There’s an old saying in racing that you can’t win a race on the first lap, but you sure can lose it. The same can be said for the early weeks of the Cape League season, you can’t win the title, but you sure can make it harder or yourself. As the College World Series continues and almost if not all of the Cape’s 10 teams have players still in action in Omaha it’s far too early to sort out the contenders from the teams that, shall we say, could use some improvement.
The College World Series brings a million fantastic stories, from Florida State head coach Mike Martin coaching his last game in the garnet and gold, Mississippi State’s walk off over Auburn, and Michigan’s Cinderella ride to get just won win from the National Finals. The impact of these stories extends thousands of miles away from the games on the Cape, where with each inning in Omaha the fate and fortunes of the league’s teams hang in balance. The most prominent example of this through the first week of the 2019 season is that of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. As of my last count the team has more than 10 players still active in the NCAA tournament, and filling their spots on the roster are temp players from other programs not originally invited to play on the Cape. The impact of these players cannot be understated, a handful of temps on an a roster otherwise dominated by the cream of the crop of college players from across the country can be managed, but when that number reaches higher and higher as it has for the Hawks the results can prove disastrous. Through their first eight games of the season the Hawks have gone 0-7-1 with just a single point to their name, and featuring a league worst 7.81 team ERA, the product of a staff dominated by temporary players. While a bad result in the first week of the season can be overcome - see the 2018 Brewster Whitecaps who through the first 20 games of the year went 4-14-2 but still squeaked into the playoffs just one point ahead of Orleans 30 to 29, and then found themselves in the Eastern Championship after an upset of top seed Yarmouth-Dennis – the Hawks need to figure it out soon to have any shot. Whether that means hoping and praying that the College World Series teams that have a number of there players lose sooner rather than later or replace their temps with better ones (a hard prospect to fathom now that the summer ball world is as crowded as it is), the rest of the season remains uncertain for the Harbor Hawks. While they have not yet lost the race, they have made it a lot harder for themselves throughout the rest of the year.
Week 3 Games to Watch
Week three features the second and final doubleheader day of the Cape League season, while their may be more double headers down the road due to weather issues this is the last time it shows up on the leagues original schedule. Highlighting these matchups is the East Division leading Brewster Whitecaps vs the 2nd in the West Cotuit Ketteleers who are just two points behind Wareham for first, and an always fascinating matchup between two perennial contenders the Y-D Red Sox and the Falmouth Commodores. As is the running theme throughout this post, the early season wont make or break your season, but winning games and earning points in the early going can make the rest of the season a lot easier.
CodBall Players of the Week
Week two’s Codball Batter of the week is T.J. Collett (Kentucky) of the Brewster Whitecaps, who in nine games this year is batting .276, with a league leading nine RBI’s and three homeruns, good enough for second in the league tied with Y-D’s Austin Wells.
The Codball Pitcher of the Week goes to Logan Allen (Florida International) from the Harwich Mariners, who’s performance so far leads the league in strikeouts with 17 in his two appearances so far, and only allowing 4 hits over 11 innings without letting a single batter cross home plate.
As always if you see something we missed this week let us know! You can reach me directly at Harrison@codball.com, I welcome all comments. Until next week when we will once again recap the best action on Cape thanks for reading and I will see you all around the ballpark.