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Harwich takes Cape League by storm

06/16/2000 12:42 PM

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This week in Baseball 16 June 2000 Harwich takes Cape League by storm Photo by Sean Walsh Stanford University southpaw Ryan Gloger brings the heat versus the Cotuit Kettleers Tuesday, June 14. Brewster defeated Cotuit, 2-0 In the first five games of the 2000 Cape League season, there was much more than fog and the constant threat of rain that players, coaches and fans tried to avoid. Tearing things up like a twister across the Cape League this week was the upstart Harwich Mariners club, led by first-year Mariner helmsman Buddy Custer and a slew of top college players like Nebraska' ouftfielder Adam Stern, Oklahoma's Eliot Joyner and former Cotuit Kettleer infielder/relief pitcher Jason Colson. By week's end, not only was Colson tied for the league lead in saves with two, onm Thursday (June 15), he hammered a first-inning Austin Mix offering to help the Mariners to a quick lead and ended the game on the hill for the save.While Colson was certainly not the only Mariner to help the Harwich club to a stellar, 5-0 start (as of Saturday, June 17), the Winthrop College player showed precisely why he has returned for a second stint in the Cape League. Around the Horn Photo by Sean Walsh Noth Carolina State righty Ryan Combs goes all out in his first start of the 2000 Cape League season at Lowell Park, Tuesday, June 13. In spite of Combs' eight innings of no-walk, shutout pitching, Brewster scored two in the ninth to win it, 2-0. Harwich wasn't the only Cape League squad off to a hot start as things got underway last week. The Wareham Gatemen jumped to an early, 4-1 record behindreturn field manager and new Florida Southern athletic director Mike Roberts, while Wareham returnee and last year's co-pitcher of the year Pat Pinkman (Virginia Tech) found himself at home among the league leaders once again with a win and no earned runs. University of Florida and Harwich righty Jay Bellflower threw a brilliant, 1-0, two-hit, no-walk shutout over Hyannis on Friday, June 16, but Bellflower wasn't the only pitcher throwing heat at Whitehouse Field. Virginia Tech righty Jason Bush pitched the complete game (Bellflower went 7 innings), allowing just three hits for the hard-luck loss. 1999 Cape League All-Star Game Home Run Derby Champion Doc Brooks, a catcher for the Falmouth Commodores and the University of Georgia Bulldogs, jacked a home run on opening day (Tuesday, June 13) to the same spot he hit nine dingers last July. Playing against the Wareham Gatemen at Spillane Field, Brooks went 2-4 in a 4-3 loss after giving Falmouth an early lead with a home run to left in the second inning. In last year's all-star game home run derby, Brooks pelted fans and the high-rise aluminum bleachers in left field at Spillane, much to the delight of fans, players and coaches alike. Still unsigned after being drafted 61st overall by San Francisco in the second round of the recent Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, 1999 Cape League MVP Lance Niekro made his return to the Orleans Cardinals Friday night. Cotuit native and Stetson University pitcher Chris Rogers had two relief appearances for the Kettleers this week, the first Cotuit native in years to play for the village favorites. The Hyannis Mets and Cotuit Kettleers both held clinics over the weekend for the Barnstable Junior League, much to the delight of hundreds of six-, seven- and eight-year-old boys and girls from the town of Barnstable. The Cape League held its Annual Opening Day brunch Sunday, Father's Day, at the Penguins Seagrill on Main Street, Hyannis, with first-time master of ceremonies Mike DeAnzeris doing a splendid job. Cape League Commissioner Bob Stead relayed several anecdotes to break the 2000 season ice, but brought many a tear to the audience with his heartwarming story about his son's passion for the game as a small boy. -- Sean Walsh