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CCBL Notes: West Division

for immediate release: 15 April, 2003
      

Pre-Season Cape League Notes


CAPE COD, Mass. – PREVIEW OF THINGS TO COME – West Division 

     The two-time defending champion Wareham Gatemen (23-21-0 in ‘02) boast two players who are performing well for perennial powerhouse Georgia Tech -- returning infielder Tyler Green and outfielder Matt Murton. Green is hitting .368 with 7 HR and 32 RBI, while Murton is batting .348 with 11 HR and 35 RBI.
     The top returning pitcher for the Hyannis Mets (15-26-3) is 6’5” right-hander John Axford, who’s led Notre Dame to an 18-6 record with a 5-0 mark, 35 K/35 IP and a 2.31 ERA.
     The Bourne Braves (16-24-4) received good news when they learned that Dennis Bigley of Oral Roberts was named NCBA Writers National Pitcher of the Week, following his 3-hit, 9-strikeout, 10-1 win over No. 9 Miami. He also went 2-4 with one RBI at the plate. 
     Sporting that certain Clemson look will be the Falmouth Commodores (20-21-3), who feature four players from that ACC institution. Lefty hurler Tyler Lumsden has led the Tigers to a 25-9 record with a 7-0 mark, including a recent 8-4 win over Florida. RHP Kris Harvey (2-0), Collin Maloney and reliever Jeff Hahn are all headed to Falmouth this summer.
     The Cotuit Kettleers (23-16-5) will feature three players from both Arizona and Georgia this season. Right-handed pitchers John Hardy and Mark Worrell, along with infielder John Hardy, hail from the southwest, while LHP Mickey Westphal (3-1, 5.96 ERA), catcher Clint Simmons (.267 BA, 17 RBI) and infielder Zeke Paraz (.167 BA) all play for the Bulldogs. The Kettleers hope to get off to a similar start as last season when they opened with 13 straight wins.


TWO MONTHS AWAY…AND COUNTING

     The Cape League’s opening day, Friday, June 13, is less than two months away and it’s beginning to look like spring on Cape Cod. Opening day match-ups include Bourne at Cotuit and Hyannis at Yarmouth-Dennis at 5 p.m. and Wareham at Falmouth, Brewster at Orleans and Chatham at Harwich at 7.


IT’S EXHIBITION TIME

     Among the exhibition games scheduled by Cape League teams are Sun., June 8 - NEIBL’s Torrington (CT) at Wareham and Columbus (OH) at Bourne, 4 pm; Mon., June 9 – Columbus at Harwich, 1 pm; Tue, June 10 – Columbus at Wareham, 7 pm; Wed., June 11 – Columbus at Brewster, 1 pm and Columbus at Wareham, 7 pm; TBA – Orleans at Newport. 


THE TIMES, THEY ARE A’CHANGIN

     It’s been a busy off-season for the Cape Cod Baseball League. Long-time league publicist Missy Ilg-Alaimo has switched to director of memorabilia and she will work with Phil Edwards coordinating baseball exhibits at Heritage Museums & Gardens and The Sports Museum.
     Sean Walsh resigned as league director of public relations, web-site editor and official photographer to become Bourne Braves’ GM. After three years as director of broadcasting, John Garner, Jr., was promoted to director of public relations & broadcasting.
     Jim McGonigle returns as director of communications and Bruce Hack as Cape League historian. John Wylde, president/GM of the Wareham Gatemen, oversees the league’s statistics and official scorers. Steve Wilson continues as the league’s treasurer and web-master.


INTERNS AND BLASTS FROM THE PAST

     Brian Higgins (Washington & Lee), Sarah Hinkley (Miami-Ohio grad), Liz Logan (St. Michael’s) and Greg Feeley (U. Mass-Amherst grad) will serve as Cape League interns this summer. Higgins is son of senior VP Jim Higgins and is also an official scorer. Former Harwich Mariners’ pitcher Peter Ford joins Jim Higgins and Phil Edwards as the league’s three vice presidents. Ford replaces long-time administrator Dick Sullivan, who becomes a director-at-large in charge of special events.


BLUE ON BLUE

     Deputy commissioner Sol Yaz has been named the league’s new umpire-in-chief, replacing Commissioner Bob Stead, who will still oversee on-field activities. Sol will work with ECAC supervisor of baseball umpires Nick Zibelli and secretary Anne Glover. The Cape League has signed a multi-year extension to utilize the ECAC’s baseball umpiring bureau.


