Y-D Wins Eighth Championship

by Andrew Wirtanen

The 2016 CCBL season wrapped up on Saturday, August 13th as the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox defeated the Falmouth Commodores in game 3 of the best-of-3 series. Amanda Cox has the official write-up on capecodbaseball.org. Will Geoghegan has a detailed wrap on Right Field Fog.

The Red Sox have now won the last three seasons, which hasn't happened on Cape since the Kettleers accomplished that feat in the 70s.

Yarmouth-Dennis is now the 2nd winningest team in the modern era of the CCBL with 8 championships, behind Cotuit's 16 championships. 

Falmouth was attempting their first championship since 1980, and were hoping to get the win in front of their home crowd. The Commodores' 36 year drought is the longest in the Cape Cod Baseball League. The Hyannis Harbor Hawks have a 25 year drought, last winning in 1991 with a team featuring Rich Aurilia and Jason Varitek.

Matt Davis goes from temp player to pro player

by Andrew Wirtanen

Growing up on the Cape and now visiting for a few games every season, it can still be hard for me to grasp just how close the Cape League is to Major League Baseball. There's the famous statistic: 1-in-7 MLB players played in the league. And I frequently go to pro games and recognize players on the roster that I've seen play at McKeon Park or Red Wilson Field.

And yet, I was still surprised to read this news story about Matt Davis. Matt started as a temporary player on the Brewster Whitecaps this year, led the league in homers in the beginning of the season, and is now working his way up A-ball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Pretty cool.

Best of luck, Matt Davis!

2016 Season Begins on Friday

by Andrew Wirtanen

The long wait is almost over - the 2016 season begins on Friday, June 10 with games across the Cape from Bourne to Brewster. Check out the official 2016 schedule.

While we wait just a few more days, here's a couple fun things:

Remembering Joe Sherman; Scarafile honored in Hyannis

by Andrew Wirtanen

At times, it was warm enough this week on the Cape to play baseball. But, we're still over 160 days away before the best college players in the nation return to our favorite fields.

There were a couple big stories from the league during the holiday week:

  • First, some sad news - Joe Sherman, the league's senior writer, editor, league historian and director of special projects, passed away at the age of 74 on Saturday, December 19. Read more about his life and legacy on the official press release.
  • On December 16, 2015, the league announced that the Hyannis Athletic Association are renaming the Harbor Hawks' home to the Judy Walden Scarafile Field at McKeon Park. Scarafile served 24 years as Cape League president and 45 years with the league overall.

2016 Schedule Released; All-Star Game in Chatham

by Andrew Wirtanen

The Cape Cod Baseball League has officially released the 2016 schedule. The first five games of the season are on June 10, 2016 with first pitches in Brewster and Y-D at 5pm. There are no scheduled doubleheaders this season.

The All-Star Game will be in Chatham at Veteran's Field on July 23, 2016.

Playoffs start on August 8, 2016 and the eight-team format will be used again.

"On The Cape" short film + interview

by Andrew Wirtanen

The "On The Cape" short film has been in heavy circulation the past few days on Twitter and Facebook. CodBall had a chance to do a quick email interview today with Ben Fraternale, who created the video with his friend Jeff Friedlander.

Congrats on the video - it really came out great. How'd it come to be? How long were you planning it?

Thank you! My friend Jeff and I have been visiting the Cape since childhood.  When we discovered the Cape league, it became the highlight of every summer. Suddenly trips to the Cape meant calculating the math of how many games we could fit into a weekend. I started photographing the games when I was 15 years old and as Jeff and I grew older, we both gravitated toward careers in video production. This year, we felt we had the right equipment and right creative juice to really represent our Cape experience on film.

What was the filming process like?

We filmed for only three days, bounced all around the Cape, and each day we tackled a different region. We'd film for most or all of one game and then shoot over to the next. At night, we'd head to the beaches and docks for timelapses. Filming felt very similar to photographing games, trying to capture those key moments, so the whole filming experience was really nostalgic in itself.

Tell us about the voiceover. Was that always planned?

I knew from the outset that I wanted a voiceover which captured the nostalgia and essence of our experience. After I finished the editing process, I asked my girlfriend Laura Pavlo (who is a talented writer/author) to try and tackle the material as poetically as possible. I think she did an incredible job of baking the emotion and visuals into words. It only felt right that my grandfather, Ladd Fraternale, would then voice those words. With some editing to make it sound like a vintage radio broadcast, I think the voiceover compliments the video in an essential way.

