09/01/2006 10:39 AM
1 September 2006
CCBL 2006 Season Team Reviews
Y-D Red Sox Capture Second Title in Three Years
For the second time in three seasons, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox are champions of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Y-D dominated the 2006 season, clinching the top spot in the East and the best record in the league with 28 wins and 16 losses in regular season play. After beating Brewster in the third game of the Eastern Division series, the team battled (and beat) Wareham for the championship title.
Field Manager Scott Pickler coached an extremely talented squad this year, including eleven All-Stars and several award winners. Four Sox made the 2006 All-League Team, including pitchers Terry Doyle (Boston College) and Joshua Fields (Georgia), along with shortstop Buster Posey (Florida State) and outfielder Tyler Henley (Rice).
Pitching played a key role in the team’s success this season. All 2006 Red Sox award recipients were pitchers. Doyle, co-winner of the B.F.C. Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher Award, was a league leader with 52 strikeouts. He pitched a no-hitter for the Sox against Chatham on July 16, one of four straight wins to end the season. Fields led the league in saves with 13 and took home the Russ Ford Relief Pitcher Award.
Not to be forgotten is David Robertson (Alabama), who was an integral part of postseason play. Robertson allowed no hits while recording saves in all four Y-D
playoff wins to earn himself the title of Playoff MVP. Robertson also had an impressive regular season with a five saves and 46 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched.
The Sox fought hard for their title, forcing a third game in both the dramatic East playoffs and the championship series. In both series, Y-D lost the first game and came back swinging to win the second and third. Defense and pitching were the main factors in Y-D’s final win, as both Doyle and Robertson displayed their talent, while Brad Emaus (Tulane) and fan favorite Posey pulled off some incredible defensive plays to allow Wareham only one run for the entire game.
After a season filled with rainouts, Y-D received their championship trophy under a blazing sun in front of a record-breaking crowd of 8,272 fans. The members of the 2006 Y-D Red Sox showed that hard work, determination, and having fun are what make a championship team in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
By Courtney Reilly, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Whitecaps Crash the Postseason
This summer was a new beginning for the Whitecaps and their fans. Kicking things off with the debut of their long-awaited home at the new fan-filled Stony Brook Field in Brewster and closing with an extended playoff series, the Whitecaps played some of the most exciting baseball on the Cape.
A major reason the Whitecaps were so exciting to watch was their many comeback wins. Their ability to rally was the backbone of the team, showing how they played every game with great intensity from start to finish. The Whitecaps always kept the fans on the edge of their seats, but seemed to seal the deal with a win more often than not.
“They are all good players and they played with energy and enthusiasm,” said veteran field manager Bob Macaluso. “They got into the game.” Macaluso also commented on how well the guys got along and how much they supported one another.
One of the most widely discussed Whitecaps was Matt LaPorta (Florida), known for his power hitting as he was selected to the All-Star and All-League Teams this summer. LaPorta ended the season hitting .250 and lead his team with six homers and 19 RBIs, in addition to being one of the league leaders in slugging at .463. LaPorta was a big reason for the great unity among the team, recognized for his positive attitude when he was awarded the prestigious Daniel Silva Sportsmanship Award.
Justin Snyder (San Diego) and Matt Cusick (USC) were also on the All-Star team and were huge factors in the Whitecaps’ success. Snyder had 14 RBIs this summer and was one of the best defensive players on the team. Cusick, also selected to the All-League Team, ended the season leading the league with a .425 on-base percentage and hitting fourth best with a .304 average.
All-Star and All-League pitcher Shaun Seibert (Arkansas) may have been the most talked about pitcher on the Cape this summer. The top pitcher in the league ended his season with a perfect 6-0 record and an amazing 0.39 ERA, earning himself a share of the 2006 B.F.C. Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher Award. Seibert had 36 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings of work, not allowing a single earned run until his final start of the regular season.
