27 June 2000
In leading the Commodores over East Division first place Harwich, Brooks also maintained his league-leading slugging average of .714 and helped Falmouth stay atop the West Division at 8-3. As of Monday, June 26, Brooks also led the league in runs scored with 13, extra base hits with 8 and was third in on-base percentage.
While Falmouth and Wareham remained tied for first place in the West Division, and as Harwich, the Y-D Red Sox and Chatham battled for bragging rights atop the East, the upstart Bourne Braves were busy opening some eyes with a trio of league-leading hitters and a confidence-boosting win at home Saturday (June 24) over Harwich.
Coady Field came alive early Saturday afternoon when Virginia's Jon Benick crushed a 2-1 Rob Moravek offering to deep right field, knocking in two runs and giving Braves' starter Khalid Ballouli all he'd need for his third win of the young season. Ballouli, a righty from Texas A&M, led the Cape League in wins as of Tuesday (June 26), was ranked sixth in earned run average at 0.93 and in 19 innings pitched had fanned 12 and walked just six.
Speaking of pitching, the Gatemen looked decidedly strong as the week winded down, with three of the league's top four hurlers all wearing Wareham cranberry red.
Leading coach Scott Pickler's Y-D Red Sox and the Cape League in hitting thus far is Cal State-Northridge's J.T. Stotts, who by Monday had slashed his way to a .424 average in 12 games played. With more than a fourth of the season already completed, Harwich Mariners' outfielder Adam Stern followed a close second behind Stotts at a .390 clip.
And as Wareham continued to dominate the Cape League pitching ranks, it was a trio of Braves chopping their way to the top 10 among Cape League hitting leaders. Princeton's Max Krance, a lefthanded hitting outfielder out of South Nyack, NY, went 3-5 Sunday night at McKeon Field in Hyannis with five RBI to up his average to .383.
Cape Cod Baseball League publicist extraordinaire Missy Ilg Alaimo finally made it to her summer home in Chatham last Monday and wasn't in town for long -- with four children in tow -- before she hopped right into helping out with the youth baseball clinics offered by the A's. All of the other Cape League organizations also got their youth baseball clinics underway as summer began in earnest.
1999 Wareham Gatemen third baseman Matt Longo made his return to the Cape League late last week, but he won't be wearing the same uniform this time around. Longo, who attends Villanova and had hoped to be drafted earlier this month, returns this time around with the Cotuit Kettleers.
Behind the plate and hitting the ball well for coach Mike Coutts' Kettleer defending league champs is Stephen Ghutzman, a Spring, TX native who attends Blinn Junior College. Ghutzman also happens to be the younger brother of fellow Cape Leaguer Phillip Ghutzman, a backstop this time around for the Falmouth Commodores. The elder Ghutzman also played for Blinn Junior College before catching for the Wareham Gatemen in 1999 and prior to transferring to Rice University last fall.
Hyannis Mets' head coach Tom O'Connell was inducted last week into the Braintree High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Before launching into a near half-century of coaching baseball (46 years), O'Connell was one of Braintree's top athletes and later became a teacher and coach at his alma mater. Following his high school coaching days, O'Connell went on to manage the Brandeis University nine in Waltham and then to Princeton for just under 20 seasons in the sun.
The Coca Cola Pitcher of the week (June 18-24) was Wareham's Pat Pinkman, followed by Coca Cola Hitter of the week, Doc Brooks (9-20, two HRs, five RBI).
-- Sean Walsh