08/15/2013 6:51 PM
Article By: Courtney Swift
The Bourne Braves stunned everyone in 2012. After tying for the worst record in the Cape Cod Baseball League, they made the playoffs and knocked off top-ranked Cotuit in the first round before eventually losing in the Western Division finals to eventual Cape League champion Wareham.
The 2013 season began slowly for the Braves, who marched into July with a 7-8 record, but Bourne still clinched a playoff berth and showcased some of the league’s top talents.
First-time president Nicole B. Norkevicius joined field manager Harvey Shapiro, general manager Chuck Sturtevant and vice president/assistant GM Dan Dunn in 2013 to help Bourne garner its third Commissioner's Cup in 10 years. The Braves are just the second team to accomplish that honor, joining the Wareham Gatemen. “Bourne is a class act organization, and very deserving,” Cape League commissioner Paul Galop said of the team’s accomplishments.
Each year the Cup winner is decided by Galop and two representatives: Sol Yas of the East Division and Dick Sullivan of the West. “There (are) usually about three teams who are greatly considered each season,” Galop said. Though it’s generally close a close call, Bourne was chosen above the rest. “They do it right,” Galop added.
The trio considers several factors before making a final decision, including whether paperwork has been filed on time by the front office staff, how the players have conducted themselves on and off the field, and the frequency of arguments from coaches or ejections made by umpires.
Some of Bourne’s community service events this season included volunteering at the Children’s Workshop, a child-care center,as well as participating in numerous Fourth of July parades and other events. The team has also hosted a multitude of organizations at Doran Park, honoring veterans, athletes, musicians, students and others deserving recognition. In addition, the Braves sponsor two scholarships given to deserving students at Bourne High School and Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School.
Bourne sent five players to the 2013 Friendly’s All-Star game, including the starting battery for the West. Jaron Long (Ohio State), started on the mound for the West with Max Pentecost (Kennesaw State) catching for him. Pentecost also was named MVP of the All-Star game, decided on by all 10 league coaches. Also representing the Braves in the All-Star game were Tim Caputo (Rhode Island), Clint Freeman (East Tennessee State) and Ryan Kellogg (Arizona State).
Two former Braves have also been selected for induction into the Cape League Hall of Fame's Class of 2013: Jim Prete and Ryan Spier. Prete was a star at Bourne High School and played four Cape League seasons while Speier set a modern-day Cape League record with 16 saves for Bourne in 2001.
Braves general manager Chuck Sturtevant spoke highly of his partners who help run the Bourne organization, as well as the team’s continued contributions on and off the field.
Bourne knocked out top-seeded Hyannis in the first round of this year's playoffs before losing to Cotuit in the Western Division championship series. But despite the loss, Bourne's efforts have not gone unnoticed, and many look forward to the future of the Braves.
Commissioner’s Cup History
2011 – Wareham
2010 – Bourne
2009 – Yarmouth-Dennis
2008 – Hyannis
2007 – Wareham
2006 – Cotuit
2005 – Bourne
2004 – Falmouth and Wareham