08/31/2008 2:29 PM
Wareham Gatemen 2008 Season Review
Probable Return of Young Stars
From ’08 Team Gives Wareham
Hope for Success Next Season
WAREHAM, Mass. -- To say that a team is building for next summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League is rare, but for the 2008 Wareham Gatemen, such a statement could be the case come 2009.
Despite posting a league-worst 17-26 record, the Gatemen, who lost six original roster players to Team USA, could have up to 10 returnees on next year’s squad.
Those 10 players are sophomores this fall at their respective colleges, meaning the Gatemen could easily welcome back some familiar faces next summer.
Leading the pack is pitching ace Brandon Workman (Texas), who led the league with 67 strikeouts in 55 innings of work. In early July, Workman flirted with a no-hitter, coming just two outs shy.
Workman was part of a starting staff that proved to be extremely reliable. He, Max Perlman (Harvard) and Dallas Keuchel (Arkansas) ranked atop the league leader board in innings logged this summer, giving the Gatemen a starting rotation that was noted for its ability to pitch deep into games. Keuchel posted a 2.63 earned run average in eight starts, encompassing 55 innings. Perlman, who also pitched 55 innings, was 3-1 with a 3.11 ERA. All three were named West Division All-Stars.
Third baseman Raynor Campbell (Baylor), also an All-Star, led the Gatemen offensively. Campbell finished with a .303 average and a .428 slugging percentage. On the other corner, Aaron Baker (Oklahoma) led the team in RBI with 25 while also smacking four home runs.
Other potential returnees include Ryan Pineda (Cal State-Northridge) and Brett Eibner (Arkansas), each of whom drove in 18 runs. Pineda had a .273 average and 11 doubles, while Eibner blasted four homers.
Position players Kipp Schutz (Indiana), Connor Rowe (Texas), Cole Leonida (Georgia Tech) and Jake Lemmerman (Duke) might very well be back in Wareham also. Schutz batted a solid .260, Rowe started 39 games in center and Leonida drove in 15 runs.
Perhaps the best thing to happen to the Gatemen in ’08 was the fact that their longtime leader John Wylde was along for the entire ride. Wylde marked his 25th season with the team after being diagnosed with liver cancer last fall. Although undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments throughout the season, he never missed a beat in his duties as the Gatemen’s public address announcer and official scorer, and he has already turned his attention to working on various league matters and planning for 2009.
With the Goodyear Blimp “Spirit of Goodyear” circling above, the Gatemen and the rest of the league honored Wylde for his accomplishments on “John Wylde Night” June 13, when the first game of the regular season was played between the Gatemen and Falmouth Commodores.
The press box at Spillane Field was christened the “John H. Wylde Press Box” that night.
Laura Rasmussen, CCBL Intern ([email protected])
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen