Cape-rich UCLA came to Seattle last weekend to play a three-game series against the Washington Huskies. The UCLA Bruins, ranked number one at the beginning of the college baseball calendar, has struggled so far but is exciting to watch with 14 current and past Cape Cod Baseball League players on its roster this season. On a sunny Friday evening on the UW campus, it felt very much like a summer warm-up on the Cape. There was Jermaine Curtis (Chatham '07) hustling down the first base line after a walk, just like last summer. There was Ryan Babineau (Brewster '07) catching top pro prospect Tim Murphy. There was Charles Brewer brewing up another win.
Murphy is picked by Baseball America as the 28th top pro prospect. I watched his performance last Friday against the Huskies. His fast ball topped out at 90 with most in the mid to upper 80s. He mixes his pitches well, and throws a nice curve for strikes. He was not dominating. A lefty, his move to first is good but he did get called for a balk.
Brewer, who is again on the Chatham roster, also topped out at 90 but went 6.1 innings with 5 hits and one run.
The treat for me was Casey Haerther (first base) who will play his first season with the Chatham As. He hit a towering home run in the sixth inning off Cam Nobles of the Huskies who had been in a tight pitching duel with Brewer. Haerther's two-run homer gave UCLA the lead which they built upon for the remainder of the game.
UCLA's Cape roster includes the following 2008 Cape players: Garrett Claypool (Brewster), Justin Uribe (Brewster), Charles Brewer (Chatham), Gavin Brooks (Chatham), Casey Haerther (Chatham), Blair Dunlop (Cotuit), Gabe Cohen (Falmouth), Dan Klein (Falmouth), Rob Rasmussen (Orleans), Erik Goeddel (Y-D).
Also on the UCLA team from the 2007 Cape season are: Brandon Crawford (Orleans), Ryan Babineau (Brewster), and Charles Brewer (Chatham).