08/13/2003 9:34 AM
for immediate release: 19 August, 2003
CCBL Post Season Wrap-Up
Perfect Game Showcase in Wareham a Huge Success
Spillane Field in Wareham was the scene of the 2003 Perfect Game Showcase last week that attracted 120 college recruiters and pro scouts. Hosted by John Wylde and the Wareham Gatemen organization, the prospects included nine pitchers who threw 90 miles per hour or better on the radar guns. The Cape League had attendance from the Bourne, Cotuit and Harwich organizations as well.
Orleans Captures 2003 CCBL Championship
The Orleans Cardinals took advantage of two Bourne Braves’ miscues and then brought in Ryan Schroyer (Arizona State) to slam the door, giving the visitors a thrilling 5-4 victory and bring home the 2003 Cape Cod Baseball League title and win the Arnold Mycock Trophy. Orleans swept the championship series, two games to none and went 4-0 during the playoffs after sweeping the Brewster Whitecaps. Bourne had defeated the Hyannis Mets, two games to one.
Schroyer, who earned the win in the first game of the finals, came on in the eighth inning and struck out five of the six batters he faced to earn the save. He retired the first four batters he faced on Ks, two swinging and two looking, before getting Matt Tolbert (Mississippi) on an infield out and then closing out the 2003 season with another strikeout. In his two postseason appearances Schroyer did not give up a hit in four innings while walking two and striking out nine.
The title was the third in the modern era (since 1963) for Orleans, adding to the 1986 and 1993 titles. It was the 10th championship since 1946 for the Cardinals. The championship series attracted a total of 9,117 fans in the two games, including a crowd of 5,817 at Eldredge Park and 3,300 at Coady Field in the deciding game.
The Cardinals struck for four runs in the second with catcher Jason Jaramillo (Oklahoma State) tripling into the right field corner for the first of his three hits. He scored on Clay Harris’ (LSU) sacrifice fly. Rodney Allen (Arizona State) was hit by a pitch and Billy Lockin (Loyola Marymount) hit a ground ball which Tim Bush (Northeastern) threw away. Allen moved to third and came home on Justin Maxwell’s (Maryland) throwing error and Lockin ended up on third. A single to center by Brandon Boggs (Georgia Tech) brought in Lockin and Boggs, who took second on a wild pitch and third on an infield single, scored the fourth run on a sacrifice fly by Jon Zeringue (LSU).
Orleans added an important fifth run in the third when Cesar Nicolas (Vanderbilt) was hit by a pitch, went to third on Jaramillo’s single and scored on a wild pitch by Kyle Schmidt to give the Cardinals a 5-0 lead after three innings.
Nicolas was named the playoffs MVP winning the Star of Stars Award. He hit .312 with three home runs and four RBI in the four games for Orleans.
Sean Dobson (Toledo) of Bourne reached on Myron Leslie’s (South Florida) miscue to start the fourth. Two outs later Maxwell doubled down the leftfield line and the Braves were on the board. Maxwell scored on Mike Butia’s (James Madison) double to right and it was 5-2.
Chris Shaver (William & Mary) started the fourth for Bourne and quickly shutdown the Cardinals, allowing one hit and two walks over the final six innings and struck out four. He had three 1-2-3 innings and retired eight straight over the fifth through eighth innings. The Braves’ offense added two runs in the seventh off Bill Bray (William & Mary). Tolbert hit a ball which became a fan-interference single. Bush singled to center and each runner moved up a base when Boggs booted the ball away. Dobson singled to drive in Tolbert and Bush scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Palumbo (George Mason) and the Braves were down 5-4.
Orleans manager Carmen Carcone brought in Schroyer to close out the game. The hard-throwing righty had three saves in the regular season and struck out 24 batters in 19 innings.
Dobson was Bourne’s leader in postseason play as he topped all players with eight hits, was tied for the lead with four RBI and batted .364. He was involved in almost every Bourne rally and also played outstanding defense in leftfield. Tolbert had six hits and hit .316 while anchoring the infield defense for the Braves.
Bourne’s pitching, with a league best 2.10 ERA, continued its excellent summer in the postseason. Tim Grant (Dartmouth) pitched seven shutout innings in two appearances and earned the win in Bourne’s 1-0 13-inning win over Hyannis in the first round. He led the Braves with four saves and had the league’s fourth best ERA at 0.74.
