WAREHAM, MA: The Wareham Gatemen will look to defend their 2012 Cape Cod Baseball League Championship with a roster that includes just 2 returning positional players and 5 returning members of the pitching staff. Those 7 veterans will be joined by 22 fresh faces who together form a talented roster of some of the best college baseball players in the nation.
Hightlighting the returning players is 2012 CCBL Playoff MVP and All-League outfield Kyle Schwarber (Indiana). Schwarber had one of the most prolific offensive seasons in Wareham Gatemen history and will anchor an offense that almost entirely new to the Cape Cod League. Massachusetts native and catcher Matt Walsh (Franklin Pierce) will also return to Wareham and is expected to share catching duties with highly-touted freshman prospect Blake Baxendale (Arkansas). The rest of the Gatemen infield will be brand new to Gatemen fans.
This young group, that features 5 freshman, including the 4th best high school player in the state of Alabama, Mikey White who will play shortstop for the Crimson Tide this spring. 2B Vance Vizcaino (Tennessee), 1B Christopher Chinea (LSU), 3B Daniel Rosebaum (Louisville) and INF/RHP Will Schwanke (Arkansas) are the other freshman infielders that will play on the stone dust at Spillane Field. Sophomore 1B Trevor Podratz (Hawaii) and Junior Tino Lipson (UC-Davis) will add a veteran presence to this group. Lipson was an All-Star last summer in the Alaska Summer League.
The outfield will be a more experience group than the infield although almost all of the players will be new to the Cape Cod League. This group includes Sean McMullen from LSU who transfers to Baton Rouge after a stellar junior college career. Jeffery Boehm will be one to two University of Kentucky players to come to Wareham and he was an all-star in the Perfect Game League last summer. Will Drake is a speedy outfielder from the University of Michigan who has recently transferred to the University of Cincinatti. Adam Toth continues a long line of talented Baylor players to come to Wareham.
If 2012 was the “Year of the Homerun” in the Cape Cod Baseball League, perhaps the group of arms that will make up the 2013 Wareham Gatemen pitching staff is an indication that this year will be dominated by the pitchers. Not only do the Gatemen arms looking impressive but they could probably form to make a pretty good basketball team considering the height of this group. Fourteen of the Fifteen pitchers on the staff are at least 6 feet tall and 8 of them are at least 6’3″ tall. The tallest of them is 6’9″ Adam Schemenauer (Louisville) who was schedule to pitch in Wareham last summer but missed his entire freshman season due to injury. Like Schemenauer, 6’6″ Michael Cederoth (San Diego State), was also on the original Gatemen roster a year ago but he was sidelined late in the college baseball season and has to wait until this year to pitch across the country on the Cape.
The heart of the Gatemen pitching staff are a trio of returning pitchers – Jared Ruxer (Louisville), Jonathan Holder (Mississippi), Kurt McCune (LSU) and Joe Filomeno (Louisville). Ruxer returns as the most experienced starting pitcher on the Gatemen and Holder and Filomeno were part of the most dominating bullpen in the league a year ago. Kurt McCune (LSU), whose injury allowed him only 4 appearances a year ago, also returns as does local pitcher Sean Newcomb (Hartford) who is from Middleboro, MA.
Freshman Kyle Cody is among a talented group of pitchers as part of the highly touted University of Kentucky recruiting class that ranked as one of the best in the country. Trey Killian (Arkansas) is one of the three Razorbacks to make the trek to Wareham is another top ranked arm. Tucker Simpson (Florida) and Will Coursen-Carr (Indiana) round out the freshman pitchers for the Gatemen. Spencer Turnbull (Alabama), Ryan Riga (Ohio State), Bradley Roney (Southern Miss) and Ryan Smith (Baylor).
The 2013 season begins on June 9th in a preseason game vs the defending New England Collegiate Baseball League Champion Newport Gulls at Spillane Field. The CCBL regular season opens up on Wednesday, June 12th vs the Chatham Anglers – also at home.