THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
(23 July – 29 July 2006)
ALL-STAR GAME EDITION
Coca Cola Pitcher and Player of the Week
COCA COLA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Charlie Furbush (St. Joseph’s-ME) pitched a complete game shutout on Wednesday, no-hitting the Bourne Braves to earn Coca-Cola Pitcher of the Week honors. His no-no was the second in the Cape League this season, with three walks and one hit batter representing the only lapses in Furbush’s otherwise flawless performance. He had already thrown 116 pitches in the game through eight innings, but with a no hitter on the line and plenty of space between his team and the Braves, Hyannis manager Greg King put Furbush in for the ninth inning and wouldn’t regret his decision. Furbush ended the game with 133 pitches and 12 strikeouts as the Mets won the game 14-0.
COCA COLA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the third week in a row, a Y-D player has been named the Coca-Cola Player of the Week. Steven Strausbaugh (Western Carolina University) earned the honors this week by going 9-of-16 at the plate for a .563 batting average. Strausbaugh hit one homer, one triple, and one double on the way to a .938 slugging percentage while driving in five runs. He had a .588 on-base percentage and stole one base on the week. Strausbaugh’s Red Sox remained in first place this week by going 3-2 for an overall record of 23-15.
By Kevin Wolfe, CCBL Intern [email protected]
This year’s highly successful All-Star Game was made possible through the tireless efforts of the 2006 CCBL All-Star Committee, the volunteer group charged with coordinating all aspects of the event, from concessions to pre-game ceremonies to a 50/50 raffle that grossed well over $4,000. The All-Star Committee was co-chaired by Gary Ellis of Y-D and league vice president Phil Edwards. All-Star Committee members included Bob Beauchmin, Jim Martin, Steve Faucher, Barbara Ellsworth, Stuart Schulman, Robert Belmonte, Michael Patkoske, Peg Rose and Joe Rubin.
2006 All Star Game
Red Wilson Field
Cape League All-Stars To Be Recognized At Fenway Park
The 2006 CCBL All-Stars and field managers will be honored in a special pre-game ceremony on Thursday at Fenway Park before the Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians game. Each player will be introduced over the public address system with his name displayed on the center field message board. One of the Cape League alumni currently playing for the Red Sox will take part in the ceremony. Past presenters include Kevin Millar (Harwich ’92), Doug Mirabelli (Hyannis ’90) and Mike Myers (Brewster ’88-’89).
Moreland Wins HR Hitting Contest
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. – With only three home runs this season for the Bourne Braves, Mitch Moreland (Mississippi State) was not the obvious pick to win Saturday’s home run derby at Red Wilson Field. Competing against established sluggers like Justin Smoak (South Carolina) of Cotuit and Matt LaPorta (Florida) of Brewster, Mitch didn’t alter his swing like many major league players have been known to do for these contests; in fact, he seemed to have no expectations at all.
“I just didn’t want to miss,” said the home run champ. “I was trying to make good contact and it all worked out.”
Six players competed in this year’s Baseball Factory Home Run Hitting Contest, with Moreland and three others tied with five home runs after the first round. Wareham’s Steffan Wilson (Harvard) hit 10 home runs in the first round, making him the leader far and away.
Only two hitters were to advance to the final round, and with four players tied, a five-out playoff round was put in place. After this round, there was yet another tie, forcing a three pitch playoff between Moreland and LaPorta. One homer was enough to advance for Mitch, who seemed fatigued after taking plenty of cuts on a humid summer day.
Moreland was just getting started, hitting balls out of the park left and right to out-duel Wilson in the finals. The lefty hit three home runs to start off his final round, and with only three outs he had already hit eight balls out of the park.
Wilson, who chose to hit second in the finals, was quick to regret that decision. After Moreland’s 14th and 15th homers screamed out of the park, Wilson was heard saying, “I should have hit first.”
In the end, Moreland hit 16 homers in the final round and 25 total in his first ever home run derby. Exhausted after clearly giving the fans what they came to see, Mitch was all smiles and had one of his bench coaches to thank.
“Tim [D’Aquila] did a great job putting the ball in there and it just flowed from there,” said Moreland.
Although he wasn’t on the West All-Star roster, Mitch’s services would later be utilized again, surprisingly as a pitcher. With many teams in the midst of a playoff race and many pitchers tired and needing a rest, he was quick to volunteer himself.
“I told them I was here and ready if they needed me,” said Moreland. “I just am hoping to not get touched up.”
Unfortunately in the seventh inning the home run champ gave up one of his own, but of greater significance. Josh Satin (California) of Orleans took him deep to take the lead for the East, which never looked back for a 7-2 win.
