05/28/2005 10:41 AM
for immediate release: 28 May, 2005
Orleans Cardinals 2005 Season Preview
ORLEANS, Mass.--The 2005 edition of the Orleans Cardinals look to build on last year’s 22-21-1 record with new, yet familiar, leadership and a strong west-coast flavor.\
Orleans will feature many new faces this summer, as Colin Curtis (Arizona State) is the lone returning player from the 2004 season. Curtis, a left-handed hitting outfielder, is a legitimate five-tool player with endless potential.
Wes Hodges (Georgia Tech), who played in Yarmouth-Dennis last summer, is one of the top third base prospects in the country, and is currently hitting over .400 with nine home runs and 43 RBI in Atlanta. Fellow Yellow jacket Lee Hyde also migrated from Y-D to Orleans and will be an important member of the pitching staff. The lefty has a 6-2 record in over 70 innings this spring.
Florida State’s Tyler Chambliss will anchor the Cardinal bullpen. He leads the Seminoles with 13 saves, is second on the team with a 1.75 ERA and opponents are hitting a mere .197 against him. At the other end of the pitching staff, left-hander Mike Ballard (Virginia) will look to continue his successful spring, as he leads the Cavaliers in several categories, including wins, innings pitched and games started.
A trio of Georgia Southern teammates will migrate northward to Orleans this summer. Sophomore pitchers Dustin Evans and Everett Teaford will provide a potent lefty-righty combination in the pitching staff. Thus far this spring, the two have combined for 12 wins, over 150 innings pitched and more than 160 strikeouts. First basemen Greg Dowling is currently hitting over .400 and leads the team in RBIs.
The pitching staff will also be deep, as Jacob Cook (James Madison), David Coulon (Arizona), Brett Cecil (Maryland), Andy Graham (UC Santa Barbara), Brad Meyers (Loyola Marymount), Brant Rustich (UCLA), and Steven Wright (Hawaii) will join the players
Despite the loss of former Cape League Manager of the Year Carmen Carcone, the Cardinals are in good hands under the leadership of Kelly Nicholson. Coach K takes over as field manager, having served as pitching coach the previous four summers. General Manager Sue Horton is glad to have Nicholson back on board. Nicholson is excited about his coaching staff, consisting of Chris Beck, Robb Gorr and Mike Clement, as well as bullpen catcher Scott Jellous.
Nicholson believes his team has all the ingredients for success. “With good pitching and defense, you’re always going to have a good shot to win,” he said. “We are very solid in both of those areas.”
The Cardinals again will play their home games at Eldredge Park, which was named the top summer baseball league collegiate park by Baseball America. Named after Lewis Winslow Eldredge, who donated the 10 acres where the park now stands in 1913, the stadium has been well-maintained and updated over the years. It is equipped with state-of-the-art lights and is an excellent environment for both playing and watching baseball. One reporter described Eldredge Park as “a Norman Rockwell painting come to life.”
Orleans boasts a slew of alumni who are perennial Major League all-stars. Todd Helton and Frank Thomas, who play for the Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox respectively, have consistently been two of the best hitting first basemen in the game. Rising stars Ben Sheets of Milwaukee and Mark Teixeira of Texas were teammates in Orleans in 1999. Infamous former Yankee third basemen/Red Sox heartbreaker Aaron Boone, current Sox outfielder Jay Payton and Boston legend Nomar Garciaparra were all Cardinals during their collegiate days.
Colin Reed, Cape League intern
John Garner, Jr.