21 July, 2005

Cape League notes

Cotuit pitchers making noise

Cotuit has received some great performances from its pitching staff, keeping it in the Western Division race.

Josh Johnson (Mississippi State) is 2-0 on the season in four appearances and has a 1.86 ERA. For the Bulldogs in the spring, Josh went 5-0, recording 43 strikeouts good for third on the team.

Cotuit has been pleased with the progress starter Clay Dirks (LSU) has made as he has become the workhorse of the staff, starting in a team-high six games.

Out of the pen, Cotuit has received some great performances. The brightest spot of the bunch has been Chris Toneguzzi, one of the most dominant closers in the league. His fastball has reached mid-90s and the 6-5 righthander seems to be unhittable at times. Toneguzzi is in the top five in saves and is tied for second in the league in appearances.  
Nick Mucci, CCBL Intern, mucci@capecodbaseball.org

D'Alessio wields heavy bat for Hyannis Mets

Although the Hyannis Mets have struggled mightily in 2005, big first baseman Andy D'Alessio has more than held his own against the toughest hurlers in the Cape League.

The 6-4, 220-pound first baseman from Clemson is ranked among the league leaders with a .317 batting average, along with one homer and a team-leading 11 RBI and four doubles.

"I'm having a great time playing in the Cape League for the Mets," says D'Alessio. "Coach [Greg] King has created a fun atmosphere here and I've enjoyed getting to know my teammates."

In a tough 7-6 loss last week to first-place Bourne, D'Alessio crushed a 400-foot, three-run homer to center field and an inning after D'Alessio singled home a fourth run, Justin Tellam (UNLV) led off the sixth inning with a solo shot that carried over the fence in center. They were the first homers of the year for both.

D'Alessio batted .280 for the Tigers in 2005, was second on the team with 15 home runs and drove in 60 runs, while cementing his reputation as the best defensive first baseman in the ACC. He hit .333 as a freshman, with four homers, 10 doubles and 22 RBI.

D'Alessio had the best batting average (.778) in the NCAA Regionals. He also led the regionals in on-base percentage (.857) and was second in slugging percentage (1.556). His four doubles tied for the best in the nation as well. In three games, he was a torrid 7-for-9 with four doubles, a homer, four RBIs, four walks, and a stolen base on his way to earning Clemson Regional MVP honors.

Last year, he was rated the No. 5 freshman in the nation and the third-best newcomer in the ACC in preseason by Baseball America. He was drafted in the 10th round of the 2003 draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of high school. A sports management major at Clemson, he was a member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2003-04.  
John Garner Jr, Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting, johnwgarner@earthlink.net 

Late bloomer drives Red Sox

The defending champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox are off to a slow start, but outfielder Jeff Kindel (Georgia Tech) has emerged on the Cape League category leader board with a .375 average.

"Jeff has really improved his stroke," says Y-D field manager Scott Pickler. At Georgia Tech, Kindel was a late bloomer, switching from pitcher to outfielder where he found his niche and started to shine.

About his success in the Cape League Kindel says, "I've been working harder every day." Kindel does list the wood bats as a challenge in the league, but he obviously is adjusting.

According to Kindel, the good, solid pitching in the Cape League is the other big challenge. He is enjoying his first year in the Cape League, getting to play baseball and work the camps everyday is a highlight. 
Stefanie Falco, CCBL Intern, falco@capecodbaseball.org

AROUND THE CAPE HORN: Film Festival: The Woods Hole Film Festival will include "Touching the Game: The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League" as one of its featured documentaries. It will be shown Monday, Aug. 1 at 9 p.m. at The Old Woods Hole Fire Station. The actual film trailer reads: "There is no amateur baseball league more prestigious and more storied than the Cape Cod Baseball League. Now for the first time, the story of the league is told by the players, coaches, fans and others who make Cape Cod the place to be for a true summer experience." Year: 2004, Length: 105 min., Format: DV, Origin: Massachusetts. Producer: Fields of Vision and Eye Candy Cinema, Director/Writer/Editor: Jim Carroll, Cinematographer: Eric Scharmer. Narrator: Steve Buckley.

Player, pitcher of the week

Chatham's Evan Longoria (Long Beach State) was named the Coca-Cola Player of the Week for the second time this season. In 30 at-bats, Longoria smashed three home runs, two doubles, one triple, had 11 RBI scored six runs and compiled an amazing .400 batting average, .833 slugging percentage and a .424 on-base-percentage.

Wareham's Wade LeBlanc (Alabama) was named Pitcher of the Week. Starting in two games for a total of 15 innings, LeBlanc had a 1-0 record, 0.00 ERA and racked up 15 K's against opposing hitters.