Fellow starter Will Atwood (South Carolina) was yet another Whitecap to make the East All-Stars, ending his season at 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA. Harwich native Cody Crowell (Vanderbilt) was also a major part of the pitching rotation throughout the summer, finishing as one of the league leaders in strikeouts with 46.
Overall this was a very successful summer for the Whitecaps both individually and as a team. They ended the regular season with a 24-18-2 record and were very well represented among the league leader categories. Brewster fans are hopeful that all of this is the beginning of more good things to come.
By Johnna DeChristoforo, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Nicholson’s Second Year a Success
The 2006 Orleans Cardinals were on a quest to repeat as CCBL champions and win their third championship in four years. Field manager Kelly Nicholson knew the task would be arduous, but he kept his team on task throughout the year. The Cardinals made a late season run towards a playoff spot, but they came up just short and were unable to defend their championship.
The Cardinals used their aggressiveness to notch 54 stolen bases throughout the season. They were led in this department by Oklahoma teammates Kody Kaiser with 17 and Joe Dunigan with 11. Kaiser and Dunigan also combined for 5 home runs and 30 RBIs, helping to make up a solid outfield for the Cardinals. Other outfielders for the Cardinals included Ryan Sontag (Arizona State) and Ryan Pond (NC State). Pond was extremely versatile for the Cardinals, also spending time in the role of pitcher and designated hitter.
The Cardinals played well in June and found themselves at the top of the Eastern Division into July. Early on in the season, the team was led by second baseman Mark Hallberg (Chicago-Illinois), joined by a number of other quality infielders such as Steve Braun (Maryland), Andrew Davis (Kent State), and Joe Mahoney (Richmond).
A majority of the offensive attack came from the bat of Outstanding Pro Prospect winner Matt Wieters (Georgia Tech). Wieters arrived late to the Cardinals after Georgia Tech’s run in the College Baseball World Series, but he immediately jumped out to lead the team in hitting (.307), home runs (8), and RBIs (21). To no one’s surprise, Wieters was a member of the 2006 All-League Team. Wieters split time at catcher with Larry Day (Manhattan), who was impressive behind the plate with his quick throws to second base and overall management of the pitching staff.
The pitching staff in 2006 was led by Clayton Shunick (Georgia State) and Ty Davis (Vanderbilt) at the top of the rotation. The two starters finished with respective ERAs of 2.21 and 2.28. The Cardinals also received contributions from Michael Hyde (Florida State) and Eric Surkamp (NC State), as well as top prospect Andrew Brackman (NC State) before he left for Team USA.
The end of the line featured one of the top closers in the league and a CCBL All-Star selection. Brett Cecil (Maryland) finished with a 2.17 ERA and 11 saves. In between Cecil and the starters were a number of capable arms in the role of middle relief. Emmanuel Miguelez (Miami), Elih Villanueva (Florida Atlantic), and Brock Baber (Kentucky) were the primary setup men for Cecil throughout the year.
By Jonathan French, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Schiffner’s 14th Season Marks a Milestone in Wins
The 2006 Chatham A’s, despite finishing fourth in the Eastern Division, helped head coach John Schiffner reach a memorable career milestone in his 14th season at the helm. Schiffner topped 300 wins for his CCBL managerial career, making him only the third manager in the history of the league to have accomplished such a feat.
The team started out hot and won five of their first seven games. Matt Rizzotti (Manhattan) came out of the gate hot with a grand slam in Chatham’s first game, a win against the eventual champion Y-D Red Sox. Rizzotti would finish the season with 27 RBIs and was a leader on and off the field for the A’s.
Another standout early on for the A’s was Chris Carrara (Winthrop), who spent a number of weeks leading the league in hitting while also leading the team with 17 stolen bases. Another speed demon of the A’s was Adrian Ortiz (Pepperdine), who played center field and led off in the batting order. Joining Ortiz in the outfield were Corey Brown (Oklahoma) and Seth Williams (UNC).
