THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
(20 June – 26 June 2005)
Coca Cola Pitcher and Player of the Week
COCA COLA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Chatham A's Evan Longoria, out of Long Beach State, ripped the cover off the ball, going 11-for-25 at the plate for a .440 average. A native of Downey, CA, Longoria blasted a pair of round-trippers on the week and drove in five runs. He also had a three doubles on the week and had a slugging percentage of .800 over a six-game period.
COCA COLA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Chatham A's highly-touted Jared Hughes, a teammate of Longoria's at Long Beach State, flirted with a no-hitter in a 9-1 win over Falmouth. The native of Laguna Beach, CA, carried a no-hitter into the ninth before yielding his first hit of the night. Hughes, a 6-7 righthander, finished with a two-hitter and fanned 12 batters in the dominant performance against the Commodores, raising his record to 2-0 on the young season.
Reynolds A Key Returnee For Braves
It's a long way from Palo Alto, Calif., to Bourne, Mass., but it's a trek that Stanford's Greg Reynolds has made the past two years. And the 6' 7" right-hander hopes his stint on the Cape will help him make another trip - to the major leagues.
Reynolds is the lone returnee from last year's Braves team, and the native of Pacifica, CA, who was 4-3 with a 2.27 ERA a year ago, is happy to be back with the Cape League club.
"The community couldn't be better, " stated Reynolds. "My host mom, Sylvia Fuller, has just been awesome. The host families here (in Bourne) are great."
Although Reynolds admitted to having an "up-and-down year" at Stanford (2-3, 5.08 ERA), his final performance this season on the mound still has Cardinal fans talking. Facing one of the top teams in the country in Baylor in the NCAA Regionals in Waco, TX, Reynolds pitched 11+ innings, leaving after giving up a leadoff home run in the top of the 12th. Reynolds threw 137 pitches in the game, striking out a career-high 10, in a game the Cardinal lost 4-3 to the Bears, who advanced all the way to the College World Series.
Reynolds carried over the momentum of that performance to his first Cape League start this season for Harvey Shapiro's club. Facing Orleans on the road, Reynolds pitched seven shutout innings, fanning six, in a game the Braves eventually won in extra innings.
"This year (on the Cape), I'm trying to locate my pitches (better)," noted Reynolds, when asked what his goals were for this season. "Doing that will help me when I go back (to Stanford) and face aluminum bats."
And how does he feel coming back to the Cape? "It's the best competition around (to get to) the major leagues. The Cape League is awesome!"
RUNNING THE BASES - The Braves earlier this week released Pennsylvania lefthander Nick Francona, son of Red Sox skipper Terry Francona. The younger Francona tore the labrum in his left shoulder and will need surgery to repair the damage...After Saturday's 7-1 win over Cotuit, the Braves have now won five straight games, the longest win streak so far this season in the Cape League...Heading into Saturday's game, Justin Henry (Mississippi), who's been red-hot of late, was leading the Braves in hitting with a .462 average. Scott Sanford, CCBL Website Editor, email@example.com
Kettleers’ Davison Picking Up Where He Left Off
Cotuit’s Todd Davison has clearly been the most consistent hitter for the Kettleers during the 2005 season as they struggle to score runs. Todd shares the team lead with eight RBI’s and is hitting a steady .310 average.
Hitting batting average is similar to the .302 Todd hit for Delaware. In the 2005 spring campaign, Todd led the Blue Hens in doubles, RBI’s and total bases. Todd has showed patience at the plate and isn’t afraid to play unselfish baseball to help manufacture runs, a staple of the Kettleers’ attack.
“We are a very old school club,” said GM Bruce Murphy, “Coach Roberts is about small ball, manufacturing runs and being aggressive on the bases. Todd fits into this very nicely and part of his success has been a product of this strategy.”
Davison has benefited by laying down several sacrifice bunts that have scored runs for Cotuit. This unselfish play is contagious and will hopefully get the lineup going. Cotuit is hitting a dismal .211 batting average as a team.
“We try and get our players on base any way they can,” said Coach Roberts, “sometimes this can help a guy get out of a slump and feel more comfortable at the plate.”
