Cape League Corner Returns for 2019, Hall of Fame Class Announced

by Andrew in


As I write this, it's the morning of Opening Day 2019, which is Christmas Day for Cape League fans. ūüôā

The Cape Cod Times’ Cape League Corner podcast is back again for their third season, and you can follow along in your favorite podcast app. The official Cape League Instagram account also looks to be a great way to follow along this year. And don't forget about @CodBall on Twitter.

In other news, on Sunday, June 9th, the 2019 CCBL Hall of Fame class was announced. In this year's class is former Commissioner Paul Galop, former MLB third baseman Conor Gillaspie (Falmouth '07), and Yarmouth-Dennis manager Scott Pickler (aka "Pick"). See the league press release for the full list.


Adley Rutschman (Falmouth '17) selected #1 in MLB Draft

by Andrew in


The 1st overall pick of the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft was Adley Rutschman (Oregon State). Rutschman, selected by the Baltimore Orioles, played 21 games for the Falmouth Commodores in 2017 and is touted as a better overall catcher than Buster Posey.

Adley Rutschman press conference after he was selected #1 overall in the 2019 draft.

Is he that good? Well - he was intentionally walked by the Cincinnati Bearcats with the bases loaded on Friday night, May 31st.

It’s the second year in-a-row where the 1st overall pick was a Cape leaguer.

The Cape had 14 alumni selected in the first round, compared to 16 last year (including Casey Mize). The league reported they had 60 alumni in the first four rounds. Andrew Vaughn (Wareham ‚Äė18) was selected third overall by the Chicago White Sox, and J.J. Bleday (Orleans ‚Äė18) was selected fourth overall by the Miami Marlins.


Checking in on McKeon Park before the 2019 season

by Andrew in


On Sunday, May 19, we drove by McKeon Park in Hyannis to check on the status of their renovations.

Good news - the field is looking great! The new home and away dugouts are still in progress since they only have a concrete foundation. There's no sign of the new Daktronics scoreboard, but maybe that's being installed closer to opening day.

Judy Walden Scarafile Field is brand new!

Judy Walden Scarafile Field is brand new!

Old bench and painted sign by the field house

Old bench and painted sign by the field house

Home dugout foundation

Home dugout foundation

Away dugout foundation

Away dugout foundation

Funds for the updates to McKeon Park were from the Barnstable Town Council through the Community Preservation fund ($750,000), and the Yawkey Foundation ($100,000). The estimate for the entire project is $1.75 million. According to the Barnstable Patriot (Dec 18, 2018), future updates will include new bleachers and handicap-accessible levels.

Brad Pfeifer, president of the Harbor Hawks, says the goal is to bring McKeon Park up to the same quality as a small minor league facility.


Watch the CCBL Documentary, Summer Heat

by Andrew in


There’s a new-to-me Cape Cod Baseball League documentary called Summer Heat by D.J. Jamiel and Nick Johnson. The film centers around the 2014 Hyannis Harbor Hawks and initially sought funding via Indiegogo. I believe it is not available anywhere, except a single link on the Harbor Hawks home page.

I enjoyed watching Nick’s Hawks Talk during the 2014 season, which was an ambitious 40-episode video blog.

You can watch the entire 52 minute documentary with this Vimeo link: https://player.vimeo.com/video/274793623


A Tribute to Mike Roberts

by Andrew in


 Cotuit Kettleer's Head Coach Mike Roberts won his 2nd Cape Cod Baseball League Championship this past summer. Roberts has now coached in the league 12 years (including two years with Wareham in 1984 and 2000). His teams have made the playoffs 75% of the time, which is a testament to Roberts' aggressive backyard baseball style. On July 4th, WVS Global posted a short-and-sweet interview with Roberts - with one of the fluffiest microphones I've ever seen. At 2:45 in the interview, Roberts tells a funny story about taking his team to an elementary school field to work on baserunning.

Today (August 31, 2013), WickedLocal posted a story about Roberts' busy life once the Cape League season ends. After the Kettleers won the championship, Coach Roberts drove down to Baltimore to watch his son Brian Roberts play a few games for the Orioles. Then, Coach Roberts continued the trip down to his home in North Carolina. During the Cape League off-season, Roberts: (1) runs a series of baserunning clinics across the country, (2 and 3) is a consultant at two companies, (4) is head of the sports management program at Asbury University (Lexington, KY), and (5) is an author about to publish his second book called "Baserunning" (Pre-order on Amazon). Make sure to go to WickedLocal to read the full story.