By Nicholas Mucci, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Pitchers Were Scarce, But Hurlers Shine at All-Star Game
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. – Pitching was the story of the 2006 Cape League All-Star Game. It was a game marked by expedient innings of efficient pitching from regular starters, and even a couple of field position players.
With several teams bearing down to seal their spots in the playoffs, pitching was scarce. What little arms that were available needed to be conserved for the sake of playoff hopes. Regardless of the lack of pitchers, those who did take the mound on Saturday evening proved worthy of their All-Star title.
Shaun Seibert (Arkansas) of the Brewster Whitecaps opened the game up in the top of the first inning for the East All-Stars. His slow and deliberate delivery proved troublesome for the first three batters of the game, as they got on top of the ball and quickly ended the first half inning with three weak ground balls to the right side of the infield.
Charlie Furbush (St. Joseph’s-ME) started for the West All-Stars, making quick work of the first three batters he faced. Mixing his curve, change-up and fastball effectively, he kept the hitters off balance. Furbush got the leadoff man and then-hometown hero Buster Posey (Florida State) of the Y-D Red Sox to ground out to second, followed by a groundball to the shortstop by Matt Wieters (Georgia Tech) to end the inning on just seven pitches.
In the second inning, Terry Doyle (Boston College) showed why he was chosen to be an All-Star from the Y-D Red Sox, getting the first two strikeouts of the game against the middle of the West All-Stars’ lineup. Tom Farmer (Akron) responded for the West with his whip-like, contorted delivery and a little help from a double play when Josh Donaldson (Auburn) lined out to second and Matt LaPorta (Florida) was thrown out at first base before he could get back in time.
The West struck first when Jeff Rea (Mississippi State) ripped a hanging curveball for a double off of the lanky Will Atwood (South Carolina) of Brewster. The line drive found its way to the fence in right field, and Eric Farris (Loyola Marymount) scored the first run of the game.
Atwood was not flustered, though, as his very next pitch was a blazing fastball that literally took the bat out of the hands of Justin Smoak (South Carolina), one of Cotuit’s best hitters who lost his grip on his lumber. Atwood closed out the inning by striking out Smoak on three pitches.
The game entered a lull in the middle innings. Every pitcher that took the mound just pounded the strike zone and got outs. Though the pitching was not overpowering, it was effective – and after all, that is what being an All-Star is all about.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, with Cory Gearrin (Young Harris) of Cotuit pitching for the West, you could sense that the crowd had been almost put to sleep. Justin Snyder (San Diego) stepped up to the plate and launched a deep fly ball to the warning track in center, but the soaring hit was caught near the fence.
The All-Star pitching staff of both teams was making routine outs of the best hitters in the league. They made it look easy.
Mitch Moreland (Mississippi State), the first baseman from Bourne, came in to pitch the bottom of the sixth inning in an attempt to save the arms of some of the West’s All-Star hurlers. Unfortunately, Moreland would end up taking the loss when he gave up a two-run homer to Josh Satin (California).
The East All-Stars would never look back.
LaPorta, the regular first baseman for Brewster, also did a little pitching. Striking out two of the four batters he faced, and not allowing a single hit, LaPorta may have shown he belongs on the mound, if not for his tremendous ability to drive in runs from the batter’s box.
At the end of the game, the need for arms showed. Both the winning and losing pitchers were regular position players. Luke Sommer (San Francisco), outfielder for Y-D, earned the win while Moreland picked up the loss.
By Adam McGillen, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Standout Josh Satin Earns East MVP Award
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. – Red Wilson Field was a picture of perfection for the 44th annual All-Star Game. The not-so-familiar sun was shining bright and the sky was clear, making the atmosphere that much more exciting. Fans were there early, leaving only standing room for the masses of people who continued to shuffle in throughout the day. The volunteers were hard at work and kept busy serving up hot dogs and sodas and selling plenty of Cape League memorabilia. It was a great day for the CCBL and for the game of baseball.
Saturday was especially great for the East All-Stars, who won the game 7-2. This year marks the fourth consecutive year the East has overpowered the West. A major factor in this year's victory was Orleans standout Josh Satin (California). During the sixth inning, Satin hit his first home run on the Cape, a two-run blast over the fence that put the East up 3-2. He got himself another RBI in the seventh inning during a big rally by the East, which had all it would need to keep the lead and get the win.
Satin's outstanding performance earned him the East MVP award, which was voted on by the dozens of professional scouts in attendance. One National League scout said that Satin "had a very good day and he deserves it." It is obvious that many of the scouts agreed. Satin was the only player to hit a homer in the game and he had the most RBIs with three.
East manager Kelly Nicholson, the head coach for Satin’s Cardinals, knows how much Satin deserves this honor. "He's been great and has been really, really consistent all summer ... today was not a surprise." Satin stole the show Saturday and there was no question in most people's minds who would be taking the title of MVP.