Eric Beattie (Tampa) also had a big postseason game. He allowed two hits in eight innings against Hyannis while striking out 12, the postseason leader. His 0.39 ERA was second best in league history and a Braves record.
Orleans’ other postseason stars were Harris, who hit .308 with two home runs and four RBI, tied for the postseason lead. Pitcher Brandon Camardese (Miami, FL) threw nine shutout innings in the opener against Brewster, but had no decision as Orleans won in 14, 1-0.
The Cardinals were the first team to sweep through the playoffs since Wareham in 1997 and were only the 11th team to go through the postseason undefeated. The one-run championship game was the third straight year (Wareham 3-2 over Orleans in 2002 and Wareham 4-3 over Chatham in 2001) that the season ended with a one-run game. Orleans joins Chatham (1995-96), Wareham (1993-94), Chatham (1991-92), Cotuit (1983-84), Chatham (1966-67) as the only teams to lose in the finals and then win the title the next season.
The 2003 season has come to a close, but it was another highly successful summer. For the first time Cape League games could be seen around the nation as College Sports TV (CSTV) broadcast regular season games, the All-Star game and the finals. Games could also be heard nationwide as every game was broadcast on the Internet over Teamline and also regionally with the Captain Parkers Cape League Game of the Week on WCIB, Cool 102. Of course the play on the field was again outstanding and provided many thrilling moments and highlights for the fans. - Bruce Hack, CCBL Historian
Coca Cola Player and Pitcher of the Week
Orleans’ Brandon Boggs is Coca Cola’s Player of the Week for the Championship Series. Boggs hit .400 in the two game sweep of Bourne. Boggs had a double an RBI and scored two runs. Orleans’ Ryan Schroyer is Coca Cola’s Pitcher of the Week for the Championship Series. Schroyer had a hand in both Orleans wins. In game one Schroyer earned the win and saved game two. Schroyer struck out nine in four innings and did not allow a hit or run in the series.
2003 EAST DIVISION
Orleans Cardinals Crowned Cape League Champs
The Orleans Cardinals finished their dream season on August 11th at Coady Field in Bourne by winning the 2003 CCBL tournament, their third in the modern era and 10th overall since 1946.
Despite losing several players to Team USA and major league teams, Carmen Carcone and his coaching staff recruited a winning team and after weeks of hard work had it pay off. The Cardinals trailed in the Eastern Division of the CCBL in the first few weeks, but after their roster came together, the Cardinals were nearly unstoppable.
Cesar Nicolas (Vanderbilt) spent his second season as a Cape League player with the Cardinals, and had a profound impact on Orleans’ performance. Cesar not only hit 22 home runs and the longest ball of the day in the All-Star Game’s Home Run Hitting contest, but also won the playoff MVP award after clouting three round-trippers. In the playoffs, Nicolas hit .333 with three home runs, one of which turned the game around against Bourne in game one, and four RBI’s to defeat the Bourne Braves and Brewster Whitecaps. In regular season play, Cesar hit .243 and five home runs, while leading the league in RBI’s (28) and tied for first with 11 doubles. Nicolas belted 17 extra-base hits. Clay Harris (LSU) was another Orleans Cardinal who shined in the 2003 playoffs. Clay hit two homers with four RBI’s and posted a .308 batting average.
Cardinal infielder Matt Cooksey (George Mason) led the league in stolen bases (16), Johnny Tucker of Hyannis for first in regular season play, but in the playoffs he led all four teams with two stolen bases. Cooksey was among the leaders in on-base percentage with an impressive .398. Billy Lockin (Loyola Marymount) also possessed impressive speed, and stole 14 bases for the Cardinals, which was third in the league behind Cooksey and Tucker.
Aside from Orleans’ speed and hitting capabilities, the Cardinals possessed an excellent pitching staff. Will Startup (Georgia) posted a 1.19 ERA, the eighth lowest of the league. Startup only allowed 23 hits in 38 innings. Rhett James (Florida St.) won the most games of any CCBL pitcher, as he went 7-1 and struck out 55 batters in 51 innings. Hard-throwing relief ace Ryan Schroyer of Arizona State won Game 1 and registered an impressive save in Game Two of the finals to clinch the title. Schroyer struck out three batters in the bottom of the eighth, and two in the bottom of the ninth to end the game. Schroyer was 1-0 in regular season play with a 1.42 ERA and 24 strikeouts. Both Brett Smith (UC Irvine) and David Purcey (Oklahoma State) posted a zero ERA during the playoffs. Purcey was an East Division All-Star, along with James, Jon Zerengue (LSU) and Lockin. Purcey had a 4-1 record with a 1.88 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 52.2 innings. Zerengue ended with a .283 batting average, three home runs and eight doubles.