The team got a boost towards the middle of the season, when players from the College World Series made their debuts with the A’s. These players included Seth Williams (UNC), Reid Fronk (UNC) and three-year starting pitcher Robert Woodard (UNC). In Woodard’s second start with Chatham, he pitched nine-innings of one hit baseball against the Hyannis Mets in a 1-0 Chatham win, earning Coca-Cola Pitcher of the Week honors.
Woodard and Ricky Hargrove (Houston) were the aces of an effective starting pitching staff. Hargrove finished the season with a record of 2-1 and an ERA of 1.03, representing the A’s in the CCBL All-Star Game.
Other players who contributed to the starting pitching staff for the A’s were Elliot Cribby (Washington), Rich Sirios (UConn), Chris Wiman (Abilene Christian), and Eric Niesen (Wake Forest). The strong starting pitching contributed to the team’s 2.70 ERA, the second best mark in the league.
Fronk lead the team in hitting at .284 and also made an appearance in the All-Star Game. Allan Dykstra (Wake Forest) led the league in RBIs with 29, while the catching duty was split between Nick Derba (Manhattan), Edward Easley (Mississippi State), and Doug Pickens (Michigan).
The bullpen was lead by All-Star Paul Koss (USC), who topped the team with four saves and finished the year with a 0.00 ERA. Other members of the bullpen included Matt Giannini (Rutgers), Nathan Moreau (Georgia), Derrik Lutz (George Washington, and Josh Terletzky (Southern Connecticut).
The team may have come up short of a playoff berth, but they continued to play solid baseball through the end of the season. Their three-game winning streak to end the season was capped off by a 7-1 win against rival Orleans. Robert Woodard got the win to conclude his final season as a member of the A’s.
By Jonathan French, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Harwich Hosts Some Marquee Performers
As with years past, the Harwich Mariners season started out very promising in 2006, but was once again diminished by a plague of injuries, late arrivals and no-shows. An M’s roster that seemed destined for playoff contention instead ended up in fifth place in the Eastern Division at 20-24.
Dominating the Mariners and much of the league was infielder and catcher Josh Donaldson (Auburn). Donaldson had an outstanding summer and led his team in almost all categories, earning the team’s Marty McDonough MVP Award. He ended his season batting .302, placing him fifth in the league and making him one of only six players to hit over .300. He was also among the league leaders in hits (45), doubles (11), and extra-base hits (15). In the fourth week of the season, Donaldson was selected as the Coca-Cola Player of the Week for his power at the plate. He was also an All-Star and an All-League selection.
photo Harwich Mariners
The biggest surprise of the summer for the Mariners was southpaw Dan Merklinger (Seton Hall). After being thrust into the starting rotation because of the lack of pitching, Merklinger “took off and had a tremendous season,” head coach Steve Englert said. Merklinger ended his season with a 4-1 record and a 1.21 ERA, making him Harwich’s Al Graeber Pitcher of the Year. He ranked fourth in the league in pitching and was also named to the All-Star and All-League teams.
All-Star pitcher Tony Watson (Nebraska) was another great help to the Mariners. Watson went 5-2, tying for second in the league for most wins. He worked in 48 innings, struck out 46 and finished the summer with a 2.44 ERA.
Probably the most overlooked double threat in the CCBL was Damon Sublett (Wichita State). Sublett had surgery in late May, making him unable to play on a daily basis throughout the summer, but in his 18 games he hit .250 and had nine RBIs. He also helped out the bullpen by appearing in eight games, striking out 17 and posting a 0.00 ERA. Englert called Sublett a “knockout guy ... put him in in the ninth and he will get the job done.”
Two of the most dependable Mariners were Sergio Miranda (Virginia Commonwealth) and Antone DeJesus (Kentucky). Miranda appeared in 41 games, the most on the team, and helped add 17 runs and 14 RBIs on the season. DeJesus was not only an offensive asset to the Mariners but he was also one of the best outfielders in the CCBL. As a member of the East All-Stars, DeJesus was a big factor in the East's win with a hit, a run scored and two RBIs.
