three hits in the 6-5 win with three RBIs. Brett Bartles (Duke) continued his success against Falmouth, piling up two hits of his own in the win. Bartles has been the turn-to guy for the Braves all season. Mitch Moreland (Mississippi State) made his second relief appearance of the season, allowing just one hit while striking out one. Moreland is the 2006 Home Run Hitting Contest winner, striking 16 homers in his final round to beat Wareham’s Steffan Wilson (Harvard). Though it took four pitchers to do so and lasted less than nine innings, the Braves were the victim of the third no-hitter in the 2006 regular season. Despite playing only eight innings because of the fear of incoming weather, the Braves were unable to generate any hits offensively.
It only seems right that the Braves would finish the final week of the 2006 season with yet another game postponed. Looking to travel to Hyannis for the last time of the season, before coming home to face the Gatemen for a two-game series, the Braves game was cancelled due to severe thundershowers that left the field unplayable.
With the new additions to the field at Upper Cape Regional High School as the first priority for the 2007 season, the Braves are anxiously awaiting next June. Despite the struggling season, the Braves were able to attract a number of fans with their beautiful ballpark. As a wrap-up for the 2006 season, many players commented on the great experience they received at Bourne this year, and the young ones are hoping to return for next year.
By Daniel Scalia, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Princeton Hurler Setting the Bar
If you attended the All-Star Game this weekend in Y-D, you surely noticed the dominating presence of Cotuit Kettleers in the lineup. The Kettleers had four starters alone, three of them in the infield. Catcher Sean Gaston was also on the roster, along with three members of Cotuit’s dominant pitching staff. This is well deserved for a team that has set the bar this season and should be the odds-on favorite to win the Cape League crown.
One pitcher who was not named to the All-Star team and could be considered a snub by some Cotuit fans was Christian Staehely. It’s hard to say anyone has been snubbed, simply based on the fact that the league is essentially one full of All-Stars. But hypothetically speaking, Christian may be a prime example.
This impressive right-hander hails from Princeton, a school with a celebrated lacrosse program. In the spring, he led the Tigers with five victories, helping in their advancement to an NCAA regional. More impressive was the fact that Staehely carried a no-hitter against host and then No. 17 Arkansas in what ended up being the elimination game for the Tigers. In heartbreaking fashion, Christian and his teammates saw the no-hitter and their 2-0 lead melt into a 6-2 loss. The sophomore earned All-Regional honors after leaving Razorback fans speechless for seven flawless innings. After a difficult defeat, it isn’t always easy to swallow your pride and keep your head high, but Christian did exactly that.
“I look back on the outing in disappointment,” he said. “But it is part of the learning curve and something I can build on.”
Christian has looked impressive against the best of the best this season and looks to be improving with every start he makes. He is one win shy of the league leader, and leads the league’s best staff in wins with five. This is something that should not be overlooked, as Cotuit boasts a staff as impressive as any.
On a staff with aces from schools from across the country, it’s difficult to choose an iffy guy, an issue that coach Mike Roberts is glad to be facing.
“The staff [GM] Bruce [Murphy] has implemented here has been exceptional,” said the third-year manager. “It makes my job a little easier and these boys are truly a joy to watch progress.”
And progress they have. The starting pitching continues to improve, a scary thought for future opponents whose hitters have been battered and confused by this seemingly impenetrable staff. For fans at Lowell Park, this has been one of the most exciting seasons in recent memory. For these great fans, Staehely and company hope they can return the favor.
By Nicholas Mucci, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Commodores Made a Push, But Too Late
After several rainy summer nights, the Falmouth Commodores are just one of the many teams scrambling to make up games. This has meant two doubleheaders in the unbearable midsummer heat. Over the last five days, the Commodores have split with division leader Cotuit and fifth-place Bourne in two very exciting days of doubleheader action. The Commodores made a valiant move up the standings, but their loss to Wareham on Friday knocked them out of playoff contention in the final weekend of the season.
Wednesday’s nightcap was one of the unquestioned highlights for the Commodores, who came back from a day loss to the Braves with a combined eight-inning no-hitter, the third no-no in the Cape League this season. Kris Dobrowiecki (Northeastern), Sean Morgan (Tulane), Brandon Copp (Northern Illinois) and Sam Demel (TCU) all pitched in the 5-0 win, which was shortened by weather one inning shy of a full nine innings.