The Orleans Cardinals finished their season with a record of 29-18-1 record. Orleans’ team batting average during regular season play was .222 with 325 hits. Their pitching staff posted the lowest ERA in the East Division at 2.36, second only to Bourne. After coming so close last year against Wareham, the Orleans Cardinals accomplished their goal with all of their hard work. – Sarah Hinkley, CCBL PR Intern
Brewster Whitecaps Finish Strong Season as East Division Co-Champs
The Brewster Whitecaps finished their season with a bang – that is, until they met the Orleans Cardinals in the playoffs. The Whitecaps finished first in regular season play in the Eastern Division, with a record of 24-17-3.
The Whitecaps were led by Field Manager, Bob Macaluso, recipient of this year’s Manager of the Year award. The Whitecaps’ season was ended by the Orleans Cardinals in the playoffs. The 2-0 sweep may have concluded their season, but Brewster was nothing short of spectacular, with a roster full of outstanding players.
J.C. Holt (LSU) was the most notable Brewster Whitecap. Not only was he a Cape League All-Star, but he was also the recipient of two CCBL awards, including League MVP and Batting Champ. Holt had a regular-season batting average of .388, the highest in the league, with 52 hits, the second most in the league. J.C. went on a 21-game hitting streak, from July 7th to August 4th, which raised his batting average from .250 to .391. Holt was third in the league for on-base percentage (.423).
Aaron Rawl (South Carolina) was another Brewster All-Star. He enjoyed a phenomenal season, going 5-0, and allowing two or fewer hits in each of seven starts. In 45 innings pitched, Rawl struck out 41 batters, and allowed only seven runs. Jarrett Santos (UNC Greensboro) helped save several of Rawl’s games. Santos was the league’s save leader, with 11 on the season. Jarrett received the Top Relief Pitcher Award for the 2003 CCBL season. Santos posted a record 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA. In 31.2 innings pitched, Santos struck out 27 batters.
Matt Macri (Notre Dame) finished second in the league with seven home runs. Macri was Brewster’s third baseman and participated in the home run contest before going home in late July due to an injury. After missing the first part of the season due to a back injury, Kyle Larsen (Washington) was part of the final leader board. Ninth in batting, Larsen hit a .286 with three home runs. Finishing in the eighth spot for league hitters was Ryan Patterson (LSU), who hit .288 with 24 RBI’s.
Bret Butler from the (Southern California) was named to the Eastern All-Star team, despite having to leave mid-season due to an injury. Butler was 2-2 and posted a 0.75 ERA, going most of the season with a zero ERA. Butler remains the fifth pitcher for lowest ERA, with his 36 innings pitched and 26 strikeouts.
Brewster ended its season with an overall record of 24-19-3. Their team batting average .231, and their team ERA of a 2.50 was the second lowest in their Eastern Division. Their season ended after Orleans swept them in the playoffs. Josh Rummonds (USC) posted a zero ERA in his seven playoff innings. – Sarah Hinkley, CCBL PR Intern
Chatham A’s Finish Third in East
In the remaining week of the 2003 Cape Cod Baseball League season, the Chatham Athletics had the hopes set on the playoffs. The A’s were in a three-way tie with Brewster and Orleans all the way to the final game. After Brewster swept Chatham with one game remaining in the season, Chatham ended their season in third place in the East Division and many of the A’s accomplished their individual goals.
Chatham was known around the league for their pitchers out of the bullpen. Adam Yates from Ole Miss appeared in 38 innings and kept his ERA under one. Yates posted a 0.96 ERA, and struck out 30 batters. With a 2-1 record, Yates allowed only 20 hits. After Yates’s appearances often followed all time save leader, Zane Carlson. Zane is a Baylor Bear, and in his past three seasons as a Chatham A has had ten or more saves. This season he saved ten games, and appeared in the All-Star game for the East. California native, Neil Jamison (Long Beach State), was another threat out of Chatham’s bullpen. The reliever had a 1-0 record, with a 1.13 ERA. In Neil’s 32 innings played, he struck out 41 batters.
