05/26/2008 9:24 AM
Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox 2008 Season Preview
Ochinko, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox
Looking for Third Straight League Crown
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. – The rest of the Cape Cod Baseball League has a common goal this summer: stopping the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox from winning another league championship. Y-D has captured two consecutive league titles and three of the last four crowns and appears poised to secure another in 2008.
The Red Sox glided through the regular season last year with a league-best 31-12-1 record. And they were even more dominant in their post-season run, sweeping Chatham in the divisional series and Falmouth in the championship series.
Most of the 2008 Red Sox will not be returning. But good news for Yarmouth-Dennis is manager of the year Scott Pickler will be at the helm for his 11th season. Joining Pickler from last year’s team will be Sean Ochinko (Louisiana State) and Jerry Sullivan (Oral Roberts).
Ochinko, who is primarily a first baseman, was second on last year’s team in batting with a .315 average, which placed him sixth in the league. He also belted eight home runs, second on the team and in the league. After 32 games with LSU this spring, Ochinko was hitting .257 with two home runs.
Sullivan appeared in only four games last year, but was impressive. He posted a 3-0 record with a 0.56 ERA over 16 innings. At last glance, he was 5-2 with a 4.33 ERA as Oral Roberts’ No. 1 pitcher.
Y-D’s roster will feature three players from the NCAA’s 2007 Division I champion, Oregon State -- sophomore Ryan Ortiz and freshmen Greg Peavey and Kevin Rhoderick.
Other collegiate teammates playing for the Red Sox this summer will be Georgia’s Lyle Allen and Dean Weaver; Baylor’s Craig Fritsch and Shawn Tolleson and LSU’s Anthony Ranaudo and Ochinko.
Tony Sanchez (Boston College) will be the only player from a Massachusetts college on this year’s Y-D roster. The 6-foot right-hander is hitting .308 with a team-leading seven home runs.
Yarmouth-Dennis has produced many notable players over the years, including CCBL Hall of Famers Steve (Bye Bye) Balboni (1977) and Mickey Morandini (1987), Craig Biggio (1986), who recently reached the 3,000 hit plateau with the Houston Astros, Brad Hawpe (1999) of the 2007 National League champion Colorado Rockies and J.J. Putz (1997, 1998) of the Seattle Mariners.
Phil Garceau, CCBL Intern ([email protected])