Kets, Mets vie for 2nd Patriot Cup
Season opens Thursday

 June 9, 2005


Summer weather made its first extended appearance of the year on the Cape this week, and none too soon for the Cape Cod Baseball League, which opens its 121st season Thursday. 

The Cotuit Kettleers start the season at home against Bourne, while the Hyannis Mets visit Yarmouth-Dennis. The Mets' home opener is set for Friday against Falmouth, while Cotuit visits Brewster. All four contests start at 5 p.m. 

The Barnstable Patriot Cup will again be on the line when the Kets and the Mets face each other this summer. In cooperation with the league, the newspaper announced today the second annual Cup will be awarded to the winner of the regular season series between the two Barnstable-based clubs. 

"The Mets and the Kettleers played some great games against each other last year as they battled to the last day of the season for a playoff spot as well as the first Patriot Cup," said Patriot Publisher Rob Sennott. "We're excited to be involved in one of the Cape League's best and healthiest rivalries, and we're looking forward to more of the same this season. 

"But the prize isn't just about the games," Sennott said. "The Patriot Cup also honors the year-round work done by volunteers for both organizations. Without them, there would be no Cape Cod Baseball League. And there's no better summer activity than a Cape League game, which is so much a part of the Cape Cod experience. The Patriot is privileged to be a part of that experience." 

As was the case last year, the Patriot will make monetary contributions to both teams. The winner of the Cup will receive the larger share. 

Both teams' front offices have been busy throughout the off-season putting together teams featuring some of the best collegiate baseball players in the world. Now, with opening day less than a week away, general managers Bruce Murphy of Cotuit and John Howitt of Hyannis, like their counterparts with the league's other eight teams, are watching the NCAA Division 1 Baseball Championship tournament and the major league draft to see what impacts they will have on their squads. 

With Texas, Tulane, Clemson and Florida State all alive in this weekend's NCAA Super Regionals, Howitt has six players tied up, including four pitchers, three of them Longhorns. The eight teams that advance from the Super Regionals could be playing in the College World Series until as late as June 27, missing as many as the first 12 games of the CCBL's 44-game season. 

"We're hoping those guys lose," Howitt said. 

Five prospective Kettleers are in action in the Super Regionals, two with Southern Cal and one each with Clemson, Georgia Tech and Tennessee. When Louisiana State failed to advance to the Super Regionals, that meant four Kets were free to head for the Cape. Notre Dame and Stetson also failed to advance, freeing another four players. 

But Stetson's elimination helped the Mets more than the Kets. Howitt has four Hatters on the roster, including two left-handed pitchers. 

The Mets also had a player from LSU on their roster, catcher Jordan Mayer, but he suffered an elbow injury and is out for the summer, leaving Howitt looking for a catcher. 

The Kettleers had two catchers invited to Team USA, so Murphy was happy to be able to add switch-hitting Devin Thomas of Brown, who earned a full-season contract at the CCBL's June 3 tryout in Wareham. 

"He was their starting catcher, which is what we needed," said Murphy. 

The Mets signed four temporary players at the tryout, including Thomas' Brown teammate, pitcher James Cramphin. Howitt also added Charlie Furbush, a 6'5" lefthander from Maine's St. Joseph's College. Furbush struck out six batters in two innings at the tryout. 

Greg King of Thomas College in Maine is returning to the Mets for his second year as field manager, while Mike Roberts is doing the same in Cotuit. 

The Kettleers have two preseason exhibition games scheduled at Lowell Park against the Columbus All-Americans, a perennial contender in the Great Lakes League, a wooden bats collegiate summer league like the CCBL. Monday's game starts at 2 p.m., and Tuesday's at 4 p.m. 

The Kettleers started practices yesterday. 

"We're excited to get these kids in here starting to learn the offense and the defense, ' Murphy said. 

By David Curran



Back to home page

All information copyright Cornerstone Communications, Inc., 2004
396 Main Street, Suite 15 - P.O. Box 1208 Hyannis, MA 02601 - (508) 771-1427 - FAX: (508) 790-3997