05/01/2011 3:06 PM
Bourne Braves 2011 Roster Heavy with Returning Players
By Ashley Crosby
Social Media Editor
BOURNE, Mass--The 2011 Bourne Braves staff will have a few familiar faces on the field in their hunt for a second championship title in the past three years, as they have seven players from the regular season West Division Championship team returning to beautiful Doran Park.
Pitchers RJ Alvarez (FAU), Kevin Brady (Clemson), Will Jolin (UConn), Michael Morin (UNC), and Robert Orlan (UNC), along with catcher Josh Elander (TCU) and outfielder Travis Jankowski (Stony Brook) will all be back for their second year.
General Manager Mike Carrier hopes his 2010 veterans can provide a stable core and inspire confidence in his incoming players.
In particular, his pitching staff is loaded with returning players, an advantage in a wood-bat league typically dominated by pitchers. Alvarez had a 0.79 ERA in 22.2 innings of relief in 2010, second on the team only to starter and the league’s BFC Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher Grayson Garvin (Vanderbilt).
Jolin and Morin, the only two tested starters among the returning pitchers, combined for 68 strikeouts with only 28 walks.
"The two pitchers from UNC (Morin and Orlan) had some success as freshmen and I expect them to be better this season," said Carrier. "Most the players who return to college after a successful season on the Cape tend to have increased confidence in themselves. I would even predict an All Star spot is possible for Morin if he has the season I hope he has this summer. And Ryan Eades (LSU) is a great young pitcher who should fill a solid relief role for the Braves."
Also coming to Bourne are Coastal Carolina pitchers Ryan Connolly and Josh Conway, UNC infielder Tommy Coyle, and a few familiar names that didn't quite make it to Bourne last summer.
"Nolan Fontana and Garrett Cannizaro are two players I’m really looking forward to seeing on the Cape this season," said Carrier. "Both were signed to play for Bourne last year and had great freshmen seasons for Florida and Tulane, respectively."
Neither made it up to the Cape in 2010, with Fontana electing to play for Team USA, and Cannizaro spending the summer recovering from a late-season injury.
"It's all about getting the players you signed to actually show up on the Cape to play. The other nine teams all feel the same way," said Carrier.
Bourne finished at the top of the West Division last summer, with 48 points (24-20), before losing to the Wareham Gatemen in the first round of the playoffs.
The Braves open at home on June 10th at 6 p.m. against the 2010 regular season East Division champions, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.