Late arrivals and North Carolina teammates Josh Horton and Matt Spencer were also big contributors to the Mariners offense. Eric Fryer (Ohio State) hit a pair of homers and ended his season hitting .250, tied for third on the team.
By Johnna DeChristoforo, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Kettleers End Season in Disappointing Fashion
If you asked Cotuit fans in June if they would like their team to be on top of the standings and nearly every offensive and defensive category throughout the season, they would be happy to accept. Unfortunately, Cotuit was unable to advance past the rival Wareham Gatemen in the playoffs, but after such a great season, this squad has no reason to hang their heads.
Led by head coach Mike Roberts, Cotuit started the season red-hot. Day in and day out, the team put up stellar offensive numbers backed by some unbelievable pitching. Cotuit was in the driver’s seat in the West before division foes even knew what hit them. Cotuit had the league’s best team ERA and average and seemed to do no wrong. Roberts had his team playing his style of play, an unselfish small ball that has been their staple under Roberts.
At the top of the Kettleers’ electric pitching staff was UC Riverside product James Simmons. The big righty went 4-2 for Cotuit, posting a 1.18 ERA and striking out 44 opponents in 53 innings, seeming destined for a complete game every day he took the ball.
Right behind Simmons were a pair of All-Stars from the tiny Georgia campus of Young Harris. Jay Brown and Cory Gearrin represented their school with pride and landed themselves on the baseball map. In 10 apperances, Brown went 3-2 with a 1.47 ERA, striking out 24 in 30 innings pitched. His teammate Gearrin enjoyed his time as a closer, saving eight games for Cotuit while only allowing five runs all season.
Although not an All-Star, Christian Staehely is worth mentioning after having a great summer. The Princeton sophomore was among the league leaders in wins with five and was as good a third starter in the league as any.
On the hitting side of things, everyone was talking about Justin Smoak, who had one of the better seasons on the Cape in recent memory. The South Carolina freshman led the league in home runs (11), slugging percentage (.565), and extra-base hits (21). Look for this year’s Cape League MVP in a major league park near you in the next few years.
Besides Smoak, the Cotuit lineup included four other All-Stars and the NCAA leader in home runs last spring in Kellen Kulbacki. Catcher Sean Gaston returned for his second season after being named team MVP in 2005 and had similar success in 2006.
Eric Farris and Matt Angle were among the top 10 in hitting, posting respective averages of .298 and .292. Farris, a speedy second baseman out of Loyola Marymount, was tied for the league lead in steals with 17 while leading the team in hits with 45. Reese Havens, a teammate and fellow freshman of Smoak at South Carolina, was also named to the West All-Stars. Havens hit .266 and drove in 17 runs.
By Nicholas Mucci, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Gatemen Surge to CCBL Finals
Finishing as Cape League runners-up in the 2006 season, the Wareham Gatemen earned their keep among the league’s best. Winning seven of their first 10 games and finishing the season with six wins in seven games prior to the championship series, Gatemen fans witnessed a great season come to life, as the team developed a strong sense of chemistry and displayed their talent on and off the field.
Dominic de la Osa
Leading the team defense this year and making the spectacular plays was Beamer Weems (Baylor). As a freshman, Weems was one of the league’s strongest at the shortstop position and will be on the 2007 Gatemen roster.
Leading the Gatemen pitching in 2006 and returning for the 2007 season is Jeremy Bleich (Stanford), who performed remarkably well with a 2.09 ERA in 43 innings pitched. Nick Cassavechia (Baylor) earned his stay this summer, appearing in 23 games for the Gatemen. Rounding out the pitching staff were top prospects Travis Banwart (Wichita State) and Riley Boening (Texas). Boening ended the season the way any pitcher would like, throwing a 14-strikeout complete game. As the league leader in innings pitched with 57, Boening will also be among the returning players in 2007.
