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Cape League Weekly Preview - Week Five

07/12/2022 10:38 AM

Article By: Ethan Kagno

We’ve passed the halfway point as teams begin to focus on the playoff race. A surging second-place Harbor Hawks squad has cut Cotuit’s first-place lead down to one point in the West. Meanwhile in the East, Yarmouth-Dennis owns a four-point lead over Brewster, who are 2-3-5 in their last 10 games. Here is what you need to know in our Week 5 presented by Legacy Athletics.


Fireworks In Cotuit
Talk about fireworks…Thursday’s matchup between Bourne and Cotuit featured five home runs combined. Maryland’s Matt Shaw (see below) and Tommy Troy (Stanford) hit two each, with Joshua Moylan (East Carolina) contributing in the 3rd inning. The Braves went on to win 12-7, thanks to the offensive surge, and now sit 3rd in the West Division (11-9-6). After starting the season scorching hot, the Kettleers have gone 2-6-2 in their last 10 games. The recent struggles can be partially accredited to many moving roster pieces during the last week. Cotuit has cut 22 players (as of Saturday evening) since the season began, with many Kettleers destined for the MLB Draft on Sunday. Bourne heads south to visit Falmouth (6 pm) as both teams look to pick up their 12th and 11th win of the summer, respectively. Cotuit will host Hyannis Tuesday at 5 pm in a matchup that could see the Harbor Hawks perched on top of the West.


2022 MLB Draft
The 2022 MLB Draft kicks off Sunday at 7 pm on ESPN and MLB Network. Watch as some of the Cape League’s finest alumni begin their journey to the Major Leagues. Names to know include Brooks Lee (Yarmouth-Dennis ‘21), Cam Collier (Cotuit Kettleers ‘22), Kevin Parada (Chatham Anglers ‘21), and Gavin Cross (Brewster Whitecaps ‘21) who could all be selected within the first 10 picks. In last year's draft, 140 Cape League alumni heard their names called which accounted for roughly 23% of players having once played in the summer's best collegiate league. On Sunday, expect to hear roughly 15 alumni called within the first 39 draft selections (first round and supplemental round). Stay up-to-date with live draft coverage on the Cape League’s social media accounts Sunday evening.

Players To Watch:

Evan Sleight (Bourne/Rutgers)
Hits in 13 of his 17 games this season and is currently on an eight-game hit streak, Evan Sleight has been raking for Bourne. The local from Framingham, Massachusetts hit a cool .579 AVG with 3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 HBP, and 1 SB for the “Bravos.” He has multi-hit efforts in four of his last five games.

Andrew Pinckney (Falmouth/Alabama)
The Alabama Crimson Tide outfielder has been a bright spot for an otherwise struggling Commodores squad. While they’ve started to turn things around (5-4-1 L10), Pinckney had a more-than-solid showing this past week hitting 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, and 4 SB (0 CS). He raised his OPS to .771 and rides a six-game hitting streak into tonight's contest.

Marquee Matchups:

Brewster vs Yarmouth-Dennis (5 pm @ Red Wilson Field)
Yarmouth-Dennis (13-8-5) hosts Brewster (11-10-5) as the top two teams in the East square off with first place on the line. Y-D has cooled off as of late (4-3-3 in their last 10) but still owns the best run differential in the league (+27). Brewster has been in a bunch of close games recently, tying five times in their last 10 games and sitting ahead of Orleans and Harwich. This tilt will include a great pitching matchup and a potential wire-to-wire game. The visitors will deploy Grant Taylor (LSU) who’s been stellar with 18 strikeouts and just two walks. He went 6.0 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 0 BB, and 5 K in a no-decision against the Firebirds in his last outing. He takes a 2.40 ERA and 0.87 WHIP into Tuesday’s showdown. On the home side, Y-D sends Bryce Robison (BYU) out to the hill. Robison has pitched well to contact, allowing just two runs in 16.2 IP (1.08 ERA). The Sox are 3-1 when Robison appears in a game this season, and they will look to add a fourth victory Tuesday evening at Red Wilson Field (5 pm).

Hyannis vs Cotuit (5 pm @ Lowell Park)
As a dynamic pitching matchup sets to kick off in Yarmouth, a potential slugfest at Lowell Park will begin around the same time. Two of the highest-scoring offenses go head-to-head as Hyannis has plated a league-best 115 runs on the season and Cotuit has put across 108. A couple of names to remember on the Cotuit side include Brooks Baldwin (UNC Wilmington) who currently leads the league in batting average (.361) and hits (35). The draft-eligible infielder also shows exceptional speed, nagging 11 bases on the season for the Kettleers. Despite his strikeout woes (28), Baldwin was a staple at the top of Cotuit’s lineup and recently left the Cape so he could hear his name called next week at the MLB Draft. The second name to watch is Tyler Johnson. The Coastal Carolina Chanticleer has had an MVP-caliber season for the Ketts. After coming to the Cape roughly a week late, Johnson has put his power on display, hitting a Cape League-leading six home runs. He’s slashing .333/.397/.702 and shows no signs of slowing down. Tommy Troy (Stanford) has been explosive as well and continues to post solid numbers across the board. The Harbor Hawks, however, have a deep starting lineup that’s arguably better. They boast a ton of 2023 MLB Draft prospects including Nolan Schanuel (FAU), Mitch Jebb (Michigan State), and Dom Pitelli (Miami), to name a few. While Hyannis ranks last in team home runs (8), their ability to get on and run aggressively has seen the newly-tooled squad already pass their win total from last season. Hyannis is out for revenge Tuesday night (5 pm) on the road, as Cotuit owns the season series 2-0 thus far.