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for immediate release: 29 April, 2006
Wareham Gatemen 2006 Season Preview
WAREHAM, Mass. -- After falling just short of making the playoffs in the 2005 season, the Wareham Gatemen are anxiously awaiting a fresh start to a new season.
With 23 years of experience with the Cape Cod Baseball League, Wareham president and general manager John Wylde approaches the new season with optimism. Even with an intense recruiting process, the 2006 team will be one of Wareham’s youngest teams in recent years. In spite of the relative inexperience at this level, Wylde is still encouraged by this year’s prospects.
With their mix of veterans and newcomers, the Gatemen will be looking for an all-out team effort. Veterans include right-hander John Lalor (Mississippi St.), catcher Joel Collins (South Alabama), outfielder Jordan Dodson (Rice), and right-hander Martin Beno (Mississippi State), among others. Beno is expected only for a short time pending the annual June draft. Outfielder Bobby Bramhall (Rice) also has the talent to provide some spark in the Gatemen bullpen. Currently, left-hander Joe Savery (Rice) is probable for Team USA for the second year in a row. However, only time will tell where he will end up playing this summer.
Based on strong regular season statistics at their given schools, the Gatemen will receive strength through the pitching staff, including top talents Luke Putkonen (North Carolina – 5-0 record) and Scott Gorgan (UC Irvine). Although Gorgan is piling up the innings at school, he is expected to appear at full strength for the start of the season.
Savery (Rice- Team USA 2004) and Tim Mathews (Baylor) will both add to the young talent to the team. The Gatemen will rely on left-handers Jeremy Bleich (Stanford) and Riley Boening (Texas) to take spots in the rotation. Rounding out the pitching staff are right-handers Travis Banwart (Wichita St.), John Ely (Miami OH), Connor Graham (Miami OH), and Chris Hicks (Georgia Tech).
The Gatemen will certainly experience the effects of losing last year’s ace Daniel Bard (North Carolina), who will be entering this year’s draft. Bard, along with UNC teammates and two-year Chatham alums Andrew Miller and Robert Woodward, has led the Tar Heels to their first No. 1 national ranking.
After ending the ’05 season with a team batting average of .225, 20 home runs, and 24 stolen bases, falling shy of the previous year’s stats, the Gatemen look to improve offensively with the help of the freshman class.
With the middle infield help of shortstop Beemer Weams (Baylor) and teammate Ben Booker (Baylor), who will perform at second base, the Gatemen expect little error in their core defense. On the corners will be first baseman Luke Murton (Georgia Tech) and third baseman Bradley Suttle (Texas). Murton’s name should be familiar to Gatemen fans, who saw his older brother Matt play for Wareham in 2001 and 2002 before reaching the big leagues last year with the Chicago Cubs. Both Murton and Suttle are showing prospering talent as the collegiate season is coming to a close.
Balancing the infield will be Dominic de la Osa (Vanderbilt), Seth Henry (Tulane), Brad Miller (Cowley County CC), and Jason Ogata (LSU).
Leading the outfield will be the veteran Dodson, who will be accompanied by Jared Bogany (LSU), Diallo Fon (Vanderbilt), and Brandon Glover (Texas A&M).
Head coach Cooper Farris (Mississippi Gulf Coast) is excited to be returning to Wareham for another season of action. Farris will be joined by pitching coach Ryan Beggs (Mississippi Gulf Coast). The assistant coaches will be Gatemen alum Josh Scott (Angelo State) and second-year coach Ken Kessaris (Umass-Lowell).
The most notable alumni of the Wareham Gatemen performing in the major leagues include Nick Swisher and Barry Zito of the Oakland Athletics, Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros, and former Detroit Tiger Carlos Pena.
By Daniel Scalia, CCBL Intern, [email protected]