At CodBall, we've had a bit of discussion about the best parks in the league. The top parks mentioned always seem to be Veterans Field in Chatham, Eldredge Park in Orleans, and Lowell Park in Cotuit. But, all of the parks continue to make improvements thanks to volunteers and donations. What are your favorite parks and places to sit when watching games?

Veterans Field and Eldredge are classics for sure, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Red Wilson Field. When I first started following the league, I latched onto the Y-D Red Sox and got to see some incredible players as a result. That park, though doesn't have every bell and whistle, just fosters unique memories for me, and we shot quite a bit of "On The Cape" there. 

Beyond the Cape League, what are your favorite spots on the Cape?

If I had a "home town" on the Cape, it would be Hyannis. From the record store to the ice cream shops, it screams childhood for me. With the field in such close proximity and the hall of fame in the heart of town, it's always my first stop. 

What's next for you guys?

We've had an incredible reaction to "On The Cape" from the league, players, and fans. Talking to league personnel and hearing such positive feedback made the film more instantly rewarding than we ever could have expected. I think it's important that, with such prestige and talent, the league is artfully filmed in some capacity beyond game streams and televised events. That being said, we'd love to do another Cape league project in some capacity, with the league's permission, for summers to come.

Harbor Hawks Walkoff; Anglers Nip Firebirds

by Dave B.

    HYANNIS 2 - COTUIT 1:  Florida State's Ben DeLuzio singled with two out in the bottom of the ninth to score Jacob Noll (Florida Gulf Coast) with the winning run in Hyannis' win over Cotuit.  Noll had singled to lead off the inning, moved to second on  a wild pitch, and to third on a groundout, before DeLuzio came through.

    Although he didn't get the "W," Nick Deeg (Central Michigan) turned in another outstanding effort for the Harbor Hawks.  Deeg pitched 8 innings and allowed the run while limiting the Kettleers to 5 hits and walking none.  Thomas Burrows (Alabama) took over for Deeg in the ninth and, after allowing two singles, retired Jackson Klein to end the Cotuit threat.  Burrows earned the win.  Deeg is 2-1 with a 0.40 ERA over 22 innings.  He is holding the opposition to  a .160 batting avg. and has a .64 WHIP. 

    Javon Shelby (Kentucky) hit his first homerun of the summer in the 2nd for Hyannis' first run.  Kort Peterson singled and eventually scored on a hit by Klein to produce Cotuit's only run.

    Jon Woodcock (Virginia Tech) turned in a strong effort on the mound for the Kettleers, working 5.2 innings and giving up one run on 5 hits.  Woodcock did not walk a batter and struck out 5.

    The win ended a 3 game losing skid for the Harbor Hawks who remain in first place in the West with a 9-6 record.  Cotuit has now lost 6 in a row, 10 of 11 overall, and sit in last place in the West at 4-11.

    CHATHAM 2 - ORLEANS 1:  Pinch-runner Parker Dunshee scored on  a wild pitch with 2 out in the 10th inning as the Anglers beat the Firebirds in their first meeting of the year.  Dunshee was running for his Wake Forest teammate, Will Craig, who walked to start the inning.  Dunshee moved up on a sacrifice by Zack Short (Sacred Heart) and a fly to center by Todd Czinege (Villanova) before Kit Scheetz uncorked the wild pitch.

    T.J. Zeuch (Pittsburgh) had been outstanding in his first 2 starts for Chatham and nothing changed last night as he tossed 6 shutout innings.  Nick Zammarelli's (Elon) 6th inning single was the only hit allowed by Zeuch, who walked 2 and fanned 5.  Zeuch has only given up one unearned run in 16.2 innings.

    Chatham was limited to just 4 hits in the game but broke through when Nate Mondou (Wake Forest) singled and Nick Sciortino (Boston College) walked to start the 3rd inning.  Mondou came around to score when Trenton Brooks (Nevada) grounder to short was thrown away.

    Orleans' Eric Lauer (Kent State) nearly matched Zeuch.  Lauer gave up just the unearned run while also being touched for one hit.  He walked 2 and struck out 6.   