IT’S A… FAMILY AFFAIR

     Lou Barnicle has been named director of publications for the Cape League. She is responsible for design and layout for the official yearbook/roster book, All-Star game program and post-season media guide. Lou is art director at Cuffy’s and Inside Cape Cod Magazine and graphics designer for Cape Cape Academy, Cotton Real Estate, Regatta, Quintessentials, Mashpee Water District and coordinates a newsletter for the Cape Cod Symphony. Lou and her husband Ted live in Cotuit and are involved with Barnstable American Legion Post 206. 
     Ted Barnicle was a flame-throwing left-handed pitcher, who played for the Orleans Cardinals in 1974 and was a First Team All-American from Jackonsville (AL) State. He holds the NCAA Div. II record for most strikeouts (21) in a nine-inning game and averaged an eye-popping 18.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 1975 at Jacksonville. He was a First Round Draft Choice of the San Francisco Giants in 1975 and in 1980 was on the Chicago White Sox major league roster.


CCBL SPECIAL EDITION LICENSE PLATE

     The Cape Cod Baseball League is establishing a Special Edition Massachusetts automobile license plate. The proposed CCBL License plate will honor the nation’s premier NCAA-acntioned summer baseball league that can trace its roots back to 1885.The Massachusetts Legislature requires a commitment and partial payment from 3000 individuals interested in obtaining a CCBL license plate in order to proceed with the approval process through the legislature.Applications or further information is available by contacting Jim McGonigle at 508-385-6260 or e-mail vipjlm@usadatanet.net


BIG BROTHER’S WATCHING…WHO’S WHO ON FIRST

     New league secretary Kim Wolfe was honored again with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Cape Cod President’s Award. Wolfe, also secretary of the Hyannis Mets, works for Rogers-Gray Insurance and is involved with several organizations, including the Cape Cod Art Association and Pops in the Park.
     Kate Galop, manager of the Chatham A’s merchandise tent, and daughter of Paul and Laurie Galop, received the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. She is a junior theology major at St. Joseph’s College in Windham, Maine. Kate, a perennial Dean’s List Student, spent her recent spring break volunteering in a homeless center soup kitchen in West Philadelphia. Last spring, she traveled to five different continents in a floating classroom and then volunteered working for Habitat for Humanity in the backwoods of Maryland.


LOST IN (CYBER) SPACE…AND THE RECORDS TUMBLE

     The Cape League’s popular web-site, www.capecodbaseball.org, received a record 6.2 million hits last summer as one of the most popular internet sights in southern New England. The CCBL also set an a-time attendance mark, attracting over 220,000 fans during the 2002 season.


THE CAPE LEAGUE EXHIBITS ITS WARES

     Heritage Museums and Gardens of Sandwich, Mass. and The Sports Museum at the FleetCenter in Boston have announced plans for new and expanded Cape Cod Baseball League exhibits. Heritage’s Cape League Hall of Fame exhibit will open to the public Sunday, May 4, while the CCBL display at The Sports Museum will be ready by opening day, June 13.


AROUND THE HORN…CAPE LEAGUE COMINGS…AND GOINGS

     Randy Shepard, CEO of Eye Health Services, is the new president of the Hyannis Mets. Shepard is active with numerous Cape Cod organizations, including being VP of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce.
     Randy Vacchi resigned as GM of the Bourne Braves and has been replaced by Sean Walsh. Vacchi has joined the Wareham Gatemen organization.
     Harvey Shapiro, a former Cape League manager of the year who coached the Falmouth Commodores to the West Division title and playoff semifinals in 1994 and Championship Series in 1996, is the new Bourne Braves’ field manager. Shapiro has a lifetime CCBL managerial record of 112-103-2. Dick Schoonover, who served alongside Shapiro with the Commodores, is new Braves’ pitching coach. 
     Bob Macaluso is new field manager of the Brewster Whitecaps. “Mac” has been Whitecaps assistant for the past three seasons, including the 2000 squad that captured the Cape League Championship. Bob is baseball coach at Muhlenberg College and in 2002 led the Mules to a school-record 23 wins. Ryan Kinski is the new pitching coach for the Hyannis Mets.


THE STARS COME OUT AT NIGHT

     The stars will be out in Falmouth, Saturday, July 26 when the Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game is played at 6 p.m. at Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth. The game will be preceded by the popular home run hitting contest at 4 p.m.
     The game will be televised on Fox SportsNet New England and newly-launched College Sports Television (CSTV), available on Channel 612 on DirecTV. It will be broadcast through the Free Teamline Service and the league’s web-site, www.capecodbaseball.org.
      The Cape League All-Stars will be recognized during pre-game ceremonies at Fenway Park before the Boston Red Sox game on Tuesday, July 22. Last year’s gala in Harwich was witnessed by over 6,000 fans and 125 major league scouts and media, in addition to a Fox SportsNet New England television and WXTK (95.1 FM) radio audience.