Leading off things for the Commodores has been Clemson center fielder Brad Chalk. He has been the catalyst for the powerful lineup behind him. Brad can do it all, with unbelievable speed that makes him a threat to bunt or beat out an infield hit. Every day Chalk can be counted on to perform, and the way he plays to game is contagious. This likely 2007 All-American pick also received All-Star Game MVP honors this past weekend.
Hitting .296 this season, he leads his team with 42 hits and does the little things to help his team win. By constantly finding a way to get on base, he offers the power hitters behind him plenty of RBI opportunities. Having a good leadoff hitter is crucial in any league, and Chalk is a player after whom young leadoff hitters should model their game.
Chalk, a native of South Carolina, has made quite a name for himself in his first two years at Clemson. The diehard fans in Tigertown filled Doug Kingsmore Stadium night after night no matter who the opponent. Chalk is a fan favorite at Clemson for his stellar defense and no-nonsense attitude. Second on the team with a .353 batting average, 84 hits and 18 stolen bases, while also boasting the ACC’s best range in center field, Chalk is the envy of all managers. Coach Jeff Trundy agrees and loves the way Chalk plays the game.
“He just plays hard. That’s what we love about Chalky,” said the proud manager. “He brings it to the park every day and you gotta love that in a player.”
This year will mark the end of the tenure of general manager Chuck Sturtevant, who after 20 years (it is safe to say) has left his mark on the league. Chalk and the boys would have loved to give him some more excitement on what has been a very memorable Cape League career, but with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 10 innings in Wareham on Friday night, it wasn’t meant to be. The Commodores will have to settle for a third-place finish in the West with memories like those made during Wednesday’s no-hitter and all season long by Chalk.
By Nicholas Mucci, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Welcome to the Run Show
HYANNIS, Mass. – At Wednesday’s game against the Orleans Cardinals, the Hyannis Mets were on fire … and it wasn’t because of the sweltering temperatures. The Mets, still seething from a bad call one day earlier against Harwich and a big loss in Orleans before that, stuck it to the Cardinals with an 11-3 win.
The win was a true team effort, one of the best shows Hyannis has put on for fans all summer. The Mets came out swinging to set the tone in the first inning, collecting two runs on a James Darnell (South Carolina) hit to left center to drive home teammates Matt Mangini (Oklahoma State) and Jared McGuire (Boston College). They would continue the scoring extravaganza in the second and third innings.
McGuire’s three-run homer in the second was particularly sweet, as it came a day after he was denied a two-run homer at Whitehouse Field in Harwich, where the see-though chain link fence tricked the umpires into ruling for a ground-rule double. McGuire’s hit allowed both Jon Townsend (Florida) and Mark McGonigle (New Orleans) to advance home to make the score 5-0. They kept the momentum going in the third, which was kicked off by a James Darnell home run down the left field line. The Mets added four more runs to the tally in the third, appearing to be too much for Orleans to handle.
Even a change in pitching wasn’t enough to stop the hard-hitting Mets. McGonigle capitalized on his teammates’ hitting as he scored three runs. The second came from a David Macias (Vanderbilt) single. The last run of the third came as McGuire singled to left center and drove Townsend home. The Mets would continue to score two more runs in the fifth and eighth innings.
Although Orleans attempted to come back, scoring once in the seventh and twice in the ninth, it was clear that Hyannis had their revenge for Monday’s 8-1 loss in Orleans. Mets pitcher Gary Lee (South Carolina-Aiken) walked away with the win after pitching a successful seven innings and was replaced by Milan Dinga (Army), who had a strong eighth inning, allowing no runs.
Wednesday’s game was the second time this season that the Mets scored in double-digits, representing a far cry from last year when the Mets struggled to get on base. McGonigle, a veteran of the 2005 Mets, is proud of the changes this year.
Personally, McGonigle changed his own style of play coming into the 2006 season: “I cut out switch hitting and focused on hitting from the right side of the plate. I think at the start, I had a bit of an advantage from playing last year. I knew what to look for from pitchers; most in the league throw fastballs.”
His adjustment period with the wooden bats was also shorter this time around. The Houston native boasts an impressive .260 batting average this season, and although short of his personal goal for the season (.275), it’s still quite respectable in a league that has a cumulative average of just .233.
