19 July 2006

Sergio Miranda anchors Marinersí infield

Although the season hasnít gone the way he would have liked, Harwich Mariners infielder Sergio Miranda is doing a good job keeping things in perspective. 

"We havenít done as well as I think this team is capable of doing, but just being here is a dream come true for every college player," said the switch-hitting speedster from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. "The level of talent in this league is unbelievable. Its known for its pitchers, but thereís still some great batters here, too." 

In his first summer on the Cape, Miranda, a junior-to-be at Virginia Commonwealth, has had to make more than a few adjustments to his game. 

"Because the pitchers are so good, you really have to be much more aggressive at the plate," he said. "Plus, because weíre using wooden bats, you canít just flick the bat to make contact and get a base hit like you can with metal bats. With wooden bats, you really need to be able to put something on the ball." 

Miranda is batting .238 and is tied for second on the team in stolen bases with five and hits with 20. 

"I havenít had to change too much when it comes to reading the pitchers (for stolen bases). In college, we get more of a scouting report on them before the games, but you still need to watch them and figure out their moves," he said. 

When asked what the best part of the Cape League is to him, Miranda wasted no time answering. 

"Oh, definitely the fans, no matter if weíre on the road or at home, thereís always someone there to root you on," he said. "Itís really unbelievable how into the games they are." 

The shortstop/second baseman has also proven himself to be reliable with the glove, committing just four errors in 21 games. 

"This is a close-knit, talented group of guys and I think we still havenít reached out potential," he said. 

By Matt Rice/ mrice@cnc.com