06/03/2007 1:44 PM
for immediate release: 3 June, 2007
Orleans Cardinals 2007 Season Preview
Cardinals Rely on Solid Pitching and Fielding Prowess
ORLEANS, Mass – With Cape League baseball attracting collegiate talent from across the nation, the Orleans Cardinals know the road to a league championship will be difficult.
To endure the rough road ahead, the Cardinals will rely on a solid pitching staff and strength in the field.
Returning for the Cardinals are North Carolina State pitchers Eric Surkamp and Clayton Shunick. Surkamp, a LHP, is Second-Team All-ACC and has been a leader in the Wolfpack pitching rotation with a 2.94 ERA. Shunick was one of the most effective RHP in the Cape League during the 2006 summer season with a 2.21 ERA.
Orleans is excited to bring LHP Josh Satow (Arizona State) into the league this summer. Satow, a junior, leads the Sun Devils with a 2.21 ERA and has pitched 11 winning games this season. The Cardinals, however, risk losing Satow in the draft.
The Cardinals welcome back shortstop/second baseman Mark Hallberg (Florida State). Hallberg has been instrumental for the Seminoles’offense this season with a .373 batting average and 51 RBI. Defensively, Hallberg recorded 83 put outs and 159 assists for the ‘Noles this spring.
2006 Team USA player Brandon Crawford (UCLA) joins the Cardinals’ infield this summer. Crawford was named the Bruins’ MVP during his freshman season and started all 58 games for the Bruins at shortstop. Crawford has remained an important asset offensively with a batting average of .338 and 50 RBI. In the field, Crawford has 82 putouts and leads the Bruins with 139 assists.
Crawford, Hallberg and high-profile outfielder and newcomer Jon Gaston (Arizona) will give the Cardinals a strong tandem in the middle of the infield and a reliable outfield corps. Gaston is truly impressive in the outfield with only 3 errors and 55 put outs for the Wildcats this season. At bat, Gaston has a .322 batting average and five home runs.
Highly anticipated is freshman infielder Mark Sobolewski (Miami – FL). Sobolewski has demonstrated significant hitting power to both sides of the field this season with a .346 batting average, 49 RBI, 82 hits and six home runs. At third base, Sobolewski contributed 42 put outs and 56 assists to the Hurricanes this season.
The Cardinals’ defense is rounded out with freshman catcher Travis Tartamella (Pepperdine). Tartamella has an impressive 200 putouts and only two errors for the Waves this season, along with a .991 fielding percentage.
Orleans’ solid infield will be the key to winning a Cape League Championship, as the league remains one of the most competitive in the country. Cardinals Field Manager Kelly Nicholson recognizes the hard work required to continue to defeat talented teams throughout the summer.
“They are all very good and can beat you on any given night,” says Nicholson. “You look at the rosters on any team in the league and they all have exceptional talent.”
The Cardinals open their season at home on June 15 at 7 p.m. against the Brewster Whitecaps.
Gabriella Remington, CCBL Intern ([email protected])