Chatham also had two solid starting pitchers. Glen Swanson (UC Irvine) was Chatham’s ace. Swanson had a record of 5-1, and an ERA of 2.14. In 54.2 innings, the Eastern All-Star struck out 54 batters. Glen threw three pitches for strikes and could be seen throwing opponents out at second with his crafty and quick pick off move. Chris Lambert (Boston College) was a Chatham’s hard-throwing RHP. Lambert won the John Claffey New England Top Player Award, residing originally from Manchester, N.H. In six games, Lambert was 3-3 with a 2.12 ERA, striking out 55 batters in 51 innings.
Jeff Frazier (Rutgers) and Ryan Klosterman (Vanderbilt) were Chatham’s All-Star position players. The two were consistently pulling Chatham out of a jam in late innings with winning home runs, doubles and singles. Klosterman hit a .279 on the season with 15 RBI’s, 43 hits, and eight doubles. Ryan scored the most runs in the league with 29. Klosterman’s speed was utilized for Chatham with his 13 stolen bases. Jeff Frazier finished the season with a .250 batting average, with 22 RBI’s and two homeruns. Frazier led the league in doubles, hitting 11, which is tied with three other Cape League players. George Washington’s Anthony Raglani hit six homeruns for the A’s. He finished third in the league with six home runs after belting two on consecutive nights during the last week of regular season play. Raglani was also fifth in the league for slugging percentage at 461. Anthony’s final batting average was .258.
Chatham finished its season with a 22-21-1 record. The collective team pitching ERA ended with a 2.62. Their team batting average stood at .222, in which they hit 20 homeruns throughout the season. Chatham finished behind the two playoff teams in regular season play, and look to improve for the 2004 CCBL season with new players and some returning Chatham A’s. – Sarah Hinkley, CCBL PR Intern
Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox Feature Top Hitting Attack
All season long, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox topped the batting average leader board. Y-D also had the most All-Stars of any other team in the league with eight. As a team, Y-D finished fourth in the Eastern Division behind Orleans, Brewster, and Chatham. Y-D had a fierce batting line-up, including Hyung Cho (Houston) and Sean Gamble (Auburn), two of only seven players to end up with a batting average of .300.
Players such as Chris Malec (UC Santa Barbara), Gamble, Trevor Crowe (Arizona), Curtis Thigpen (Texas), and Cho were found among the top ten hitters in the league on any given day. Each of these players made the East Division All-Star team. Malec was the top hitter in the league for most of the first half of the season. Malec finished with a .280 batting average with 14 RBI’s and four doubles. Malec hit for cycle on June 29th becoming the first player to do so since Kevin Brown of Hyannis on July 6, 1988. His five-hit game was the first since teammate, Wes Whisler of UCLA, did it last year on the fourth of July. Gamble ended his season with an impressive .319 batting average and seven RBI’s.
Cho was another impressive Red Sox hitter and a rare Cape Leaguer to hit over .300. Cho had the fourth highest average of any Cape Cod Baseball player with a .336. Cho scored 17 runs for the Red Sox and hit in 22 RBI’s. Along with 46 hits (the fifth most in the league), Cho smashed four balls over the fence. Crowe connected for a league high four triples and finished with a .283 batting average with 45 hits. With 13 RBI’s, Longhorn Thigpen had a .280 batting average. The Texas Longhorn had five doubles and three stolen bases.
