2 July 2008

Fireworks for the Fourth expected in key holiday matchups

By Matt Rice

By Barry Donahue
Brewster slugger James Meador hits a homerun in the first inning of their win over Harwich.


As the madness of the Fourth of July quickly descends on the region, Cape League teams are firming up their lineups as the season kicks into high gear.

Brewster continued to sit atop the East Division after winning five of their last seven. They earned a key win over second place Harwich last Friday to keep some distance between them and the Mariners. They followed that win up with wins over Cotuit and Wareham before losing to Orleans on Tuesday night.

The Whitecaps will play at Harwich on the Fourth of July, then theyll host the defending league champs Y-D on July 5.

Connor Powers leads the team with a .327 average, with a team high 30 total bases and 10 RBI.

Powers, Ryan Wheeler and Nate Lape are tied for second in the league with three homeruns apiece. Wheeler leads the league with eight extra-base hits.

Ty Kelly has been steadily climbing up the average pole. Hes currently batting .304 after a three-hit night in their loss to Orleans on Tuesday night.

Tim Clubb continues to be the ace of the Whitecaps staff as his 3-0 record and .45 ERA are good for second in the league. Hes allowed only one earned run in 20-innings of work while striking out 15.

During his last outing against Cotuit, Clubb went seven strong, allowing an earned run on four hits.

Clubb is expected to be on the mound for the Fourth of July game against Harwich.

Buddy Baumann has also pitched well and is 1-0 with a 1.02 in three starts for Brewster this season.

The As continue to struggle as their overall team pitching has faltered to a 4.67 ERA, good for last in the league.

Despite the poor overall pitching, ace Sammy Solis continues to fire scoreless innings at opponents.

Solis was named Coca-Cola player of the Week, along with new teammate Cory Olson, after continuing to lead the league with a 2-0 record and a goose egg for an ERA. Solis hasnt allowed a run in 12-plus innings of work, while striking out 16.

Olson was presented with the award after 13 hits in 21 at-bats, good for a .619 average in six games so far for the As.

Grant Green still leads the team with a .421 average, including a 2-for-3 night in a one-run loss to Cotuit on Tuesday night.

The As will look to get on the right track as they travel to Orleans for their annual Fourth of July game against Orleans. Theyll host the Cardinals the following night.

After a small bump in the road last week, the upstart Mariners rebounded from their loss to Brewster last week, winning their next two of three games to remain on the heels of the first place Whitecaps.

Their .253 team batting average has them right in the middle of the pack, but their team ERA of 2.62, good for second in the league, has been the catalyst for Harwich this season.

Although only one of their starters has two wins, Ryan Quigley, of the seven pitchers that have started games for the Mariners this season, only one has an ERA above three.

Sean Black (1-0, 2.79 ERA), Steve Kalush (1-1, 1.46), Chris Manno (1-0, 2.93), Matt Zielinski (0-2, 2.45) and Quigley (2-0, 2.25) all have pitched well as starters.

J.T. Wise has made his return to the Mariners a success so far. In eight games, hes batting .400 with a homerun and three RBI.

Tommy Medica is also batting .400 in five games while DJ Belfonte (.294), Brian Kemp (.324) and Joe Sanders (.339) are hitting well for the Mariners.

The Mariners will get another crack at first-place Brewster as the two top teams in the East battle on the Fourth of July in Brewster.

The Cardinals managed to pull themselves out of last place with a defeat of the first place Whitecaps on Tuesday night. Orleans is currently third in team ERA at a respectable 2.88, but their continued issues at the plate continue. The team is still in last place in the league in hitting with a dismal .176 average.

But despite the apparent poor start to their season, Orleans is still 7-7 and find themselves within striking distance of Brewster and Harwich.

Matt Bowman is currently leading the team with a .280 average, while Matt Thomson is 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA.

The Cardinals will need a good holiday weekend showing to keep pace in the East. Theyll host Chatham on the Fourth of July, and then face the As again the next night in Chatham.