This “go-go” philosophy has yet to pay dividends, but surely will pay off shortly. Most players take a couple weeks to get comfortable in the Cape, not just with their surroundings, but with the wood bats. Colleges use aluminum and the ball comes off these bats much faster than the traditional wooden bats used in the Cape League. This is a major reason why the Cape is a great test for college players who have aspirations of making it to the next level. Not only will they face the best college pitchers in the country, they will also get a chance to take their shot at hitting with wood. Nick Mucci, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Falmouth Off To Rough Start Despite Solid Performances
The 2005 season has not opened well for the defending Western Conference Champion Falmouth Commodores, as they entered Saturday's contest against the Brewster Whitecaps with a 2-5-1 record overall. However, several Commodores are enjoying outstanding individual seasons. Last week, Tim Norton (Connecticut) was named the Coca Cola Player of the Week for his outing against Hyannis. This week, catcher Jon Still is the league’s leading hitter with a .375 average.
Still, the sophomore from Stetson, went 4-for-5 in support of his battery mate Norton last Friday’s victory, Falmouth’s first of the season. Going into the off-day on Thursday, Still, who has also seen time at first base, had nine hits in 24 at bats. His .375 average was five percentage points higher than Chatham’s Evan Longoria.
This past spring, Still posted a .305 average with 8 home runs and 48 RBI at Stetson. Brian Bocock, a teammate of Still’s at both Stetson and Falmouth, hit .355 this spring.
For those who dismiss batting average as an overrated statistic in today’s game, Still also ranks second in the league with a .516 on base percentage. The OBP has become popular in recent years as one of the staples of the Moneyball philosophy subscribed to by many general managers in Major League Baseball, including Boston’s Theo Epstein. Colin Reed, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
Third Time Is A Charm For Hyannis Mets Hurler Mark Sauls
Hard-throwing right-hander Mark Sauls (Florida State) joins a select company that includes the likes of Jeff Reardon and Big Ed Baird as top pitchers who’ve performed for three straight seasons in the Cape League.
The 6-4, 215-pound junior hurler arrived in Hyannis this past week and the Mets’ brass are pleased to welcome him back. “We’re delighted to have him return in a Mets’ uniform and hope he’ll lead us to our third straight playoff appearance.
One of Sauls’ many CCBL highlights came during Game 1 of the 2003 West Division Playoffs when he hurled an impressive 1-0, 95-pitch, two-hit shutout over the Bourne Braves. Another major highlight was hurling in last year’s All-Star Game.
“I’ve had fun playing for the Mets the past two seasons and competing against some of the top players in the country,” said Sauls, who wasn’t drafted after suffering elbow tendonitis earlier this spring.
During the ’03 campaign for the Mets, Sauls recorded a 2.38 ERA with 49 K’s in 45 1/3 inning pitched. Last season, he was outstanding for Hyannis, earning a 3-1 record with an impressive 1.90 ERA and 38 K’s in 52 innings.
“Several scouts told me that I should go back to the Cape League and if I did well, they would take a strong look,” said Sauls.
In Saturday’s 9-3 loss to Harwich, Sauls started on the mound for the Mets, lasting just four innings and allowing seven runs (five earned) on six hits. A highlight in relief for the Mets was southpaw Charlie Furbush (St. Joseph’s), who allowed no hits in 2 2/3 innings pitched.
The Mets had one homer of their own when Kyle Norrid (Memphis) connected with the second pitch of the seventh inning for a solo shot to center. Norrid went 3-for-4 for the Mets, while Brandon Masters (Georgia) went 2-for-4 with a bases-loaded RBI single.
Norris is the team’s leading hitter at .333 with two homers and 11 RBI, while Chris Duke (San Diego CC) is the top hurler with a 1.29 ERA in seven innings pitched.
The Mets (1-7-1) are dead last among Cape League teams in batting with a dreadful .142 average. John Garner, Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting, firstname.lastname@example.org
Masterson Is Masterful For Pitching-Rich Wareham Gatemen
A major reason for the early success of the Wareham Gatemen is the dominance of closer Justin Masterson. Justin has pitched in five valuable innings for the Gatemen allowing merely two hits and no runs while recording four strikeouts.
Masterson is a very imposing figure, at 6-6, 235 pounds the big right-hander strikes fear in opposing batters. Masterson is currently a sophomore at Bethel College of Indiana and was downright dominant for the Pilots in the 2005 spring season. Masterson finished with a 9-4 record, recorded 78 strikeouts and had an ERA of 1.34 earning him NCAA All-American status. Not only was he the ace of the staff, Masterson also led the Pilots in home runs.
Masterson is among the league leaders in saves with three thus far on this young season. Although the number one starter for Bethel, Justin has transitioned well into the closer role for the Gatemen.
Masterson and the very talented Wareham staff were leading the league in ERA with an ERA well below two until the staff collectively allowed sixteen runs against the defending champions Y-D.