Kettleers Win 2013 Cape League Championship

by Andrew in


The Cotuit Kettleers defeated the Orleans Firebirds to win their 2nd championship in the last four years. The Kettleers' YouTube channel has been very active this season and they posted one final "Kettle Talk" with post-game interviews. 

Don't miss what happens to Head Coach Mike Roberts at 0:48 seconds in.


"Cape Hope" Documentary Series

by Andrew in


There's a new documentary series about the Cape League called "Cape Hope". Right Field Fog has an interview with the project's creator, Keith Chirgwin. The series follows four Cape Leaguers during the 2012 season: Mike Montville, Tyler Horan, Dace Kime and Kurt Schluter. Chirgwin hopes to find a network to air the first season, and also renew it follow-up seasons.

For the latest on "Cape Hope", follow @capehopeseries and like it on Facebook at facebook.com/capehopeseries.


Spotlight on Cotuit's Mike Ford (Princeton)

by Andrew in


Utility Infielder and Pitcher Mike Ford (Princeton) did everything he could to set himself up to be signed after the spring season. Unfortunately, his name was not called in the draft, despite the fact he won both Player and Pitcher of the Year awards in the Ivy League. So, Mike is back on the Cape again this summer with Cotuit with the goal of impressing scouts. The Cape Cod Times released a spotlight video to tell his story: 


Joe Jackson (Bourne, 2012) Debuts for Spokane Indians

by Andrew in


At this time last year, Joe Jackson's (Bourne, 2012; Citadel) name was causing some conversations at Doran Park in Bourne. Now the great-great-great nephew of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson is working his way up the Texas Rangers farm system. According to GreenvilleOnline.com, Jackson broke the thumb on his throwing hand on in his first day in a Spokane uniform. Fortunately, he is back in the lineup and batted 2 for 3 tonight (July 16). While Joe Jackson was in Bourne, WBUR in Boston put together a great five-minute piece on the family connection to "Shoeless". You can also watch a five minute interview with 2012 Bourne Lead Broadcaster Nolan Alexander:

Also, CapeLeagueBaseball on YouTube assembled some footage of Jackson playing for Bourne last year:


Harwich 7 - Orleans 2; Notes

by Dave B. in


A 5-run eighth inning powered Harwich to a 7-2 win over Orleans yesterday at Eldredge Park.  Ryan Lindemuth (William & Mary) homered and drove in 3 runs to pace the Mariners offense. Harwich starter Nick Howard (Virginia), making his first appearance on the hill this summer, pitched 5.2 innings, allowed 6 hits, and did not issue a walk. Howard struck out 8. Michael Costello (Radford) earned the win after relieving Howard in the sixth. Costello retired 10 straight batters after walking the first batter he faced. Harwich's Aaron Barbosa (Northeastern) went 3-for-5 in the game and now leads the league with a .424 avg. Mark Zagunis and Brendon Hayden, teammates at Virginia Tech, each went 2 for 4 and drove in a run for the Mariners.

Josh Sborz (Virginia) pitched well for Orleans, giving up just 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk in 5 innings of work. Orleans got 2 shutout innings of relief from Vanderbilt lefty Jared Miller and the game moved to the eighth, tied at 2. Jeremy Rhoades (Illinois State) did not fare well after taking over for Miller to start the eighth. Rhoades gave up 4 hits and a walk while recording just one out as Harwich scored 5 times to put the game out of reach.

Greg Allen (San Diego St.) had two hits and drove in a run, and Duke's Chris Marconcini had the other RBI for the Firebirds.

With their sixth win in 7 games, Harwich moves to 8-4 and sits in first place in the East, one point ahead of Chatham. The Mariners host the Anglers tonight. Orleans falls to 6-6 and travels to Yarmouth-Dennis this evening.

NOTES:  Harwich released Costello a few hours after his stellar relief outing.

After their 4-3 win over Bourne on Tuesday, West Division leader Hyannis is now 6-0 in one-run games.

Falmouth is the only team in the league that has not been shutout.

Florida State's Demetrius  Stewart hit a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning for Y-D as the Red Sox tied Chatham, 5-5, on Tuesday. Yesterday, Stewart received an invitation to participate in the College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha on July 3. The event will be televised on ESPN on July 4 at 8 p.m. Clemson's Garrett Boulware and Virginia's Kenny Towns have also been announced as participants in this event. Over the next few days, there will be 5 more players picked to go to Omaha. Expect a couple of them to be players who are presently playing in the CCBL.

