06/01/2006 3:18 PM
for immediate release: 1 Jun, 2006
Orleans Cardinals 2006 Season Preview
ORLEANS, Mass. -- What is harder than winning a Cape Cod League championship? The answer is simple for the 2006 Orleans Cardinals – repeating as champions. Kelly Nicholson enters his sophomore season as field manager and will have to contend with losing Colin Curtis, Brad Meyers, Steven Wright, and Emanuel Burriss, who were All-Stars in 2005.
Returning from the championship team include pitcher Andy Graham (UC Santa Barbara) along with outfielder Robert Perry (Long Beach State). Graham will likely be positioned in the closer role, where he currently has 13 saves for Long Beach State. Perry brings a consistent bat and speed into the equation. Coach Nicholson loves to give his players the green light on the base paths and hopes to challenge the team record of 111 stolen bases set by his club in 2005. Michael Lewis’s “Moneyball” is obviously not on the top of Coach Nicholson’s book list.
Joining Graham at the top of the rotation will be Andrew Brackman (NC State), who stands at an intimidating 6’10”. Wynn Pelzer (South Carolina) brings devastating velocity to the staff, while Cameron Betourne (Vanderbilt) brings his team-leading 2.56 ERA to Orleans. The rest of the staff will be completed with veteran David Coulon (Arizona), Brett Cecil (Maryland), Brock Baber (Kentucky), Eric Berger (Arizona), Ty Davis (Vanderbilt), John Goodman (Georgia Teach), Emmanuel Miguelez (Miami), and Ryan Pond (NC State), who also has the ability to play in the field.
The catalysts of the lineup will include Andrew Davis (Kent State), who is currently batting .377 in the college ranks, and Joe Spiers, who has 15 steals this spring and stole 31 bases as a freshman in 2005. The lineup also consists of a number of players who can hit for power and drive in runs. Catcher Matt Wieters (Georgia Tech) has performed solidly for the Yellow Jackets this year and already has 10 home runs with 61 RBIs. Joining Wieters in the meat of the order will be first baseman Joe Mahoney (Richmond) and his .356 spring batting average to go along with 49 RBIs. Up the middle, the defense will be strong with shortstop Jonathan Diaz (NC State) and center fielder Ryan Sontag (Arizona State). The rest of the lineup will include catcher Larry Day (UConn), outfielder Joe Dunigan (Oklahoma), and infielders Mark Halleberg (Illinois-Chicago), Kody Kaiser (Oklahoma), Josh Satin (California), and current Patriot League Player of the Year Kyle Scogin (Army).
Kelly Nicholson’s team will be playing with a mark on its back as teams around the league try to prevent them from winning back-to-back CCBL championships and their third in four years. Orleans starts the season off in Brewster against the Whitecaps on Thursday, June 15 at the new field at Stony Brook School. The Cardinals home opener will take place on Saturday, June 17 at Eldredge Park. The Cards will host Bourne Braves in a rematch of last year’s championship series.
Jonathan French, firstname.lastname@example.org