The toughest adjustment for him this summer has been adjusting to hitting only from the right side of the plate. There have been several encounters where he almost caught a fastball to the face, which can be frightening to any batter. But he’s worked through it. As the season winds down for the Hyannis Mets, McGonigle fondly recalls his favorite moment: “A highlight of this summer for me was when my family came to visit and I hit a home run against Brewster. I went 3-for-4 that day and it was a great feeling.”
You can catch Mark McGonigle and his Hyannis Mets at their last home game on Sunday, August 6 at McKeon Park against the Falmouth Commodores.
By Courtney Reilly, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Gatemen Back in the Playoff Mix
WAREHAM, Mass. – For the first time in four years, the Wareham Gatemen will be heading to the playoffs. With a deciding victory coming Friday night at Wareham against the third-place Falmouth Commodores, the Gatemen are anxious to be back in the hunt for a Cape League title.
The Gatemen began the final week strong with an impressive victory over the first-place Cotuit Kettleers. Down 4-3 through six, the Gatemen batted around in the seventh to post five runs, giving the Gatemen the lead that they would not give back. After watching walks issued to first three batters in the seventh, Beamer Weems (Baylor) made sure to drive in the runs with a RBI double, followed by another double by Seth Henry (Tulane) to give the Gatemen a one run lead. Luke Murton (Georgia Tech) had two hits of his own, continuing his 17-game hitting streak through Friday’s games. The recent streak posted by Murton is the longest active streak in the Cape League.
The Gatemen continued their success against hot-hitting Cotuit on Wednesday when they traveled to Lowell Park in the midst of an August heat wave. Despite the early three-run lead for Cotuit after the first inning, the Gatemen quickly countered with four runs of their own in the next two innings. Riley Boening (Texas) pitched well over five innings, allowing just two earned runs while striking out three. Boening turned it over to the bullpen in the sixth, when recently returned Martin Beno (Oklahoma State) worked to get it to Nick Cassavechia (Baylor), who earned his third save of the season. Bradley Suttle (Texas) played a decisive role in the victory with a solo home run early in the game and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Joel Collins (South Alabama).
n the extra-inning thriller on Friday night, the Gatemen clinched the second place spot in the Western Division, earning them a trip to the playoffs. After witnessing the first two batters faced by Sam Demel (TCU) being intentionally walked, Murton was sure to end the game with the bases loaded. Murton added to his hitting streak in the 10th with a walk-off RBI single, giving the Gatemen the decisive win. John Ely (Miami-OH) pitched well through seven before being relived by the Gatemen bullpen in the eighth. Ely allowed just one run over seven innings of work in the no-decision.
With their eyes set on facing the Kettleers on Tuesday the Gatemen will be hosts to Game Two of the series on Wednesday. In the best-of-three series the Gatemen will see one game at home and will travel to Cotuit twice should a third game be necessary.
By Daniel Scalia, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Around the Cape League Horn
Hail to the Champs: Owners of one of the best records in the Cape League all season, the Cotuit Kettleers have captured the Western Division regular season championship and home field advantage at Lowell Park in the divisional playoffs. The red-hot Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox clinched the Eastern Division title and will also have home field advantage at Red Wilson Field for the first round of the playoffs, starting Tuesday at 3 p.m. at both parks.
Gatemen are Playoff Bound: Thanks to an exciting 3-2, 10-inning win Friday night over Falmouth, the Wareham Gatemen secured second place and a playoff spot in the West. Brewster and Orleans are still battling for the second spot in the East, with the Whitecaps holding a three-point lead with two games remaining.
Makeup Game and Cancellation Updates: Since Wareham clinched second place, the halted game between Hyannis and Wareham (electrical problem on July 28) that was scheduled to be resumed Saturday at noon in Wareham will not be resumed as the outcome would not alter the playoff picture. Hence, that game is declared a tie as it went long enough (six innings) to be an official game. The heavy rains Friday afternoon caused unplayable field conditions at Hyannis with visiting Bourne. That game will not be rescheduled, so Hyannis and Bourne will complete their seasons with 43 games instead of 44.