Y-D had several of the best hitters in the league and it showed through their team batting average. The Red Sox posted the highest team batting average in the league with a collective .260 and 174 hits. Their roster didn’t stop there; Y-D’s pitching staff was also impressive including Eastern All-Star MVP, Garrett Mock (Houston). Mock struck out 48 batters in 36.2 innings allowing 26 hits. Jim Brauer (Michigan) and Justin Maier (LSU) were Y-D’s other pitching All-Stars. Brauer went 5-3 with a 2.26 ERA. The 6-4 right-hander struck out 43 batters as a Y-D Red Sox. Closer Justin Maier was a threat out of the bullpen. Maier struck out 44 batters in only 22.2 innings pitched. The RHP only allowed 13 hits. Justin Keadle of Wake Forest was second in the league for strikeouts, sending 66 batters back to their dugouts. Y-D’s team ERA was a 3.29. The Red Sox went 21-22-1 on the season. – Sarah Hinkley, CCBL PR Intern
Harwich Strong Finish
The ball did not bounce in favor of the 2003 Mariners who ended the season the winners of their last five contests yet still brought up the rear of the East Division at 21-22-1. Harwich outscored their Cape League opponents to 140 to124 further validating their gritty effort. The Mariners, led by All-Stars pitcher Justin Hedrick (Northeastern) and Brad McCann (Clemson) have set the bar for next season’s club.
Hedrick was the ace of a staff that featured several pitchers whose names graced the league leaders board. Hedrick was the leagues strikeout leader with 68 while finishing just 7 2/3 innings behind the leader in innings pitched. Hedrick was 3-2 with a 1.96 ERA in nine starts. Robert Swindle (Charleston South) led the team with six wins over a staggering 63 innings, tying him for second in the league. He was third in innings pitched. Late arrival, Jeff Niemann (Rice) won two of his three starts without allowing an earned run. In impressive fashion, Niemann struck out 19 batters in just 19 1/3 innings. Closer Shannon Sprouse (Citadel) finished tied for second in the league with 10 saves, just one shy of the league leader. Sprouse had a 1.69 ERA, allowing just four earned runs in 21 1/3 innings of work while striking out 22.
McCann, who spent his season over at the hot corner for Harwich, was the team’s offensive leader as well. McCann rounded out the leagues top-ten in hitting at .283. Of McCann’s team leading 36 hits, 13 went for extra bases. He had 10 doubles, a triple, and two home runs to go along with 16 RBI, also a team high. Tug Hullet (Auburn) led the team in thefts, swiping 13 bags. Hullet was also the team’s leader with 25 runs scored and 26 walks. Wyatt Toregas (Virginia Tech) was second on the team with 33 hits but led Harwich with two triples. Toregas hit .236 with five doubles and a pair of home runs.
The Mariners made Cape Cod Baseball League history this season by wining the longest game played. Harwich outlasted the Orleans Cardinals, 3-2, in 20 innings before 4,615 fans at Eldredge Park August 4th. The league curfew was waived because of playoff implications. The marathon lasted five hours and 52 minutes before Harwich finally pushed across a run in the top of the 20th inning and second baseman Hulett recorded the save in his first collegiate mound appearance. –Gregory Feeley CCBL PR (508) 432-9786
2003 WEST DIVISION
Bourne Comes Up Just Short
The biggest challenge facing Cape League teams this summer was finding a way to generate offense against the Bourne Braves stingy pitching staff. Led by All-Stars Kyle Schmidt (Georgia Tech) and Eric Beattie (Tampa) the Braves pitched their way through the West Division posting a 23-19-1 record (best in the West Division), before coming up short in the Cape League Finals.
Beattie edged out Schmidt as the leagues top pitcher and was honored with the Whitehouse Award as the Most Outstanding Pitcher. Beattie was 4-0 with league best 0.43 ERA, allowing just two earned runs all season and 51 strikeouts. Beattie’s dominance continued through the playoffs as he shutdown Hyannis in a must-win game two of the West Division Championship. Beattie pitched eight shutout innings in that contest allowing just two hits while retiring twelve Met hitters by way of the K.
Schmidt, the ace of a staff, was selected as the West’s starting pitcher in this year’s All-Star Game at Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth. Schmidt was untouchable in his one inning of work, mowing down all three batters he faced. On the season Schmidt was 2-2 with a 0.55 ERA to go along with 63 strikeouts.
Tim Grant (Dartmouth), Jeff Dagenhart (William & Mary), and Vincent Bongiovanni (Miami) rounded out a staff that posted league bests with a 2.10 ERA average, four complete games, six shutouts, and seven homeruns allowed. Grant, another All-Star, was the team’s leader in saves with four while going 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA and 30 Ks. Dagenhart shared the team’s top spot in wins with Beattie going 4-2 with a 2.52 ERA and 41 strikeouts over a team high 50 innings pitched. Bongiovanni 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA with 32 strikeouts in just 28 innings pitched.
