The College World Series is over and LSU is the 2009 national champion by virtue of their 11-4 win over Texas. As has been noted in other posts, the Tigers and Longhorns were represented by past and future Cape Leaguers who contributed greatly to the successful season for both teams. Anthony Ranaudo (Y-D '09) was the winning pitcher while Brandon Workman (Wareham '08, '09) took the loss. Jared Mitchell, who had a brief stay with Y-D last year, set the tone early with a two-out, three-run homerun in the first inning. The other big production in the LSU lineup was provided by Sean Ochinko (Y-D '07, '08). Ochinko was 4 for 5 in the game with two runs scored, 3 RBI, and he put the exclamation point on this one with a homerun in the ninth inning.
The game took 3 hours and 42 minutes to play. I thought I was watching a Red Sox-Yankees game. Or any game that Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches.
Longer games seem to be happening more often in the Cape League too. 13 of the 42 games played this year have gone three hours or longer.
It will be interesting to see if Ranaudo reports to Y-D. Various sources indicate he was pitching through fatigue recently after throwing 124.1 innings for the Tigers this year. I have to believe he will be taking some time off before reporting to the Red Sox. If and when he does come to the Cape, you can be sure his pitch counts will be closely monitored.
It was a special moment to see Nicholas Pontiff inserted into the LSU lineup when he went in to play rightfield in the bottom of the ninth. Nicholas is the younger brother of the late Wally Pontiff Jr. who played on LSU's last national championship team in 2000. Wally Pontiff Jr. played for Brewster in 2001 and for a short time for Wareham in 2002. He passed away at the age of 21 on July 24, 2002.
Some players who were on rosters as "permanent" players are no longer with that team. This would include Derek Ingui (Y-D), Xavier Esquivel (Orleans), Max Russell (Cotuit), Stephen Cardullo (Harwich) and Jacob Goebbert (Harwich). Other familiar names have popped up on rosters. Raynor Campbell who hit .303 in 41 games for Wareham last year is now playing for Bourne. I assume (I know, bad thing to do) the Connor Powers who is playing for Harwich is the same Connor Powers who was one of the East's representatives in the homerun hitting contest at last year's All Star game while playing for Brewster.
Wareham has announced that Arizona State teammates Jordan Swagerty and Zach Wilson have joined Arkansas' Brett Eibner on the active roster.
North Carolina's players should be arriving on the Cape soon. The Tar Heels played their last game on June 18.
Some temp players are proving themselves in the young season. Here's hoping someone like Chatham's Peter Kennelly (Fordham) can hook on with another team if the Anglers can't find a roster spot for him when their UNC contingent arrives. In 11 innings over four appearances, Kennelly has not allowed a run and has only given up three hits.
It's very early, but three team have a batting average below the Mendoza Line - Wareham (.188), Brewster (.184) and Harwich (.181).
Hoping to take the "short" drive to Wareham this evening for the Anglers-Gatemen game. With the weather we have been having, I need a baseball fix bad.