14 August 2005

Championship Week


Cardinals Capture Second Title In Three Years

Orleans, Mass. – For the second time in three years, the Orleans Cardinals defeated the Bourne Braves to become the Cape Cod Baseball League Champions. Coming off yesterday’s 10-1 Bourne victory, the Cardinals won the game by a score of 13-1, scoring nine runs in the first three innings and never looking back. 

Championship Orleans Cardinals
swilson / CCBL

     Despite the threatening skies looming ominously over Eldredge Park, 6,815 fans turned out to watch the deciding game of the series between the two best teams on the Cape this summer. 

     The home fans were not disappointed, as they watched their squad win in their typical team-fashion, receiving key contributions from Emmanuel Burriss (Kent State), Brett Pill (Cal State Fullerton), Robert Perry (Long Beach State) and Chris Pettit (Loyola Marymount). 

     Braves pitchers were not successful at shutting down the pesky Cardinal hitters, surrendering 18 hits throughout the game. 

     In the bottom of the first, the Cardinal bats tagged Bourne starter Forest Cory (William and Mary) for five quick runs. The rally began with runners at second and third, when first basemen Pill lined a two-run double just over the head of left fielder Ty Wright (Oklahoma State). The next batter, Robert Perry, reached on an infield hit before Pettit lined a home run down the left field line, clearing the bases and plating three more runs. 

     Staked to an early lead by his teammates, Orleans starter Brad Meyers (Loyola Marymount) pitched effectively, allowing only one run on nine hits through six and a third innings. Meyers issued no walks while striking out three during his 87 pitches. He left the game in the seventh to a standing ovation from the appreciative home crowd. Meyers finished the playoffs with 12 2/3 innings pitched and surrendered only one run. Meyers and Manny Burriss were named co-MVPs of the playoffs. As he did all season, Burriss was the perfect table-setter throughout playoff action. In the finale, the speedster went 4-for-6, reached base five times, scored three runs and stole one base. 

Cardinal Players and Fans start the celebration !
swilson / CCBL

     After the big first inning, Nick Manganaro (South Florida) took over for Cory in the second. He shut the Cardinals down successfully in his first inning of work, but quickly ran into trouble in the third. With runners at second and third and no outs, Manganaro walked Pettit to load the bases for right fielder Matt Camp (North Carolina State). Camp flied out to left field, but the hit was deep enough to allow Pill to tag up and score the sixth Cardinals run. The bases became full again when Manganaro hit Steve Singleton (San Diego) to give the number nine hitter Jason Jacobs a chance to add to the lead. Jacobs delivered, flying to deep left allowing another Cardinal runner to tag up and score. 

     The Cards weren’t done yet, as Manny Burriss (Kent State) hit a sharp single up the middle that scored two more and chased Manganaro from the game after only an inning and two thirds. Michael Crotta, a six-foot-seven-inch righty from Florida Atlantic, entered the game and was able to record the last out and retire the side, but not before Orleans had a 9-0 lead. 

Cardinals Win !
swilson / CCBL

     Bourne had their best chance to chip away at the deficit in the top of the fourth, loading the bases with two outs for designated hitter Brett Bartles (Duke). Bartles hit a flare single to right field that scored the first Bourne run. Josh Stinson (San Jacinto) rounded second and went for third thinking that Ty Wright was also going to score, but Wright was held by the third base coach, leaving Stinson hung up in no-man’s land between second and third. After a brief rundown, the tag was made and a golden opportunity was wasted, as the Braves scored only one run and still trailed by eight. 

     Crotta pitched well in his two and a third innings of work, cooling off the Cardinal bats and allowing no runs. 

     Jonathon Johnson, a submarine-throwing right-hander from Southern Mississippi, entered the game for Bourne in the bottom of the sixth. Johnson, who pitched only three innings during the regular season, quickly surrendered three singles and the bases were loaded yet again with no outs for the Cards. Orleans had a chance to completely put the game out of reach, but Johnson bore down and retired three batters in a row to escape the inning unscathed. 

     Dave Preziosi (Boston College) began the bottom of the seventh for the Braves. Preziosi, a lefty with a Dontrelle Willis-esque leg kick, allowed three Cardinals runners to reach base with two outs before he hit two consecutive batters, forcing in two more runs. This was enough for Bourne manager Harvey Shapiro, as he signaled to the bullpen and brought in Romas Hicks (Georgia State). Hicks was able to stop the bleeding by striking out Singleton to end the inning. 

     As he did in the deciding game against Chatham, ace closer Steven Wright (Hawaii) took the hill in the eighth to get the final six outs of the game. He made short work of the Braves in the eighth, retiring the side in order. After striking out Justin Henry to end the game, Wright threw his glove high in the air and raised his arms triumphantly before immediately being mobbed at the mound by joyful teammates and excited fans.  
Colin Reed, CCBL Intern, reed@capecodbaseball.org

John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of
Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 johnwgarner@earthlink.net 

Interns:  Stephanie Falco, Jason S. Itzkowitz, Jenna Kubesch, Michael Kydd, Nicholas Mucci, Colin Reed