The Bourne offense was led by Manny Robello 10th Player Award winner Justin Maxwell (Maryland). Maxwell finished the season at .307 with, five 2B, a 3B, and a pair of home runs. He led Bourne with 47 hits, 17 RBI, and nine stolen bases while committing just one error. Maxwell was also the West Division’s starting leftfielder in this year’s All-Star game. Behind Maxwell were the likes of Clifton Remole (Georgia Tech), Matt Tolbert (Mississippi), Michael Butia (James Madison), and Sean Dobson (Toledo). Remole finished third on the team in batting (.238), second in hits (34), and tied for the top spot with three home runs. Tolbert contributed 32 hits, seven of which were doubles. Butia hit .230 in 38 games with three doubles, two home runs and 12 runs batted in. Dobson hit .227 with five doubles, a triple, and a home run. He also scored 17 runs. –Gregory Feeley CCBL PR (508) 432-9786
Hyannis Mets Qualify For Playoff Berth
After finishing dead last in the West Division the two previous summers, the Hyannis Mets finished just one point behind the divisional champion Bourne Braves and qualified for the Cape League playoffs for the first time since 2000.
Field manager Keith Stohr wanted to build a team featuring speed, pitching and defense and the Mets seems to accomplish some of these objectives. They led the league in stolen bases (73), were third in runs scored (162) and fourth in team batting average (.236), while finishing last with just four home runs the entire season. They compiled a team ERA of 3.05, which was seventh in the league.
Fleet centerfielder Sam Fuld (Stanford) enjoyed a spectacular summer for the Mets, leading the league in on-base pct. (.450) and finishing second (.361) behind J.C Holt of Brewster in batting. Sam reached base safely in 24 consecutive games from July 6-August 5 (36-92, 5 2B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 10 SB during that span).
Speedy second baseman Jonathan Tucker (Florida) tied for the league lead in stolen bases (16) and after being among the league leaders in batting average for most of the season, finished at .259 with one homer and 11 RBI. During the stretch run, Hyannis resembled a MASH Unit, as several top players were lost to injuries. Slugging outfielder Ben Harrison (Florida, .325) and first baseman Ryan Baty (Kansas, .274, 0, 19) both suffered last season ending injuries, while ace submariner Austin Tubb (S. Mississippi) was leading the league in saves (10) before being shelved with a shoulder injury.
Brian Hall (Stanford, .248, 1, 16), Donny Lucy (Stanford, .262, 1, 12) and Matt Sauls (Florida St., .240, 1, 9) all enjoyed solid seasons while Justin Tordi (Florida) and A.J. McCauley (Guilford) performed well defensively. Richard Mercado (Arizona), who split catching and DH duties with Lucy, was presented with the league’s Silva Sportsmanship Award.
Big lefty Zach Jackson (Louisville) led the pitching staff with a 6-0 record and a 1.88 ERA. A.J. Shappi (Cal-Riverside) also pitched well with a 3-1 record and a 2.65 ERA, in addition to hurling 10 shutout innings in the 3rd and deciding playoff game, a 1-0 13-inning loss at Bourne. Hard-throwing Mark Sauls (Florida St.) tossed a two-hit shutout in an 8-0 playoff win over Bourne and finished 1-2 with a 2.38 ERA in the regular season. Tim Sabo (Seton Hall, 4-3, 3.53) also pitched well. – John Garner, Jr., CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
Cotuit Offense Leads Team
The Kettleers were one of the hottest teams in the Cape League during the final stretch of the season winning six of their last 10 contests. Cotuit’s late season surge however, was not enough to propel them into post season. At 20-21-2 Cotuit fell just four points shy of second-place Hyannis.
Offense was the key to Cotuit’s success this season finishing third in the league in team batting. All-Star Eric Nielsen (UNLV), whose name appears near the top of nearly every offensive category, anchored the Kettleer line up. In 42 games Nielsen batted .333 with a pair of home runs. He finished tied for the league lead with 11 doubles, third in the league in RBI (23), hits (50) and slugging (.473), and fourth in on-base percentage (.415).
