05/16/2005 10:37 AM
for immediate release: 16 May, 2005
Wareham Gatemen 2005 Season Preview
WAREHAM, Mass. - With a fresh new season around the corner and the memory of a nine-game losing streak early in the ‘04 season behind them, the 2005 Wareham Gatemen are geared and poised to make a strong come back.
Based on 21 years of Cape Cod League experience, president/general manager John Wylde claims his team’s success will hinge on how many originally signed players actually make it to the Cape. “Last year we lost nine players and the team suffered as a result,” said Wylde.
Veterans expected to return this season are catcher Justin Brashear (Mississippi), lefthander Brad Furnish (Texas Christian University), outfielder Carson Kainer (Texas) and first baseman Whit Robbins (Georgia Tech).
As evidenced by solid spring seasons, pitchers Daniel Bard (North Carolina - Team USA 2004), Wade LeBlanc (Alabama - Baseball America’s 2004 freshman of the year), Bruce Billings (San Diego St.) and Jason Meyer (Texas A&M) are expected to strengthen an already potent pitching staff. The Gatemen hope to be calling on the services of pitcher Joe Savery (Rice). Rounding out the pitching staff are right-handers Josh Copeland (Alabama), Jordan Dodson (Rice), Andy Gale (North Carolina), Shawn Haviland (Harvard) and John Lalor (Mississippi St.).
Offensively, the Gatemen look to a strong core of freshmen players to provide punch in a lineup that finished 04’ with a fifth-place team batting average of .231, 13 home runs, and 45 stolen bases.
Second baseman Brad Emaus (Tulane) and shortstop Josh Horton (North Carolina) hope to complement a strong pitching staff by providing solid offense and defense up the middle. Patrolling the outfield will be centerfielder Danny Payne (Georgia Tech), followed by Michael McCallister (Alabama) and Bobby Bramhall (Rice).
Star outfielder Drew Stubbs (Texas) and pitcher David Price (Vanderbilt) have both been selected to the Team USA roster and their departure will hurt the team.
Completing the infield are switch-hitters Austin Boggs (Texas A&M) and Lance Zawadzki (San Diego St.), first baseman Marc Sawyer (Yale) and catcher/third baseman Edward Easley (Mississippi St.).
Returning for his fifth year as field manager is Cooper Farris (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC), followed by associate Head Coach John Brickley, a former Cincinnati Reds scout, pitching coach Ryan Beggs (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) and assistant coaches Robin Harriss (Oklahoma St.) and Casey Lambert (St. Amant, LA).
Led by Coach Farris, the Gatemen were co-recipients of the Commissioner’s Cup, a new award presented in ‘04 to teams that demonstrate the highest level of integrity and professionalism on and off the field. The award was shared with Western Division-rival Falmouth - a team they open the season against on June 16 at 7:00pm at Falmouth.
GM & president John Wylde is excited for the season and expects to “give fans a lot to remember and a team they can certainly be proud of.”
Gatemen alumni performing in the major leagues include, “Moneyball” standout Nick Swisher of the Oakland Athletics; starting pitchers Barry Zito of the Oakland Athletics, Ben Sheets of the Milwaukee Brewers and Brian Anderson of the Kansas City Royals; relief pitchers Lance Cormier of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Mike Remlinger of the Chicago Cubs; and power hitters Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros and Carlos Pena of the Detroit Tigers.
Michael Kydd, CCBL Intern
John Garner, Jr.