27 June 2009
Temps Make a Permanent Impact for Y-D
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. - The Yarmouth-Dennis (Y-D) Red Sox entered this season sporting one of the most talented lineups in the league. But when top-50 MLB prospect shortstop Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton) opted to join Team USA, Y-D was forced to look elsewhere for offensive production.
Enter Blake Kelso (Houston) and Steve Chatwood (San Diego). Both are temporary players who have stepped in and stepped up; Kelso's 10 hits tie him for second in the league while playing a solid second base, while Chatwood holds down the hot corner and is tied for second in the league with six RBI. The San Diego product has also connected on one of Y-D's two home runs this season.
"Both have been pleasant surprises," said Y-D GM Jim Martin. "Steve gives us great versatility, because he can catch, and play third and the outfield."
The efforts of these two unheralded players--along with astounding production from outfielder Austin Wates (Virginia Tech), who leads the league in average (.480) and on-base percentage (.581) - are a large reason why Y-D's team batting average of .246 puts them second in the league, behind only Chatham's .252.
Thanks in part to the strong lineup mentioned above, Y-D came out of the gate on fire, winning their first three games of the season. Since then, they have cooled off, going 1-4 in their last five contests. Asked what the team needs to do to turn it around, Martin says shortly, "We need some solid starting pitching." And although the Red Sox have had no trouble putting men on base, their weakness has been getting those base runners across the plate. Y-D has scored a total of eight runs in their four losses, and has scored more than four runs on only two occasions.
Despite their mediocre record, Y-D has shown all the signs of a successful season ahead. Along with Wates, RHP Tyler Burgoon (Michigan) leads the league in saves with three, left-handed pitcher Chris Sale (Florida Gulf Coast) ranks first in strikeouts (20) and innings pitched (14), right-handed pitcher Austin Ross and Team USA-recruited catcher Micah Gibbs will be joining the team shortly after helping LSU capture the National Championship this past week. With these new additions to help fill Y-D's only weak spots, there is no reason that the Red Sox should not be a strong contender for the Arnold Mycock Trophy this season.
By Mike Campbell, Campbell@capecodbaseball.org
John Garner, Jr.
Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Michael Campbell, Katy Ann Fitzpatrick