The Gatemen boasted a great deal of speed on the base paths, led by Ryan Gotcher (Arkansas-Little Rock), who stole 15 bases this summer for the second best total in the league.
Wareham also looks to the 2007 return of infielder Bradley Suttle (Texas) for additional spark offensively. With 10 doubles and 15 extra-base hits that season, the switch-hitting Suttle was a threat at the plate.
Other hopeful returnees for the next season include infielders Jason Ogata (LSU), Seth Henry (Tulane), and top prospect Luke Murton (Georgia Tech). After struggling early in the season, Murton finished strong with an impressive display in the playoffs. Outfielder Diallo Fon (Vanderbilt) and catcher Robert Lara (LSU) will be invited back, and pending the annual June draft, Dominic de la Osa (Vanderbilt) and Brandon Glover (San Diego State) could be returning. With yet another season in the books the Gatemen organization is excited for the 2007 season to begin and look forward to continue their trend to ultimate success.
By Daniel Scalia, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Falmouth Finishes Strong Despite Missing Playoffs
The Falmouth Commodores season was not exactly the smoothest of rides. Nevertheless, for Chuck Sturtevant’s last of 20 years as general manager, the Commodores did not go down without a fight. A midseason boost provided a spark, but the Commodores unfortunately ended up a day late and a penny short.
“I was very pleased with our season,” said Falmouth field manager Jeff Trundy. “We started slowly and finished strong, which is always an important factor. Our guys continued to compete and play the game hard and we narrowly missed a playoff opportunity.” Battling back from the basement, Falmouth managed to finish just over .500 at 22-21-1.
Falmouth arguably had the best start to the season on Opening Day, when Ross Detwiler (Missouri Sate) and company shut out rival Bourne. By the second week, though, the team had four one-run losses under its belt.
However, they also accomplished some great feats including a no-hitter in a combined effort against Bourne. Before the All-Star break, the Commodores led the league in home runs, and they did finish the season third in hitting with a solid .249 average.
The pitching staff was made up of a bundle of talent, including Clemson pitcher David Kopp, who ended the season with a 2.38 ERA in 35 innings pitched. Power pitcher Shooter Hunt (Virginia) led the league in strikeouts with 54 in 40 innings, finishing 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA. Hunt was the ace of the staff and proved to be one of the leagues’ finest pitchers in 2006. Closer Sam Demel (TCU) finished second in the league in saves with 12 while striking out 38 batters in just 26 innings. The All-Star also led the league in appearances with 25.
At the plate, Brett Wallace (Arizona State) stood out as he finished fifth in the league in RBIs with 22. Center fielder Brad Chalk (Clemson) was third in the league in hitting with a .305 average, while Mitch Canham (Oregon State) placed sixth in the league with an even .300. Canham was also fourth in slugging percentage, finishing with a .473 average.
Warren McFadden (Tulane), who started off the season crushing the ball, did plenty of the “little things” in the lineup for the Commodores, leading the league in runs with 29.
Despite battling injuries, catcher Andrew Walker (TCU) was second in doubles, belting 12. Walker won the league’s 10th Player Award for his outstanding defense and unsung heroic efforts. He was also given the Iron Man Award by his teammates for his determination and ability to recuperate so rapidly from plaguing injuries.
By Jason Itzkowitz, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Mangini and Furbush Led Mets in 2006
The 2006 Hyannis Mets had a batting champion and the most electric left-handed starting pitcher in the Cape League, but they failed to string together enough wins to contend in the Western Division, sputtering to a fourth-place finish and a 16-24-3 record.
Matt Mangini (Oklahoma State) was the wire-to-wire offensive star for the Mets, reaching a season-high mark of .343 through the first full week of the season and finishing with an average of .310 and 48 hits, leading the Cape League in both categories and bringing the batting crown to Hyannis for the first time since Jason Varitek hit .371 in 1993.
