09/09/2009 11:32 AM
Wareham Gatemen 2009 Season Review
Wareham Gatemen make 2009 playoffs, making John Wylde proud
Katy Fitzpatrick, CCBL Intern
WAREHAM, Mass—After losing their president, general manager, and biggest fan John Wylde in the off-season, the Wareham Gatemen knew they had their work cut out for them for the 2009 season, especially after finishing last in the league in 2008. With plenty of support from their organization, combined with a talented and ambitious roster, the Gatemen far exceeded their expectations for the season.
Pitching proved to be the strongest point for the Gatemen this year, led by Jack Armstrong (Vanderbilt), the youngest and tallest member of the squad at a whopping 6’7. Armstrong’s fastball clocked in on the radar guns at 97 miles per hour, faster than any other pitcher on the Cape. With a 4-1 record and low 2.57 ERA, Armstrong gave up just 27 hits in his 35 innings pitched. He recorded 31 strikeouts and 18 walks. At the All-Star game, legendary baseball guru Peter Gammons said that the All-Star Armstrong was the one to watch in the CCBL.
Brandon Workman (Texas) was another anticipated arrival to Wareham, as were the many other players in the CCBL from the highly talented Texas Longhorns. Workman definitely lived up to his name, as he was one of the more animated pitchers on the mound, and definitely a hard thrower. A few shaky outings increased his ERA to 5.06, but his talent didn’t go unnoticed as he earned the start for the Western Division at the All-Star game.
Eric Pfisterer (Duke) proved to be an all-around versatile player for Wareham. On the mound, he proved he belonged on the Cape with a 3-1 record and 3.32 ERA. Pfisterer recorded 40 strikeouts and gave up just 27 hits in his 7 outings. Early on in the season, when he wasn’t on the mound, he could be found at first base playing great defense for the Gatemen. Pfisterer earned a spot in the West’s All-Star bullpen.
While hitting was their biggest downfall this season, there were a few sluggers on their roster. Brett Eibner (Arkansas) arrived late in the season, but it’s true what they say about better late than never. Eibner’s stand out performance at the plate earned him a spot in the 2009 Home Run Hitting Contest at Fenway Park. Eibner batted .240 with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs over the season. Zach Wilson (Arizona St.) also contributed offensively, with a .247 batting average, 2 home runs, and 10 RBIs.
Ryan LeMarre (Michigan) and George Springer (Connecticut) patrolled the outfield for Wareham, making great catches, while Springer tallied three home runs. Derek Dietrich (Georgia Tech) played second base and shortstop this summer, but most importantly, assumed the role of team leader, keeping team morale at high. Dietrich was the only non-pitcher to make the Western Division All-Star Team for the Gatemen.
Baseball America listed Armstrong, Eibner and Springer as 6th, 11th, and 27th respectively on their top 30 Prospects from the Cape League. While the Gatemen struggled in hitting, they still managed to make the playoffs. They were eliminated in the single-game elimination first round, losing to Cotuit 5-2 and finishing the season with a 19-19-6 record. Dramatically improving their performance from 2008, the Gatemen will look to keep improving in 2010 and to keep the legacy of John Wylde alive.
Katy Fitzpatrick can be reached at [email protected]