Commissioner Paul Galop also agreed with the vote, saying he was a "good choice ... his home run changed the game." That home run did give the East the lead and ignited a hitting frenzy in the follow inning. Satin downplayed the hit, saying, "I tried to hit the ball hard and I was fortunate enough it went out of the park."
Satin was overwhelmed by the award and by his season as well. He said it was just 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." This is for sure the highlight of his summer so far, but what he would like is to top it all off by making it to the playoffs and bringing a championship home to Orleans.
There is a week left in the regular season and the Cardinals are in a close race for a playoff spot. There is no doubt that if Satin keeps up his All-Star performance, the Cardinals could end up back in the championship.
By Johnna DeChristoforo, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Falmouth CF Chalk Wins West MVP
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. – Brad Chalk of the Falmouth Commodores earned the respect of major league scouts Saturday night at the All-Star Game and was awarded the 2006 Western Division MVP.
Brad Chalk, Falmouth
Born in Spartanburg, S.C. and continuing his education at the nearby Clemson University, the young phenom has shown nothing short of excellence for the Commodores this season. Coming into the All-Star Game with a .310 batting average with 39 hits has placed him in the Top 10 for batting and third in total hits. The graduated sophomore will be entering his junior year in the fall, earning him draft eligibility come June of 2007.
As a freshman at Clemson, Chalk earned an All-American berth with a team-best .350 batting average and a .458 on-base percentage in 64 games. Chalk has been noted by both his coach at Clemson as well as Commodores head coach Jeff Trundy for his speed on the basepaths and the ability to bunt for a base hit. His strength was noted at an early age when he was named the 2004 Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Riverside High School. He was All-American choice according to Collegiate Baseball and earned three-time All-State and four time All-Region honors during his high school tenure.
Considered to have the best outfield arm in the ACC, Chalk was ranked the 44th best sophomore in the nation. Chalk is seen as one of the tougher outs in his lineup, striking out only 19 times in 200 at-bats during his sophomore year.
Putting together a multi-hit All-Star Game and making impressive plays in center field left little doubt amongst major league scouts on their MVP ballots this year. Across the board, Chalk was viewed as the top West performer in this year’s game. Western Division head coach Harvey Shapiro had praise for Chalk’s game, saying, “Brad always plays hard and tonight was no different. He had a couple of hits and a few nice catches earning him the right vote.”
Chalk scored one of the runs in Saturday night’s game and had a stolen base in the fifth. As the 2006 West All-Star MVP, Chalk is looking for the Commodores to continue their run to the finish and earn a berth in this year’s playoffs.
By Daniel Scalia, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Around the Cape League Horn
CCBL on NECN: Mike Bellwin and his New England Cable News crew filmed a Cape League feature that ran on NECN last Thursday between 11 and 11:30 p.m. on “Sports Late Night,” repeated from 11:30 to midnight and again last Friday during the afternoon/evening newscasts.
Who’s Hot … And Who’s Not: The league’s top batting average is Matt Wieters (Georgia Tech) of Orleans, who is currently batting .324, three points ahead of Falmouth’s Mitch Canham (Oregon State) … with three blasts in a doubleheader on Friday, Cotuit’s Justin Smoak (South Carolina) has taken over the league lead with 10 home runs, two ahead of Warren McFadden (Tulane) of Falmouth with eight … Smoak and Matt Rizzotti (Manhattan) of Chatham are the top RBI men with 24, while Smoak is the top slugger at .591 and has 20 extra-base hits ... Buster Posey (Florida State) of Y-D has contributed the most hits in the CCBL with 43, while Kody Kaiser (Oklahoma) of Orleans has stolen 16 bases … All-Star Game East Division MVP Josh Satin (California) of Orleans leads the league with 12 doubles … RHP Shaun Seibert (Arkansas) of Brewster not only started the CCBL All-Star Game for the Eastern Division, but is also 5-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA. Also enjoying a standout year on the mound is Dan Merklinger (Seton Hall) of Harwich, who is 4-0 with a 0.49 ERA … Fire-balling Joshua Fields (Georgia) has saved a league-leading 11 games for Y-D, while Falmouth’s Shooter Hunt (Virginia), is the loop-leader with 50 strikeouts … The Cotuit Kettleers, who lead the Western Division with an impressive 24-12-1 record, lead the CCBL in team batting average (.256) and team ERA (2.16), while the last-place Bourne Braves rank 10th in both categories at .199 and 4.10, respectively. Yarmouth-Dennis leads the Eastern Division with a 23-15 mark, just two points ahead of second-place Brewster, at 21-15-2.
Interns: Johnna DeChristoforo, Jonathan French, Lauren B. Malone
Adam McGillen, Courtney Reilly, Daniel Scalia