Returning for his second season with the Mets, southpaw Charlie Furbush (St. Joseph's-ME) quickly developed into the ace of the Hyannis staff in 2006. He delivered the highlight of the Hyannis season on July 26, when he pitched a 12-strikeout no-hitter against the Bourne Braves. He finished 3-2 for the Mets with a 1.83 ERA, eighth best in the league, while finishing third in the league and tops on the Mets in both innings pitched (54) and strikeouts (50).
Fellow veteran pitcher Daniel Latham (Tulane) was solid in the closer's role for the Mets for the second straight season, recording eight saves as well as a 1.50 ERA and 16 strikeouts against just three walks in 18 innings pitched. Along with Mangini and Furbush, Latham was selected as a Cape League All-Star by the West head coaches.
In addition to providing the Mets with local flavor, Jared McGuire (Boston College) of Harwich was one of the strongest day-to-day performers on the Mets. McGuire batted .269, finishing tied for third in the league with 26 runs scored, and also tied for the Hyannis lead in home runs with two and stolen bases with four.
Center fielder David Macias (Vanderbilt) played in all but one game for the Mets, bringing with him consistency both in the field and at the plate. He finished the season with a 13-game hitting streak that brought his season average to .281, an achievement which gained him recognition on the year-end All-League Team.
Aaron Brown (Houston) was a steady second starter for Hyannis, going deep into games and finishing second on the club with 37 strikeouts, but he could not get run support from the Mets lineup and ended up a with hard-luck 0-4 record. Josh Collmenter (Central Michigan) was the answer in the first half of the season, going 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA and 26 strikeouts, but his season was shortened by injury.
A solid bullpen was anchored by the rubber-armed Gary Lee (South Carolina-Aiken), who made two emergency starts on short rest late in the season, and by Milan Dinga (Army), who was tops on the Mets with a 1.35 ERA.
As a team, the Mets' .252 average was second in the league. Key contributors included freshman shortstop Ryan Flaherty (Vanderbilt), utility player James Darnell (South Carolina), and first baseman Sean O'Brien (Virginia Tech), all of whom also stood out in the field for the Mets.
By Will Bussiere, CCBL Web Editor [email protected]
Bourne Struggles to the Finish
The 2006 season was a summer of agony and despair for the Bourne Braves. With a new state-of-the-art facility and coming off a tremendous 2005 season, which featured the Braves in the championship, there were high hopes for the organization this summer.
The talent was there, the coaching was passionate and the fans were in attendance. However, for the Braves this summer, the cards were not falling their way and the injuries continued to pile up. Attempts to adjust the young pitching rotation and re-organize the bullpen were key ingredients to salvaging a long summer.
The recruiting was different for the Braves this season in comparison to seasons past. Bourne general manager Mike Carrier commented on the organization’s goal of finding that “diamond in the rough.”
“It’s not all about finding the players from the big name schools like Texas or Rice,” he said. With players coming from schools like Dallas Baptist, Florida Atlantic, and High Point, just to name a few, it seemed the goal was being fulfilled.
Of the four players coming from the three schools mentioned, the Braves had representation among league leaders in strikeouts in Mickey Storey (Florida Atlantic) and hitting in Austin Krum (Dallas Baptist).
Despite the slumping season and posting a record of only 9-32-2, the Braves were well represented at the All-Star Game. Featuring head coach Harvey Shapiro as the Western Division manager, Mitch Moreland (Mississippi St.) entertained the crowd with an incredible run in the home run hitting contest. With a shortage of pitching in the pen, the Braves were compelled to use Moreland and right fielder David Cash (Florida) as middle relief in the game.
With a fairly young team this season, the Braves are looking for returning players to add a spark in the 2007 season. Attracting fans from on and off Cape Cod with their easy-to-access new field at Upper Cape Tech High School, the organization is anxious to continue its growing trend with new additions to the field.
By Daniel Scalia, CCBL Intern [email protected]