Here's a fun fact with a Cape League tie-in....  On May 19, 2008, Minnesota hosted Texas. With the score tied at 6-6 in the 10th inning, the Twins changed their lineup by moving DH Brendan Harris to the infield. That move cost the Twins the use of the DH spot for the rest of the game. Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire was forced to send pitcher Bobby Korecky up to bat in the 11th inning. Korecky got a hit, then went out a and pitched a scoreless 12th inning and got credit for the win when the Twins scored in the home half of that inning, winning the game, 7-6. Korecky became the first Twins pitcher to get a hit in an American League game in the 25 years since the implementation of the DH rule in 1973. Korecky pitched for Chatham in 2000 and Yarmouth-Dennis in 2001.

  


Weekend Leftovers

by Dave B. in


Baseball sure is a strange game. And that Earl Weaver quote "Momentum is the next day's starting pitcher" so often holds true - whether it be your team's pitcher or the other guy's. We have seen a few examples of that in the CCBL recently. Last Tuesday, Chatham beat Hyannis 10-0, to jump out to a 6-0 start to their season. The Anglers promptly followed that outburst up by scoring just one run over their next three games. Three Bourne pitchers combined for a no-hitter in an 8-0 rout of Cotuit on Saturday. The next day, Braves hurlers give up 14 hits to Falmouth as the Commodores pounded Bourne by that same 8-0 score. Cotuit, the team on the wrong end of that no-hitter, then puts up 7 runs and 14 hits of their own one day later in a 7-2 romp over Hyannis. Then there's Yarmouth-Dennis where the pitching has been just plain bad lately. How bad? How about giving up 40 runs over three games while losing by scores of 17-12, 14-8 and 9-0.

I have a feeling that the real Chatham team may more closely resemble the one that is on a 4 game losing streak rather than the one that ripped off 6 wins to start the season. The Anglers pitching should be fortified by the arrival of Maine's Tommy Lawrence who's 11-3 record and 2.32 ERA earned him America East's Pitcher of the Year honors this spring. Lawrence was 2-1 with a 3.55 ERA for Chatham last summer.

Maybe the arrival of Cole Sturgeon (Louisville) will help to jump-start Wareham's offense. Sturgeon batted .297 and had 5 homeruns for last year's championship Gatemen team. Through 10 games, Wareham has 3 extra-base hits - two doubles and a homerun.

If the cameras were rolling Friday night at Whitehouse Field, Cotuit second baseman Max Schrock would have been seen on SportsCenter later that night. In the bottom of the sixth, Schrock ranged far to his right to field a ball and with his momentum carrying him well to the shortstop side of the bag, he made a strong, accurate throw to first to nail Harwich's Tanner English. Schrock's play kept Chris Ellis' (Mississippi) no-hitter intact at the time. Ellis gave up a hit and a run in the next inning and the Mariners went on to beat the Kettleers, 3-2. I'm guessing that the best thing about Schrock's play from his perspective is that it gives him bragging rights over Tanner who is his teammate at South Carolina.

Y-D leads the league in team batting avg. with a .264 mark. The Red Sox are last in team ERA at 6.54. Those 40 runs in 3 games might have something to do with that. Harwich is next-to-last in team batting with a .212 avg. but the Mariners have earned their 6-3 record on the strength of a 1.82 team ERA which ranks them second in the league behind Bourne's 1.74 ERA.

The Cotuit and Bourne staffs each have a 1.07 WHIP. Teams are batting just .205 against Falmouth.

Bourne batters have walked only 18 times in 10 games. The Braves have only attempted 7 stolen bases. Maybe that's because they've been successful on just 4 of those attempts.

Y-D and Bourne have been shutout 3 times. Falmouth and Orleans have yet to be blanked.

There have been 15 games decided by one run. Hyannis has been involved in a third of those contests and the Harbor Hawks have won all 5.

Brewster and Wareham are 0-4 on the road.

Orleans is 5-0 against their Eastern rivals. The Firebirds are 0-4 vs. the West.


Week 1 Pitcher and Player of the Week

by Andrew in


Broadcast Intern John Mabery posted a video with interview with the Week 1 Coca-Cola pitcher and player of the week. The winners were Orleans' infielder Austin Davidson (Pepperdine) and Y-D's pitcher Erick Fedde (UNLV). I hope these videos continue for the entire season. 


