08/29/2009 11:29 AM
Orleans Firebirds 2009 Season Review
Orleans Firebirds Lead Pitching in 2009
By Ashley Crosby CCBL Intern
ORLEANS, Mass.—The Orleans Firebirds continued a tradition of strong pitching in 2009, with three of the top ten leading pitchers in the league and the best pitching record among all ten teams on the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Firebirds manager Kelly Nicholson and pitching coach Chris Beck’s method of looking at incoming pitchers’ walks to strikeouts ratio helped keep the team at the top of the pitching order.
Casey Gaynor (Rutgers), Rob Rasmussen (UCLA), and Elliot Glynn (UConn) all made an impact from the mound with a combined 107 strikeouts, contributing to the team’s 363 overall and their CCBL-low 2.69 combined ERA. The three pitchers were named as Under Armor CCBL All Stars, with Rasmussen getting the nod as the starting pitcher for the East squad.
Orleans also had an All-Star on the field at the July 23rd game in CS Fullerton’s Gary Brown. With a .310 average, Brown was among the best batters in the league, and his two home runs and 14 RBIs didn’t hurt.
Riccio Torrez (Arizona St.) hit .346 and Alex Hassan’s (Duke) .289 average helped the team stay contenders for the playoffs, earning one of the final four playoff spots against the Bourne Braves. The Firebirds lost to the 2009 champions in the playoff with 3-2 and 8-0 losses.
The Firebirds looked good going into the one game elimination round of the playoffs, holding the lead over Chatham to win 4-3, despite a late rally attempt by the Anglers. But they faced a difficult Bourne lineup that beat up the Orleans pitching rotation.
Michael Olt (UConn) and Jeremy Gould (Duke) worked hard at the plate over the season, each hitting three home runs for the Firebirds, and Jaren Matthews (Rutgers) drove in 18 RBIs—second on the team only to Hassan’s 20. Kevin Muno (San Diego) tried his luck with stolen bases, swiping 16 for the team.
The Firebirds played steady throughout the season, with a five-game winning streak mid-season that helped them finish with a 25-17-2 record. They’ll look to strong pitching again in 2010 and attempt to bring home the Arnold Mycock Trophy for a third time in the last ten years.
Ashley Crosby can be reached at [email protected]