Kettleers Named Top Summer League Team: Led by eight CCBL All-Stars, the Cotuit Kettleers have been rated the nation’s top summer college league team since the start of the season by Allan Simpson of PerfectGame USA. Cotuit starters in the All-Star Game included Justin Smoak (South Carolina), Eric Farris (Loyola Marymount), Reese Havens (South Carolina) and Jeff Rea (Mississippi State ), while reserves included Sean Gaston (Notre Dame) and right-handers Jay Brown (Young Harris, Ga.), Cory Gearrin (Young Harris, Ga.) and James Simmons (UC Riverside). The Y-D Red Sox were ranked third, Brewster ninth and Wareham 13th in the same poll among all summer league teams.
A Comforting Thought: There will be a mandatory pre-playoff meeting for field managers on Monday at 10 a.m. at the Comfort Inn on Rt. 132 in Hyannis. ECAC Interim Commissioner Steve Bamford will be in attendance to discuss umpiring assignments and playoff procedures. Managers are required and GMs are encouraged to attend. League officials will also be in attendance.
Hyannis Mets to Receive State Funds: Representative Demetrius J. Atsalis, from the second Barnstable District, announced that the Hyannis Mets will receive a $75,000 economic stimulus allocation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Representative Atsalis made the announcement during the Aug. 2 game against Orleans, when the Hyannis Mets were hosting the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” at McKeon Park. The money is to be used for capital improvements to McKeon Park.
Internet Broadcasts Streamed by Cape.Com’s LeagueStream: During 2006, the maiden voyage of Cape.Com’s LeagueStream has served over 225 game broadcasts for the Cape Cod Baseball League. LeagueStream is a unique broadcasting service that allows sports teams to reach a broad, worldwide listener base by Web and phone that combine the power of the Internet with the latest in technology to bring sporting events to fans everywhere. Broadcasters dial into a special access number to be connected instantly with fans, who can listen to their team for free wherever they have Web or telephone access. Broadcasts of all games can be instantly archived, so fans who miss a game can catch up on the action. Broadcasters can also update a league-wide summary hotline with scores, highlights and information about recent and upcoming games. Video highlights and streaming packages are also available for the league that wants to take its coverage to the next level.
To the Victors Go the Spoils: The following postseason awards will be presented during the following week during the final regular season games or playoff contests Tuesday and Wednesday:
1. Curly Clement Umpire of the Year Award
2. Dick Sullivan Executive of the Year
3. Pat Sorenti MVP Award
4. Thurman Munson Batting Champion
5. SportsTicker Boston Playoff MVP Award
6. B.F.C. Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher Award
7. Russ Ford Outstanding Relief Pitcher Award
8. Daniel J. Silva Sportsmanship Award
9. John J. Claffey New England Top Prospect Award
10. Manny Robello 10th Player Award
11. Mike Curran Manager of the Year Award
12. Robert A. McNeece Outstanding Pro Prospect Award
13. CCBL All-League Team
14. West Division Champion – Cotuit
15. East Division Champion – Yarmouth-Dennis
Who’s Hot … And Who’s Not: With just two regular season games remaining, Matt Mangini (Oklahoma St.) of the Hyannis Mets leads the CCBL with a .310 batting average, one point ahead of Eric Farris (Loyola Marymount) of Cotuit … Sweet-swinging switch-hitter Justin Smoak (South Carolina) of Cotuit is the pace-setter with 11 home runs, while Allan Dykstra (Wake Forest) of Chatham has a league-leading 29 RBIs, just two ahead of Smoak … Mangini have contributed the most hits in the CCBL with 46, while Kody Kaiser (Oklahoma) of Orleans has stolen 17 bases … RHP Shaun Seibert (Arkansas) of Brewster is a perfect 6-0 with a microscopic 0.39 ERA … Flame-throwing reliever Joshua Fields (Georgia) has saved a league-leading 13 games for Y-D, while Falmouth’s Shooter Hunt (Virginia) is the loop-leader with 54 strikeouts, two ahead of Y-D’s Terry Doyle (Boston College) … The Cotuit Kettleers pace the CCBL in team batting average (.257) and team ERA (2.35), while the last-place Bourne Braves rank 10th in both categories at .201 and 4.04, respectively.
Interns: Johnna DeChristoforo, Jonathan French, Lauren B. Malone
Adam McGillen, Courtney Reilly, Daniel Scalia