The following article was originally written for, and published at, www.ultimatesportstalk.com. Falmouth enters the 2011 season looking to end the league's longest championship drought. The Commodores have not won the Cape League crown since 1980 - a span of 31 years. The next longest streak belongs to Hyannis which last won the title in 1991.
Elon's John Brebbia ended the regular season with a record of 7-0 and a 1.83 ERA. Surprisingly, all of those wins came in relief appearances. The junior righthander appeared in 25 games - all in relief - and worked a total of 39.1 innings. Opponents batted just .152 off him. Those numbers show that in addition to pitching very well, Brebbia had a knack for entering games at just the right time. It's not easy to pick up 7 wins when pitching just an inning or two per appearance. Brebbia played for Orleans last summer but did not record a decision. He appeared in 13 games for the Firebirds and posted a 2.65 ERA over 17 innings.
Chatham has dropped Stetson RHP Kurt Schluter and Georgia Tech OF Paul Kronenfeld from their roster. The Anglers have added Darrel Matthews, a 5'9", 158 lb. outfielder who batted .275 and had 16 RBI for California this spring.
Checking some other roster moves, we see that Wareham has dropped Arizona RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon, Liberty RHP Josh Richardson and Baylor catcher Josh Ludy. Ponce de Leon (3 IP) and Richardson (6.1 IP) saw very little action for their schools this spring. Ludy was expected to return to Wareham after playing for the Gatemen last summer and was batting .283 with 3 HR and 31 RBI for the Bears this season.
Cotuit has released the contracts of Dillon Overton (LHP, Oklahoma), Nick Cunningham (RHP, Arizona), Randy LeBlanc (RHP, Tulane) and Chris O'Dowd (C, Dartmouth.) LeBlanc suffered an injury earlier this year and only appeared in 3 games for the Green Wave.
Orleans has made numerous changes to their roster. Duke's Marcus Stroman (RHP, SS) and Will Piwnica-Worms (OF) will be returning to the Firebirds. Other recent additions coming to Eldredge Park include Arizona State outfielder Andrew Aplin, Western Oklahoma RHP Nick Mutz, La Salle outfielder Tony Negrin and Jacksonville State first baseman Ben Waldrip. Waldrip hails from Medford, MA.
Team USA shows seven players on their roster at this time. Five of those players show up on Cape League rosters - DJ Baxendale (Arkansas, Yarmouth-Dennis), Brian Johnson (Florida, Yarmouth-Dennis), Nolan Fontana (Florida, Bourne), Michael Wacha (Texas A&M, Orleans) and Christian Walker (South Carolina, Harwich.) Although his name does not yet appear on the Team USA roster, GatorZone.com recently reported that Florida catcher Mike Zunino (Yarmouth-Dennis) has also been invited to join the national team. Seems like the Y-D Red Sox roster could be taking a major hit.
Matt Summers (Falmouth, '10) pitched a no-hitter Friday night, leading UC Irvine to a 2-0 win over Long Beach State. Summers issued one walk and hit one batter while striking out 5 in the 9 inning gem. He needed just 105 pitches and faced one over the minimum as the second inning walk was quickly followed by a double-play. Summers is now 10-2 with a 1.74 ERA and he has held opponents to a .178 avg. Prior to Summers' effort, the last no-hitter thrown by an Anteater was by Glenn Swanson in 2006. Swanson pitched for Chatham in 2003 and 2004. The hard-luck loser matched up against Summers was Andrew Gagnon (Brewster, '10.) Gagnon allowed both runs in 6 innings of work and saw his record drop to 4-10. The game pretty much sums up Gagnon's season as he is saddled with that record despite a 2.81 ERA while limiting batters to a .225 avg.
Former Oklahoma State star Andy Oliver (Wareham, '07) has been called up to the majors by the Detroit Tigers. Oliver was scheduled to pitch against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday but with that game having been postponed, it is not known when he will make his debut.
Anthony Gomez (Orleans) doubled home a run in the first inning and Connor Harrell (Yarmouth-Dennis) hit a two-run homer in the second inning to stake Vanderbilt to a 3-0 lead and the Commodores held on for a 3-2 win that eliminated Arkansas from the SEC Tournament on Saturday. Vanderbilt will play Florida in the SEC Championship game. The Gators defeated Georgia 3-2 on Saturday as Nolan Fontana knocked in the winning run in the ninth inning. The title game will be televised on ESPN2 at 2:00 ET, giving viewers an early look at many players who will grace Cape League fields this summer.