Jordan Swagerty, who will play for the Wareham Gatemen this summer, was in Seattle this weekend with his Arizona State University Sun Devils. The Texas native's parents were bracing themselves against the cold air behind the Seattle Mariners dugout at Safeco Field just before the first pitch. Friday night's college matchup in a major league ballpark has become a tradition here in the Northwest. The University of Washington baseball team has hosted Oregon State and Arizona State at Safeco over the past several years.
Like all parents, Jordan's were excited when I asked about their player and they were surprised when I asked about his plans this summer to play on the Cape. His father pointed out that Jordan already has encountered the infamous Wareham infield (crushed stone). Jordan played a high school invitational there. Jordan didn't play Friday night but he closed out Saturday's game at Husky Stadium, which is less spectacular than Safeco although it does have an awesome view of Mt. Rainier in centerfield. Zach pitched the 9th inning with a comfortable lead but faced 4 batters, walking one. He had good command and located well.
I also had a chance to talk with Zach Wilson, who confirmed for me that he is looking forward to playing for the Gatemen this summer.
The Sun Devils had 8 Cape Cod Baseball League players on their squad, including former Cotuit star Jason Kipnis. The depth of ASU overpowered the Washington Huskies, a team that has contributed Tim Lincecum and Matt Hague in recent Cape seasons.
The story of the weekend was ASU pitching. Ace Mike Leake threw 114 pitches on Friday night to get the win. He topped out at 91 and threw several off-speed pitches for strikes. Josh Spence, who is equally impressive, pitched 8 innings. Spence is a finesse pitcher who nibbles around the plate and can come at hitters with a strong fast ball.
Zach Macphee will play for the Bourne Braves. I saw him on Saturday single to left but then was thrown out at second. Johnny Ruettiger (teammates seem to call him Rutty) flew out a lot to left field, but did get a hit on Saturday.
Riccio Torrez will play for the Orleans Firebirds. He had two doubles hit to leftfield on Friday. He also had an RBI on Saturday. Matt Newman will join Torrez in Orleans. He was 0-4 wiht a walk on Friday night and had two hits on Saturday.