06/15/2008 10:04 AM
Wareham Gatemem 2008 Season Preview
Wareham Eyes Major Comeback After Disappointing 2007 Campaign
WAREHAM, Mass. – The Wareham Gatemen of 2007 finished with a disappointing 15-29, but a new season means a new chance to prove and improve.
The Gatemen roster has seen a significant makeover in the past two weeks, with seven of its players selected to try out for Team USA and another three not coming for eligibility reasons. With fully one-third of the original roster missing in action, the Gatemen have added seven non-roster invitees.
Dallas Keuchel (Arkansas) will return for another summer with the Gatemen. Keuchel is coming off a 4-3 spring with the Razorbacks in which he posted a 4.58 ERA. Likely to join him in the rotation is fellow lefty Matt Bashore (Indiana), who finished the spring with a 7-3 record and 86 strikeouts.
Vying for starts and relief time will be hurlers Dean Kiekhefer (Louisville), Brandon Workman (Texas), Max Perlman (Harvard), Brandt Walker (Stanford), Josh Slaats (Hawaii), Mike Seander (Duke), Zach Brewster (Georgia Tech), and true freshman Robby Broach (Tulane).
Look for sophomore Raynor Cambell (Baylor) to man the left side of the infield, either at short or third, plus newcomers Steve Liddle (Vandebilt) and Jake Lemmerman (Duke) to complete the options around the horn.
“Dustin came on real strong for us at the end of last season,” said Gatemen Manager Cooper Farris. “He struggled a little bit early, which all of them do because they are using wooden bats. He is a big guy, too, and a left-handed hitter. So we are hoping he will really turn the corner up here this summer.”
Returning outfielder Blake Dean (Louisiana State) led the team with four home runs and 15 RBI last summer. Accompanying him will be Kipp Shutz (Indiana), Brett Eibner (Arkansas) and Connor Rowe (Texas).
Cole Leonida (Georgia Tech) and Buddy Munroe (Florida) will share the catching duties.
“It is fun to watch the players progress here,” said Farris, now in his eighth season. “We try to get all these players to take their game to another level.”
Wareham opens at home this year against the Falmouth Commodores on Friday, June 13, a special one-game Opening Day on which the entire league joins Wareham in honoring longtime team president and general manager John Wylde on his 25th anniversary with the Gatemen.
Laura Rasmussen, CCBL Intern ([email protected])