    Kyle Lewis (Mercer) tripled off Anglers reliever Jim McDade to begin the home half of the 7th and, one out later, scored on a ground out by Jeremy Martinez (USC) to tie the game.

    Andre Scrubb (High Point) issued a 2-out walk in the 10th but struck out Zammarelli to end the game.  Scrubb earned his 4th save and has yet to allow a run in his 5 appearances.

    With the win, Chatham (9-5) moved to within one game of first-place Orleans (10-4.)       

Lions, Tigers and.... Baseball, Oh My!

by Dave B.

    On  a night when Falmouth's Jayhawks duo of Stephen Villines and Michael Tinsley may actually have felt they were back in Kansas, the Commodores beat host Wareham, 4-0.  

    Due to rain, lightning, and tornado warnings across all of southeast Massachusetts, the game didn't begin until 7:49, then the hardy few in attendance waited out a 1:01 rain delay, before someone figured out how to turn on the sprinklers at 11:04 and put everyone out of their misery.  (The league may want you to believe the sprinklers came on automatically, but you don't believe that, do you?  C'mon, these are smart college guys playing these games.  They can figure out how to turn on the sprinkler system!)

    As for the game....  Falmouth starter Alex Phillips (San Jacinto Coll.) earned the win by going 5 innings and giving up just 3 hits and a walk, while striking out 5.  Sean Gustin (Holy Cross) followed Phillips to the hill and walked one in his inning of work.  Andrew Frankenreider (Northern Illinois) came on in the 7th and allowed just a walk while striking out 2 in his 1.2 innings.

    After Wareham starter Zac Houston (Mississippi State) walked Heath Quinn (Samford) to start the second inning, Missouri's Shane Benes homered to give the Commodores all the scoring they would need.  Tristan Gray's (Rice) 4th inning sac fly scored Quinn and JB Woodman (Mississippi) scored on  a wild pitch in the 8th to round out the scoring.

    Frankenreider was on the mound with 2 out in the bottom of the 8th when the sprinklers came on and the 16 people who remained in the stands could finally go home.    

    NOTES:  Phillips now has a 0.67 ERA over 13.1 innings with 13 strikeouts and just 3 walks.  He is holding the opposition to a .159 batting average and has a .77 WHIP....  Frankenreider has appeared in 6 games and has given up just one hit while striking out 12 and issuing 3 walks over 9 innings.  He has not allowed a run and has a .040 OBA and .44 WHIP....  The Commodores are now 6-7 while the Gatemen drop to 6-8.  

Harwich, Y-D, Chatham Sweep

by Dave B.

    It was a good day for East Division teams yesterday as they took 8 of the 10 games played on a day full of doubleheaders. 

    HARWICH 5 - COTUIT 3:  Joe O'Donnell (North Carolina State) gave up just one hit in 5 shutout innings for Harwich, but the win went to his college rival, Spencer Trayner (North Carolina), who allowed 3 runs in his inning of work.  Luke Scherzer (Virginia Tech) recorded his 4th save in 4 appearances with a perfect 7th inning.  Only 2 of Harwich's runs were earned as the Kettleers made 4 errors for the second game in a row.

    HARWICH 6 - COTUIT 1:  With Harwich up 3-1 in the 6th, Michael Hernandez (Nova Southeastern) belted a 3-run homerun to put the game out of reach.  In his first game in a Harwich uniform since coming over from Orleans, Adam Pate (North Carolina) went 3-for-3 with 2 doubles, a walk, and scored 2 runs.  Cavan Biggio (Notre Dame) went 2-for-3 with a double, walk, and 2 RBI.  Hunter Williams (North Carolina) struck out 5 over 5 innings and allowed just the unearned run to pick up the win.

    CHATHAM 3 - HYANNIS 2:  Will Craig (Wake Forest), Aaron Barnett (Pepperdine) and Zack Short (Sacred Heart) drove in runs in the first inning and that would be all the scoring Chatham would need.  The Harbor Hawks out-hit Chatham 6-4, but the Anglers were able to turn 2 double plays.  Blake Tiberi (Louisville) lead Hyannis offensively, going 3-for-3 and Javon Shelby (Kentucky) added 2 hits and a RBI.