John Lalor (Mississippi St.) looks to be on pace for a great season and merely pitched a complete game against Cotuit Friday night. Lalor had two outs in the ninth inning but was unable to shut down the Cotuit bats that were able to get three runs off Lalor. The 6’7” right-hander has an impressive 1.62 ERA and leads the league with 16.2 innings pitched.
Whit Robbins (Georgia Tech) has been swinging a hot bat for the Gatemen, with two home runs and slugging at an unbelievable percentage of .810. Nick Mucci, CCBL intern, email@example.com
Emanuele and Morizio Pace Hard-Hitting Whitecaps
Despite a two-game skid, the Brewster Whitecaps are sitting on a 4-3 record heading into the third week of the CCBL season. In the two losses the Whitecaps, who are batting .274 as a team, had their bats nearly silenced while being outscored, 15-2.
The Whitecaps remain the best hitting team in the league, while Northeastern’s Chris Emanuele and Matt Morizio consistently highlight their offensive performances.
Emanuele, An America East selection, boasts a .353 average ranking him in the top five hitters in the league. The speedy outfielder from Ontario batted a perfect 2-2 in a loss to Wareham while fellow Husky, Morizio (.310), slugged three hits against Harwich.
Emanuele played for Wareham in 2003, and Morizio, a catcher, played in the New England League last summer, but both are on the Cape in 2005 as temporary players hoping to make a lasting impression on the coaches and stick around for the rest of the summer.
“Playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League is the best opportunity for us to get to the next level,” said both Emanuele and Morizio, who are both modest about their abilities, while hopeful they will be spending the summer in the CCBL.
Fans describe Emanuele and Morizio as hard-working individuals “that can really hit the ball well.” In baseball terms, their teammates say it best, “They ‘rake’.”
Players and fans alike will be counting on their offensive dynamos including Craig Cooper (Notre Dame), Matt Cusick (USC), and Greg Sexton (William & Mary) who are all batting over .350. Jenna Kubesch, Intern, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talented Tarheel Pitching Duo Leading the Way for Chatham
Back-to-back brilliant performances by a pair of North Carolina hurlers helped Chatham get on the winning track in the second week of play.
Robert Woodard and Andrew Miller, two of the A’s key returnees from last year’s squad, are teammates both in Chatham and Chapel Hill. They both enjoyed phenomenal springs in Carolina blue, and, if this week was any indicator, they will continue their success in Chatham.
On Tuesday, Woodard, who was 8-0 with a 2.11 ERA this spring, pitched eight innings of five-hit ball against the visiting Hyannis Mets. The sophomore righty fanned five batters and walked none during his 93-pitch effort. The Mets’ only run of the game was a solo home run. The six runs produced by the Chatham bats were more than enough.
Not to be outdone, Miller provided a superb encore the following night as the A’s again played Hyannis. The 6’6” southpaw, who many predict will be selected as the top pick in next year’s MLB draft, pitched seven shutout innings, scattering three hits in his 98 pitches. Miller struck out eight batters, while walking only four.
GM Charlie Thoms was extremely pleased with the debuts of his Tar Heel pitchers. “We need these two guys to be consistent to win,” he said.
Thoms also noted the vastly different styles between the two. “Woodard hides the ball really well,” he noted. “He doesn’t throw hard, but he has incredible control. Miller, on the other hand, can reach back and light up the gun at 98 MPH. He looks like he’s playing catch with that loose motion.”
The contrasting styles keep hitters off balance, and Thoms believes these two will solidify the rotation. “Last year, Woodard was used in every possible role,” the GM noted.
Woodard will join Miller in the rotation this season, and the deadly one-two punch will give opposing lineups nightmares all summer long. Colin Reed, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
Pitching A Bright Spot for Mariners
Following his team’s first loss of the season on Monday night against the visiting Brewster Whitecaps, Harwich field manager Steve Englert was far from disappointed. He was confident Tuesday’s starting pitcher would give the Mariners an excellent chance to add to their win total.
Indeed, Tim Lincecum (Washington) lived up to his coach’s expectations, as he pitched a complete-game in Cotuit the next night. Despite his performance, the 6-foot right-hander actually took the loss, as Harwich suffered their second loss in as many days, falling to the Kettleers by a score of two to one.
The Renton, Wash., native, who was named the 2004 PAC-10 Pitcher and Freshman of the Year last season, struck out 11 batters while walking only one in his Cape debut. Cotuit’s runs were both unearned.
“He has electric stuff,” Englert said.
This spring, Lincecum went 8-6 with a 3.11 ERA. Opposing batters hit a meager .179 against him. Lincecum is no stranger to complete games, as he went the duration during four of his 16 starts to lead the team.