Hyannis 4 - Wareham 3

by Dave B. in


Hyannis scored 4 times in the home half of the first inning and made those runs hold up for a 4-3 win over Wareham last night. The Gatemen scored once in the third, eighth and ninth innings but came up just short. Two hits, two walks and an error contributed to the Harbor Hawks big first inning. Starter Austin Pettibone (UC-Santa Barbara) went 5 innings, allowing 6 hits and one run to pick up the win in his CCBL debut. Sarkis Ohanian (Duke) worked a perfect sixth and seventh inning while recording two strikeouts. Andrew Istler (Duke) got into trouble in the eighth when 3 hits and an error allowed Wareham to narrow the deficit to 4-2. Eric Eck (Wofford) got Trevor Podratz to fly out to center, stranding two runners to end the inning. Bradley Roney (Southern Mississippi) singled in a run in the ninth to pull Wareham within a run but Eck got Adam Toth (Baylor) to pop to third to end the game.

Wareham starter Fred Shepard (Amherst) drops to 0-2. Eck earned his second save.

Wareham out-hit Hyannis, 10-6. Both teams made an error. The Harbor Hawks improve to 4-2 while the Gatemen drop to 1-6.

In 7 games, Wareham has just one extra-base hit, a homerun by Podratz in the second game of the season. Their team "slugging" average is .226.

Hyannis travels to Chatham this evening with Cy Sneed (Dallas Baptist) going against the Anglers' Lukas Schiraldi (Texas). Wareham will send Kentucky's Kyle Cody to the mound in an attempt to end a 4 game losing streak tonight when they host Falmouth. The Commodores are expected to pitch Craig Schlitter (Bryant) or Daniel Koger (Auburn).


Ugly "D" and Old Baseballs

by Dave B. in


There has been some ugly baseball played on Cape Cod's fields so far. In last night's games, nine teams combined for 21 errors. Orleans was the only team to play error-free and even that comes with a big asterisk as Firebirds catcher Riley Moore (Arizona) was charged with 3 passed balls. There were 7 miscues in the Yarmouth-Dennis - Falmouth game. Hyannis made 4 of the 5 errors in their game against Brewster. The Harbor Hawks have made 12 errors in their last 3 games. League-wide, there have been 102 errors made in 32 games played. Bourne leads the way with 17. At the other end of the spectrum, Chatham, Wareham and Falmouth have only made 6 errors. Interestingly, on the league website, pitchers errors are not counted as part of the total team errors. As an example, Brewster has made 8 errors, but their team stats page shows 5. Whitecaps pitchers have accounted for the other three errors. Someone must have dug into a storage shed at Eldredge Park last night and found some baseballs left over from last summer. Four homeruns were hit in the game between Orleans and Cotuit. Unfortunately for the Firebirds, the 3 homers they hit were all solo shots and the Kettleers went on to a 6-3 victory.

Heading for the Cape tomorrow. Looks like the chance to take in two games on Saturday will lead me to Brewster where the Whitecaps host Y-D at 5:00. Then, a decision to make. A quick ride over to Whitehouse Field where Harwich will take on Wareham, or head to Eldredge Park where Orleans is hosting Hyannis. Ah, the tough decisions I must ponder...


A Few Notes, 6/19

by Dave B. in


Yesterday, I tweeted that there was a semblance of parity in the league through the first few games of the season. More than a third of the games - 8 of 22 - had been one-run affairs. Last night we had a game decided by 5 runs, two with a six run margin, and Chatham's 10-0 drubbing of Hyannis. That was the largest margin of victory since  last June 23 when Orleans pounded Falmouth 14-0.  Pat Connaughton, we hardly knew ya! The Notre Dame RHP is scheduled to make his second and final start for Harwich tonight when the Mariners travel to Wareham. Connaughton will be returning to South Bend to take summer classes and get back to work with the Irish basketball team.

Wareham's last three losses have been by a total of four runs.

Ohio State RHP Jaron Long has returned to Bourne and will attempt to quiet Chatham's bats this evening. Long was 3-0 with a 3.46 ERA in 7 starts for the Braves last summer. He endured a tough spring for the Buckeyes, compiling a 6-7 record to go with a 4.02 ERA while the opposition hit .301 off him.

Hyannis is 3-1, despite sitting below the Mendoza Line with a team batting avg. of .191. The Harbor Hawks are doing a good job of putting the ball in play and getting on base though. They have struck out a league-low 28 times and have a .301 OBP.

Through 27 games across the league, there have been 8 homeruns hit. Chatham pitchers have allowed 3 of those HR's.

In 55.2 IP, Falmouth pitching has issued 21 walks, thrown 10 wild pitches, and have hit 6 batters. The Commodores staff has a league-best .191 OBA. Maybe no one wants to dig in against them?

Orleans pitchers have a 47 K / 10 BB ratio. The Firebirds (or Cardinals) staff lead the league in team ERA in 2007-2010 and again in 2012.