    CHATHAM 3 - HYANNIS 1:  Ty Damron (Texas Tech) worked 5 innings and gave up just 2 hits and one walk to earn his first win.  Zack Short lead off the 2nd inning with a homerun to tie the game and a Trenton Brooks (Nevada) single one out later gave the Anglers a lead they would not relinquish.  Cory Raley (Texas Tech) walked with the bases loaded in the 7th to add an insurance run.  After 5 successful attempts, Hyannis' Errol Robinson (Mississippi) was caught stealing for the first time this summer. 

    YARMOUTH-DENNIS 7 - FALMOUTH 6:  Connor Wong's (Houston) sac fly capped a 4-run 7th inning as Y-D came back to beat Falmouth.  The win snapped a 4-game losing streak.  Stephen Wrenn (Georgia) had 3 RBI.

    YARMOUTH-DENNIS 5 - FALMOUTH 1:  The Commodores opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, but it was all Red Sox after that.  Tommy Edman (Stanford) had 2 RBI and Dan Rizzie (Xavier) added an RBI and scored twice. Y-D starter Ricky Thomas (Fresno State) struck out 7 over 5.2 IP to earn his second win in as many starts.  It was the second doubleheader sweep of the season for Y-D with the Sox having swept Cotuit last week.

    BREWSTER 5 - WAREHAM 4:  Brewster broke a 1-1 tie, scoring 4 runs in the 4th inning in the opener.  Eli White (Clemson) capped the inning with a run-scoring double.  The other 3 Whitecaps runs came via passed balls (2) and a wild pitch.  Toby Handley (Stony Brook) had 2 hits, including a homerun, and scored twice for Brewster.  Trent Paddon (Oregon), Nick Highberger (Creighton) and Thomas Hackimer (St. Johns) came out of the Whitecaps bullpen to settle things down as the trio allowed just one unearned run over the last 3.2 innings. Nick Cieri (Maryland) drove in 2 runs for the Gatemen.  Zach Plesac (Ball State) allowed all 5 runs, giving up 5 hits and walking 3 in 2 innings.  Plesac is now 0-2 with an 11.88 ERA.  Brewster catcher Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount) threw out 3-of-4 attempted base stealers, including one on  a strike 'em out, throw 'em out to end the game.   

    WAREHAM 5 - BREWSTER 0:  Michigan's Evan Hill allowed just 3 hits and a walk over 6 innings to get the win in the second game.  Grant Dyer (UCLA), who was just activated on Sunday, struck out 2 while pitching a perfect 7th inning to get the save.  Andrew Knizner (North Carolina State) and Logan Sowers (Indiana) each had 2 RBI.  Brewster starter Anthony Arias (Fresno State) struggled, giving up 3 earned runs on just 2 hits, but he walked 6, and threw 4 wild pitches.  

    BOURNE 6 - ORLEANS 3:  Orleans started the scoring with a 2-run first inning, but Bourne ended the Firebirds 6-game winning streak in the opener.  Mike Garzillo (Lehigh) and Reid Humphreys (Mississippi State) were each 2-for-4 with a double.  Garzillo scored twice.  Speedy Jacob Robson (Mississippi State) also had 2 hits, including a 2-run triple.  Corey Julks (Louisville) scored twice for the Braves.

    ORLEANS 3 - BOURNE 0:  The Firebirds won the nightcap behind the pitching of Mitchell Jordan (Stetson) and Joe Ryan (CS-Northridge.)  Jordan started and lasted 5 innings, giving up 3 hits and walking one while striking out 7.  Ryan allowed just one batter to reach (by error) in his 2 innings.  The game remained scoreless into the 6th inning before Orleans broke through with Austin Miller's (Loyola Marymount) 2-run single being the big blow.            

Wrapping Up the Weekend; Notes

by Dave B.

    I was able to take in three games this weekend and was hoping for more, but Mother Nature had other plans and yesterday's doubleheaders were washed out.

    After beating Brewster, 1-0, on Thursday, it looked like there was a very good chance the Anglers would lose by that same score the next night when Cotuit's Jackson Klein (Stanford) homered in the  seventh inning for the first run of the game.  Chatham's offense looked inept against Kettleers starter Austin Sexton (Mississippi State.)  In the home half of the 7th, Sexton retired the first batter but then hit a  batter and gave up a single - only the  second hit he had allowed.  Cotuit went to the bullpen and three singles later, capped by  a 2-RBI hit by Will Craig (Wake Forest), Chatham had a 4-1 lead and went on to win by that score.  Jesse Adams (Boston College) started for Chatham and pitched well, giving up just 4 hits and 2 walks over 6 shutout innings.  Adams did not look overpowering, but spotted his fastball well.  

