for immediate release: 5 May, 2006
Chatham A's 2006 Season Preview
CHATHAM, Mass. -- Hopefully the bitter taste of losing to rival Orleans in the 2005 CCBL playoffs has dissipated from Chatham head coach John Schiffner’s mouth. The beginning of the new season is a chance for teams to start fresh and to forget about seasons lost. The Chatham A’s bring a talented and exciting team into the 2006 season.
Gone from last year’s team are aces Jared Hughes and Andrew Miller. They will be replaced by a number of capable arms. Miller’s teammate from the No. 1 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, Robert Woodard, will be returning to the A’s pitching staff. Joining Woodard at the top of the rotation will be Danny Meszaros (College of Charleston) and Brett Bukvich (Ole Miss) with their minute respective ERAs of 2.34 and 2.50.
Other explosive arms include Eric Nissen (Wake Forest), Vance Worley (Long Beach State), Nathan Moreau (Georgia), Mike McGuire (Delaware), Michael Gaggioli (Georgetown), Matt Giannini (Rutgers), Brian Frazier (George Washington), and Iain Sebestian (Georgia).
The A’s must also replace Derrick Lutz, who served as a Mariano Rivera-type closer with his 0.00 ERA and 12 saves last summer. Talented Michigan freshman Zach Putnam will be the favorite to start the season at closer. Rich Sirois (UConn) of Ipswich, Massachusetts, brings a local flavor to this deep and talented pitching staff.
Chatham has a number of players who can ignite the offense, starting with Adrian Ortiz, who returns from last year’s team. Unlike David Ortiz (no relation), Adrian has blazing speed and is known as one of the fastest players in college baseball. Second baseman Chris Carrara (Winthrop) brings a lofty .361 batting average into the lineup, where he will likely bat near the top.
The heart of the order will be occupied by freshman standout first baseman Allan Dykstra (Wake Forest), currently hitting an impressive .356 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs. Middle infielder Aaron Reza (Oklahoma) returns from last year’s team and brings a defensive wizardry to the infield. Reza has yet to commit an error in 157 chances for the Sooners.
The rest of the positional players will include Corey Brown (OF, Oklahoma State), Todd Frazier (3B, Rutgers), Reid Fronk (INF/OF, UNC), Doug Pickens (OF/C, Michigan), Nick Derba (OF, Manhattan), Matt Rizzotti (1B, Manhattan), Tim Federowicz (C, UNC), Seth Williams (OF, UNC), and Daniel Espinosa (SS, Long Beach State).
This year the A’s begin the season against the Falmouth Commodores at Veteran’s Field on June 15th at 7 p.m. The A’s get a chance for revenge when they visit Orleans on June 26th at 7 p.m.
By Jonathan French, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org