Nevertheless, Coach Englert was pleased with his team’s play, especially considering the players his team has lost in the early going.
“Guys are throwing strikes, the pen has done well, we’ve had great defense and timely hits,” Englert said. “That’s how you stay in the win column. It’s been a good start.”
Harwich lost another well-pitched game Wednesday night against the visiting Wareham Gatemen. Kevin Mulvey (Villanova) and Cody Crowell (Vanderbilt) combined to surrender only two runs through nine innings, but the Mariner bats could only produce one run against the Gatemen. Colin Reed, CCBL Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Provincetown Night Brings New Fans to Orleans
Pitchers weren’t the only ones throwing strikes Tuesday night in Orleans. Provincetown selectman Sarah Peake threw a perfect ceremonial first pitch on "Provincetown Night".
Cardinals’ assistant GM Ron Conte said it is a tradition to have nights celebrating the Lower Cape. There will be Wellfleet Night, Truro Night, Eastham Night and of course Orleans Night. “It’s a tradition,” said Conte “Representatives from each town come and throw out the first pitch, many times they will provide the after-game meal for the players or provide the national anthem singer as well.”
As for the perfect strike, Peake said, “I practiced enough to get a sense of the distance, but not get a strained arm.” 2005 makes this the fourth year that Peake has thrown out the ceremonial; first pitch at Provincetown Night. Peake says she likes to bring friends with her to Cape League games because many people in P’Town have never experienced the league. “They always come back and tell me what a great time they’ve had,” said Peake.
Unfortunately, Provincetown Night was not a success for the Cards. They lost a heartbreaker, 2-1 in 12 innings to the Bourne Braves.
Leading the Cardinals in batting is infielder Dave Uribes (Pepperdine) who is batting .361 with six home runs and 36 RBI. Uribes, in his second year in the Cape League, is helping to drive his team to victories. Uribes loves the cape atmosphere and says that his host family is very welcoming and makes his time here on the Cape a wonderful experience. Stefanie Falco, CCBL Intern, Falco@capecodbaseball.org
World Series Trophy and Rice Catcher Danny Lehmann Arrive at Y-D
The celebration continued in Yarmouth-Dennis last Monday, as the Boston Red Sox World Series trophy came to Red Wilson Field to celebrate the ending of the 86-year drought with the 2004 champions of the Cape League.
“Loved it,’ said Y-D and Boston fan John Kennedy (no relation). “It’s definitely a good thing to bring it here.” Kennedy was surprised to see the trophy looked smaller in person than it did on TV.
Besides the championship trophy, another addition to the Y-D Sox this week was catcher Danny Lehmann (Rice). Lehmann joined the team this week after falling just short of a College World Series appearance with Rice University. So far Lehmann is impressed with the competition in the Cape League, “Competition is better all around, there’s better pitching, it’s a new challenge,” Said Lehmann.
Lehmann is adjusting well to the wood bats as well as his teammates, “It’s a struggle with the wood bats, it’s a lot different.” “The guys that have been here know the ropes better, but everyone gets along,” said Lehmann.
Lehmann should have no problem fitting in with this group of guys. In his freshman season with Rice he hit .283 with seven home runs, 33 RBI and a .489 slugging percentage. Overall, Lehmann should be a great asset to the Sox.
Unfortunately Lehmann could not help the Sox muster a win over Harwich Friday night. The only run production came in the eighth inning when Jim Rapaport (Stanford) blooped a single over the second baseman’s head to score two runs as the Sox lost 4-2. Stephanie Falco, CCBL Intern, email@example.com
Around the Cape League Horn
The documentary “Touching the Game” has been accepted as an official entry in the prestigious 2005 Woods Hole Film Festival. The festival runs from July 30 to August 6. Congratulations to Peter Frechette, Jim Carroll and the rest of the crew at Fields of Vision…Upcoming corporate league events include: June 27 - Hood Sampling at Cotuit; 99 at Orleans; 99 at Cotuit; Sullivan Tire at Falmouth Cape Cod Potato Chips at Brewster; June 28th Sullivan Tire at Bourne; Cape Cod Potato Chips at Y-D; June 30th Hood Sampling at Chatham; Sullivan Tire at Wareham; Cape Cod Potato Chips at Wareham...
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 firstname.lastname@example.org
Interns: Stephanie Falco, Jason S. Itzkowitz, Jenna Kubesch, Michael Kydd, Nicholas Mucci, Colin Reed
Contributing Editor, Scott Sanford