HOME AWAY FROM HOME

     The Hyannis Mets take their act on the road again, playing home games on Nantucket Island and at Sandwich High School.
     The Mets host the Falmouth Commodores at Nantucket’s scenic Tom Nevers Field, Saturday, June 28 at 2 p.m. Event sponsors for the Nantucket Pennant Game include Hy-Line Cruises, AK Diamonds Restaurant and Nantucket Bank. Larry Maury, a local contractor involved with Nantucket Babe Ruth, built the baseball complex. Last season, Falmouth won, 5-3. This year’s game will be televised on Channel 22.
      Hyannis hosts the Cotuit Kettleers at Sandwich’s Fenton Field, Saturday, July 19 at 7 p.m. The Community Bank of Sandwich is presenting sponsor. The game will be telecast on Sandwich Community Television and Cape Cod Community Cable. Last season, Hyannis won, 2-0 over Bourne. 


FORMER HARWICH CATCHER NAMED TRIPLE A MANAGER

     Former Harwich (1982, ’83) catcher Tony DeFrancesco was named manager of the Class AAA PCL’s Sacramento Rivercats last December. 
     “This is the No. 1 managerial job in Minor League Baseball, and I am very excited to get started,” DeFrancesco said. “I have heard wonderful things about the fans in Sacramento, as well as Raley Field and the River Cats front office.”
    This marks DeFrancesco's 10th year as manager in the Oakland A’sorganization.He joins the River Cats after four seasons as manager of the Midland Rockhounds, Oakland's Double-A affiliate that went 75-64 last season in the Texas League. 
    A 9th round selection of the Boston Red Sox in the 1984 Draft, DeFrancesco played eight seasons for the Red Sox and Reds organizations. He is a Suffern, NY native who attended Seton Hall and lives in Mesa, Ariz., with his wife, Adriene, and children, Anthony IV and Genevieve.


WHO’S HOT AND WHO’S NOT… AMONG CAPE LEAGUE ALUMNI

     Reigning Cy Young winner Barry Zito (Wareham ‘97-’98) began where he left off with the Oakland A’s, going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA with 10 straight wins before losing Sunday.
     CCBL Hall of Famer Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas (Orleans ’88) is among the AL leaders in on-base pct. (.463) for the White Sox. Hard-hitting Red Sox acquisition Kevin Millar (Harwich ’92) ranks second among AL leaders in batting avg. (.415) and third in RBI (12) and slugging pct. (.788). Anaheim’s Tim Salmon (Cotuit ’88) is tied with A-Rod for the AL lead in home runs (5).
     J.T. Snow (Orleans ’88) ranks fourth in the NL in batting (.371) and second in RBI’s (13) for the SF Giants. Jeromy Burnitz (Hyannis ’88) ranks second in doubles (6) for the New York Mets.
     Houston’s Jeff Bagwell (Chatham (‘87-’88) homered twice in an 11-8 loss to St. Louis Sunday, giving him 28 career multi-homer games, including two already this season. He ranks second in the NL in home runs (5) and ninth in batting avg. (.357).
     After hitting a home run in his first game, Jeremy Giambi (Bourne ’94) is off to a slow start with a .091 batting avg. for the Red Sox. Jeff Conine (Orleans ’86) is batting .216 with just one RBI for Baltimore.  From league historian Bruce Hack 


SIMPLY A “PERFECT” GEM

     Right-hander John Wasdin (Hyannis ’92) hurled a perfect game on April 7 for Nashville, the Pirates’ Triple A team. Wasdin struck out 15 batters in a 4-0 win over Alberquerque in a Pacific Coast League game. He previously pitched in the major leagues for Boston and Oakland.


LEADING OFF IN STYLE

     The Houston Astros’ Craig Biggio (Y-D ’86) broke Bobby Bonds’ NL record with his 31st career home run in a 4-2 win over Cincinnati on April 10.


FOND FAREWELL

     The Cape Cod Baseball League extends its thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Chuck Anderson. A long-time friend of the league, Anderson, who played for Cotuit in 1960, passsed away on April 3 after a long battle with cancer.
      He coached his alma mater, Florida Southern, to a 843-251-1 record in 20 years and his .770 winning pct. is second best in Div. II history and he is 12th in career wins. In 43 years as a coach at FSC, Anderson sent many players to the Cape, including 1999 league MVP Lance Niekro, son of major league knuckleballer Joe Niekro and son of 300-game winner Phil Niekro.

John Garner
CCBL Director of
Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394