The 2007 Wareham Gatemen finished the season on a high note defeating division rival Hyannis and division champion Bourne but overall, the team finished an uncharacteristic 15-29 and missed the playoffs. Under the direction of Head Coach Cooper Farris, the 2008 Gatemen are looking to bounce back and contend for the organization’s 7th Cape Cod Baseball League Championship. The Wareham roster is a balance of experienced CCBL veteran’s, impressive newcomers and some non-roster invitees that could boost the Gatemen lineup.
The pitching staff for Wareham will be bolstered by the return of several talented veterans from the 2007 staff that finished third in the leaque with a 2.99 era. Left-handed pitchers Dallas Keuchel (Arkansas), Andy Oliver (Oklahoma State) and Matt Bashore (Indiana) will all return to Wareham. Oliver was recently selected to tryout for Team USA and if chosen, may not come back to the Gatemen. Bashore was named to the Big-10 all-conference team along with teammate and returning CCBL All-Star Josh Phegley . Phegley returns to the Gatemen after a monster season at Indiana where he led the Big-10 in batting at .436 and rbi with 71. His 45 rbi in Big Ten games is a school and conference record. Other catchers coming to Wareham include Florida’s Buddy Munroe and Georgia Tech’s Cole Leonida.
Offensively, the Gatemen return a pair of outfielders from last year’s starting line-up. Blake Dean (LSU) returns after helping the Tigers claim the SEC Championship. He was named the SEC Tournament MVP after hitting a grandslam, a walk-off homer and a 2-run homer in the championship game to push LSU past Ole Miss. Russell Moldenhauer (Texas) also returns to Wareham after being named an all-conference player in the Big 12 and he will be joined by Longhorn teammate Connor Rowe in the Gatemen outfield. Rounding out the outfield for Wareham is Brett Eibner, an impressive freshman from Arkansas who led the Razorbacks with 47 rbi and was also 3-1 on the mound. Kipp Shutz will also roam the outfield for Wareham and is the third Indiana Hoosier on the Gatemen roster.
The Gatemen infield features only one returning player from 2007; Dustin Dickerson from Baylor. The rest of the infielders are led by first team, all-conference player Derek Dietrich from Georgia Tech. Dietrich started all 55 games at shortstop for the Yellow Jackets and finished among the top-10 in the ACC in homeruns, rbi, slugging percentage and total bases. His 14 homeruns were tops among freshman in the league. Ricky Hague from Rice will also play for Wareham after an impressive freshman season where he was named to the all-freshman team in Conference-USA where his .343 avg, 47 rbi and 8 homers were among the leaders on the 5th ranked Owls team. Other infielders will include Steve Liddle from Vanderbilt, Raynor Cambell from Baylor and Duke SS Jake Lemmerman.
The balance of the Gatemen pitching staff; led once again by Pitching Coach Ryan Beggs, include a number of talented players. Returning starter Kendal Volz from Baylor will take the hill for Wareham to join Keuchel and Oliver as returning starters. Joining him will be a number of freshman including Brandon Workman who made 20 appearances for the Big 12 tournament champion Longhorns. Robby Broach from Tulane boasted an impressive 5-2 record as a freshman and will join the Gatemen staff. Dean Kiekhefer (Louisville), Ben Blanton (Vanderbilt) and Josh Slaats (Hawaii) round out the Wareham freshman. Sophomores Mike Seander from Duke, Zach Brewster from Georgia Tech and Brandt Walker from Stanford will all add depth the to pitching staff.
A real boost to the Gatemen roster will come depending on the MLB draft and the final selection of players for Team USA. Mike Minor from Vanderbilt, along with Andy Oliver, has been selected to play for the national team for a 2nd consecutive year. Ike Davis from Arizona State has been signed as a non-roster invitee to play in Wareham for a 2nd consecutive season. Davis, a Golden Spikes Award Finalist, is among the offensive leaders in the PAC-10 and is equally impressive on the mound. Also signed as non-roster invitees is Diallo Fon from Arizona who would return to the Gatemen for his 3rd season and LHP pitcher from Texas, Riley Boening.