All-Star shortstop John Hardy (Arizona) enjoyed a fine season batting .268 with ten doubles and two home runs. Hardy and Nielsen are just two of the four Kettleers to reach the ten double mark. C.J. Smith (Florida) and Clay Timpner (Central Florida) had ten doubles apiece. Smith also had two triples and five home runs while Timpner chipped in with six stolen bases. Jeff Baisley, fourth on the team in batting at .253 behind Nielsen, Hardy, and Smith, was second with 39 hits and third with 19 RBI.
All-Star pitcher Garry Bakker (North Carolina) boasted the team’s best record at 2-0. In 51 innings Bakker recorded a 1.74 ERA with 48 strikeouts. Though Bakker had the team’s best record, no Kettleer pitcher had more wins the Bakker’s All-Star teammate Josh Deel (Jacksonville). Deel was 3-3 with a 1.59 ERA and 47 strikeouts. Egene Espinelli (Texas) was second to only fellow reliever Luke Hochevar (Tennessee) with a 1.48 ERA in 20 appearances. Hochevar owns a 1.10 ERA to go along with his 1-1 record and six saves. –Gregory Feeley CCBL PR (508) 432-9786
Wareham Finally Slows Down
After back-to-back Cape League Championships in 2001 and 2002, the Gatemen finally slowed down finishing fourth in the West Division (17-25-1). A rough season, one marked by injury and tough luck, still had plenty of shinning moments for the team and players.
All-Star and league workhorse Jeremy Sowers (Vanderbilt) bolstered a Wareham pitching staff that finished third in the league. Sowers’ 1.20 ERA was ninth best in the Cape League while no one could top his 67 1/3 innings pitched. Sowers’ was fourth in the league with 64 strikeouts and tied for league high with two complete games on his way to a 4-3 record.
Robert A McNeece Award winner for top pro prospect, Wade Townsend (Rice) could manage just one win and one save despite his 1.82 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings. Kevin Sheppard (Boston College) and Drew Taylor (Michigan) steadied the bullpen. Sheppard 2-1 in 11 appearances out of the pen with a 1.72 ERA while Taylor was 1-1 with a 1.53 ERA in five appearances.
All-Star third baseman Warner Jones (Vanderbilt) paced the Gatemen offensive attack that placed second in the league in batting. Jones hit .344, which was good enough for third in the league. Jones led the league with 64 hits, 12 more than the next closest batter and was tied for the league lead with 11 doubles. He also led Wareham with two triples. Fellow All-Star Jon Armitage (Georgia) batted .255 with three doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI. He also had a team high 28 walks and seven steals.
All-Star Andy LaRoche’s (Grayson County) name remains one found at the top of offensive statistics, though he did not play in much of the second half of the season due to injury. LaRoche finished fourth in the league with six home runs but a lack of at-bats kept his .326 average out of the league leaders. –Gregory Feeley CCBL PR (508) 432-9786
Slugging Falmouth Commodores Finish Last in the West
Despite leading the Cape League with 30 home runs, the Falmouth Commodores finished last in the West Division. The Commodores ranked 10th in team batting avg. (.186), runs scored (130) and ERA (3.86.).
The top offensive performance was turned in by All-Star first baseman-DH Joey Metropoulos, who hit .243 with a league-leading 11 home runs and 21 RBI. Metropoulos, who hit .321 with 11 homers in his sophomore season at Southern California, also finished tops in CCBL slugging pct. (.493).
Other top hitters included outfielder Jeremy Slayden (Georgia Tech, .231, 5, 13) and infielder Darryl Lawhorn (East Carolina, .204, 5, 19).
The top hurler for Falmouth was Jeff Gogal (Montclair St.), who was 3-1 with a sparkling 0.60 ERA with 46 strikeouts and just seven walks in 45 innings pitched. In fact, Gogal did not surrender an earned run until his final appearance against the Wareham Gatemen.
Billy Mohl (Tulane, 3-2, 1.62) enjoyed a solid season on the mound, as did bullpen ace Chris Niesal (Notre Dame), who finished fourth in the league with seven saves. Chris Tracz (Marist) was also effective with a 4-3 record and a 4.29 ERA. Jeff Hahn (Clemson, 1-6, 4.24 ERA) lost four straight starts and led the league in losses (6).
Along with the performances of Metropoulos and Gogal, the highlight of the summer for the Commodores was when they hosted the CCBL All-Star at Guv Fuller Field on July 26 before a crowd of 5,932 fans. – John Garner, Jr., CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 email@example.com