Three Falmouth Commodores were named to the All-Cape League team as the CCBL wrapped up its 2005 season with its final installment of awards. Making the All-League team were first first baseman
Mark Hamilton, of Tulane, who was named to the team as a designated hitter;
Jon Still, of North Carolina State; and Tim Norton, of the University of Connecticut. Norton, who is originally from Rhode Island and now calls Franklin home, was also the recipient of the Claffey Award, which is given to the best pro prospect out of New England.
Hamilton was tied for second in the CCBL this past summer in both home runs (six) and RBI (33). Ten of his 31 base hits were for extra bases. Still was the sixth-leading hitter in the Cape League with a .316 average. He led the league in total hits (50) and had five homers and 20 runs driven in. Norton was third in the league in wins, with a 5-1 record, posted an earned run average of 1.77 and was second in the CCBL with 77 strikeouts over 61 innings of work.
Collins Wins Silva Award
For the third straight season a standout catcher received the Dan Silva Sportsmanship Award. Joel Collins, of Wareham, follows up back-to-back Hyannis Mets recipients, Chris Robinson and Richard Mercado. Collins who hails from Richmond Hill, Ontario and attends University of South Alabama, received the award before Wareham's final home game on August 7.
The award is voted on by the ECAC umpires, who work Cape Cod Baseball games and is selected by ECAC Supervisor of umpires Nick Zibelli. The award is named after former Cape League Commissioner and umpire-in-chief Dan Silva, who helped organize the 1963 merger of the Upper Cape and Lower Cape Leagues into their present format. He was inducted into the inaugural CCBL Hall of Fame in 2000.
Collins was second in the Gatemen in batting average with a stellar .293 average and recorded one home run with 14 RBI in 35 games. He was named to the CCBL All-Star team and caught many of the league's best pitchers on a Wareham staff stocked with talent. “Being on the Cape has been an unbelievable experience," said Collins. "I have a great deal of respect for the game and what the people here continue to accomplish year in and year out. From the coaching, guys playing in the league and even its history, the Cape League is so fun place to play baseball.
"But it's a tough place to play. All I can really do is come out, work hard and stay focused and hopefully good things will happen. I've played against someof these guys and know what to expect so basically it's all about preparation and calling a good game."
At South Alabama, Collins started 64 games, hit .264, slugged two home runs and 31 RBI. He was able to record these numbers as a freshman, the first rookie to start behind the dish for the Jaguars. Collins is a 6'1'' 200 pound catcher who hails from Ontario. Besides all the numbers, Collins was an outstanding leader and a player who displayed good character on the field . Wareham coaches and staff hope he returns for the 2006 summer after his sophomore season.
Burris and Meyers Named Postseason MVP's
In what is the most prestigious individual award of the Cape Cod Baseball League's postseason, speedy infielder Emmanuel Burris and pitcher Brad Meyers of Orleans have both been awarded with the Sports Ticker/ESPN Playoff MVP.
Both players were instrumental in not only helping the Cardinals win the championship, but also played a tremendous role in Orleans' success during the regular season.
Burris (Kent State), a Washington DC native and starter for the East Division All-Stars, was one of the top leadoff hitters in the Cape League and continued this trend in the post-season. Arguably the fastest player the Cape had to offer, Burris led his team with seven runs scored in the post-season, hit .304 and drove in three runs. Burris led all players in post-season runs scored and was in the top five in many other categories.
Burris' biggest play of the year occurred when he scored in the ninth inning during the first game of the championship series. With the bases loaded and one out in a scoreless game, a popup near the Orleans dugout appeared to have Bourne one step closer getting out of the jam. But a heads-up play by Burris to tag up caught everyone off guard. On a close play, Burris scored from third to end the game in dramatic fashion. In the deciding game of the championship, Burris went 4-for-6, reached base five times, scored three runs and stole one base.
The winning pitcher of that game was 6'6", 195-pound right-hander Meyers (Loyola Marymount), a Yorba Linda, Calif., native, who pitched six-and-one third innings.
Meyers struck out three batters and only allowed one run in a game that ended 10-1 in favor of Orleans. Meyers ended the playoffs with 12 2/3 innings pitched and only one run allowed, good for a sparkling 0.71 ERA.
It was the second straight season there were dual winners of the playoff MVP award, following the in footsteps of Josh Faiola and Ryan Fohlinger of the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
Andrew Miller of Chatham Selected McNeece Top Pro Prospect for CCBL
For two summers, the Chatham A's' Andrew Miller (North Carolina) has shut down the best college players in the country with remarkable ease.The 6'6", 195-pound flame-throwing southpaw followed up his fine 2004 season with an even more impressive performance in 2005, earning Robert A. McNeece Outstanding Pro Prospect Award
In a league know nationwide for its terrific pitching, Miller was the best of the best. He posted a perfect 6-0 record, which put him in a tie for second-most wins in the league, behind teammate Jared Hughes. In 49 innings pitched, Miller struck out 66 batters, good for fifth best league-wide, and posted an almost invisible 1.65 ERA.
Early in the season, Chatham General Manager Charlie Thoms predicted his team's success would hinge on the performance of its lefty ace, who many predict could be the number one player taken overall in next year's MLB draft.
With his performance this year, Miller lived up to the lofty expectations, helping his team advance to the East Division playoffs in the process. Following his first summer on the Cape in 2004, Miller was named the Cape League's No. 1 Major League prospect by Baseball America. He re-joined the A's again in 2005 after a strong sophomore campaign in Chapel Hill.
The Gainesville, Fla., native went 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 104 strikeouts for the Tar Heels this spring, before becoming part of a talented Chatham pitching staff that included Robert Woodard, Jared Hughes and Derrick Lutz. Miller has a smooth wind-up and delivery and also throws incredibly hard. "He looks like he's playing catch out there," Thoms said. "He can reach back and light up the gun at 98 miles per hour."
Miller's first start of the season came on June 21, the first official day of summer, against the Hyannis Mets. The sophomore wasted no time establishing himself as a premier pitcher, hurling seven shutout innings and scattering three hits in a 98-pitch effort.
For the second consecutive year, Miller was named a CCBL All-Star. His appearance in last year's midsummer classic was a performance few spectators will forget: he entered the game in the fifth inning and fanned all three batters he faced on just 15 pitches.
In this year's All-Star Game, following fellow A's Hughes, Woodard and Lutz to the mound, he struck out two of the three West All-Stars he faced.
After pitching brilliantly all summer, Miller took the mound in Game 1 of the East Division playoffs against the Orleans Cardinals. Although he did not get credit for the win, he was spectacular, pitching eight innings and striking out 10. Miller was almost unhittable as the Cards did not get their first base runner until the fourth inning and handed the ball over in the ninth with his team leading by a run. The A's would come back to win Game 1 in the 11th inning, but would ultimately lose the series to the Cards.
In addition to being named outstanding pitcher, Miller shared the B.F.C Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher Award with hard-throwing right-hander Tim Norton of Falmouth for best prospect.
Along with Woodard and Wareham's Daniel Bard, Miller returns to Chapel Hill for what promises to be one of the top pitching staffs in college baseball.