    The plan for Saturday was to take in the Cotuit at Brewster and Bourne at Chatham games.  Big mistake....  unless you are a fan of ugly baseball.  The 16-6 final, with Brewster coming out on top, tells you all you need to know about that one.  Cotuit starter Duncan Robinson (Dartmouth) gave up 6 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits and a walk, and lasted just 2.1 innings.  Things went from bad to worse when Nick Lewis took over and allowed 7 more runs (4 earned) to cross the plate in 1.2 innings.  Austin Solecitto (Rice) took over and allowed 3 more runs over the final 2 innings.

    Nick Senzel (Tennessee) and Robbie Tenerowicz (California) homered for Brewster.  Tenerowicz' shot cleared the scoreboard in leftfield.

    4 errors didn't help the Kettleers cause.

    The only potential bad news for Brewster on this day came in the third inning when starter Brandon Gold (Georgia Tech) made a pitch and immediately walked toward the dugout, tossing the ball to the catcher.  Gold was done for the day.  He did not seem right before that, having walked 4 batters in only 2.1 innings and leaving with a 2-0 count on just the twelfth hitter he faced.

    Brewster did all their damage over 6 innings.  The game was called after the top of the 7th.  I left after the 5th inning with the score 12-4 and the temperature having dropped 10 degrees since the game began.

    Time to head to the car, grab an extra jacket, and head over to Chatham where I would see a better game than the one I just left.  Or not.  The Anglers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second but the Braves scored the next 8 runs to walk away with the 8-2 win. 

    Chatham tried to match Cotuit's ugliness in this one to the tune of 4 errors, and 3 wild pitches.  Somehow, when a ball was hit through the legs of the third baseman, a fifth error was not charged.  4 of Bourne's runs were unearned.

    Nick Solak (Louisville) had 2 more hits in the game.  When Solak joined the Braves on Tuesday, they were 0-6-1.  Solak is batting .438 (7-for-16) and he has been a big part of Bourne's 4-game winning streak. 

    NOTES FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE....  Had I been smart and consulted with my Magic 8 Ball, I would have ended up at Whitehouse Field on Saturday where  Hyannis' Devin Smeltzer (Florida Gulf Coast) pitched a no-hitter in a 5-0 win over Harwich.  Cavan Biggio (Notre Dame) was the only Mariner to reach base, walking on a 3-2 pitch with two out in the 7th inning.  Smeltzer only needed 91 pitches to finish off his masterpiece....  Smeltzer's FGCU and Harbor Hawk teammate Jacob Noll is batting .480 (12-for25) and has 9 RBI in just 7 games....  I was disappointed to see that Cotuit released Stephen Alemais (Tulane.)  I enjoy watching good defensive play from the shortstop position and in the  games I've seen, Alemais has shown good range, the ability to charge the ball, and make strong accurate throws with a very quick release....  Bryant INF Cole Fabio was released by Harwich on Saturday and signed with Cotuit today....  OF Adam Pate (North Carolina) was also released by Harwich on Saturday and went just a few miles down the road when he signed with Orleans later that day....  In a bit of an oddity, Chatham had an all-Boston College battery on Friday with Nick Sciortino catching Jesse Adams and the Anglers followed that up with an all-Pepperdine duo the next night with A.J. Puckett on the mound and Aaron Barnett behind the plate....  Hyannis ranks first in team batting avg. (.268), team ERA (1.90), team fielding (.968) and stolen bases (28.)....  Orleans is 6-0 at Eldredge Park.  Brewster is 0-3 away from Stony Brook Field....  The new lights in Chatham are a huge improvement over the 1970's lighting that had been in place at Veterans Field.  Still seems strange not to see the fire station beyond the rightfield hill though....  4 of Wareham's 6 losses have been by one run....  Orleans has hit 10 homeruns.  Brewster, Cotuit and Wareham are next closest with 4 each....  The Orleans pitching staff has held opponents to a .171 avg....  Hard to believe we're a quarter of the way into the season already.