We may not know what nickname the Orleans franchise will choose to go with for the 2009 season, but we can get an early look at what the team might look like on the field. By my count, there are nine returning players on their preliminary roster. Rob Catapano (UNC) played for Orleans in 2007. Michael Olt (UConn) was a late-season addition to the Orleans roster this past season. Other players who are familiar with Eldredge Park are Gary Brown (Cal State-Fullerton), Elliot Glynn (UConn), Shaun Kort (Nevada), Rob Rasmussen (UCLA), Hampton Tignor (Florida) and Martin Viramontes (Loyola Marymount). Duke's Alex Hassan also plans to return to Orleans. Hassan was instrumental in leading Orleans to first place in the East this past summer. Playing much of the season as Orleans' centerfielder, Hassan took over as the team's closer after a player was dismissed from the team and he pitched magnificently in that role.
In '08, the Chatham A's (well, they were the A's at the time) had Brad Boxberger on their team after Boxberger spent the previous year with Orleans. 2009 will find a player making the move in reverse as Devin Lohman moves from Chatham to Orleans. Mike Weathers, Lohman's coach at Long Beach State, has recently raved about Lohman's performance during the Dirtbags (gotta love that nickname) fall season.
Interestingly, Fresno State won the College World Series in June but not one member of that team came to the Cape. That will change this year as the Bulldogs will be represented in Orleans by Danny Muno and Josh Poytress.
Orleans' roster is loaded with juniors. To check it out, go to: http://www.orleanscardinals.com/roster.html