For the second straight season, a Gatemen will be crowned the Thurman Munson Award winner.
As the Cape Cod Baseball League regular season came to a close on Wednesday evening, Wareham second baseman Cole Freeman sat alone atop the leaderboards in batting average. Freeman, a rising senior out of Louisiana State University, finished the season with a .374 batting average, 21 points ahead of second place Ernie Clement (Harwich).
Freeman has been one of the more exciting players to watch in the league ever since he made his first start for the Gatemen back on June 24.
Over the course of 29 starts, Freeman obtained 14 multi-hit games and went hitless just four times. His speed on the base paths has been well document, most notably completing the 60-yard dash at the Fenway Park workout in a remarkable 6.38 seconds.
Freeman ended up with 13 stolen bases for the regular season, one of three Wareham players (Joey Bartosic, Robbie Metz) to finish with double digit steals.
Despite being known as a ground ball, singles hitter, Freeman still has five doubles, and currently leads the Gatemen in OPS.
While he has not been able to fully develop into a power threat, Freeman said his work on lifting the ball is slowly starting to pay off.
“I came up here looking to improve on driving the ball, hitting with some more authority,” said Freeman. “I wanted to work on my bunting game, both push and drag. I didn’t come up here trying to win a title, but as it closer to the end of the season, and saw that my average was up there it started creeping into my mind. I did whatever I could to continue my streak and luckily it planned out for me.”
Due to the fact that you need at least 2.7 plate appearances per team game to qualify for the title, Freeman was not eligible for the award until his start on July 26 at Brewster.
Over his final seven games, however, Freeman maintained his first place standing in the race for the Thurman Munson Award, and on Wednesday evening, officially joined Andrew Calica as the second straight Wareham Gatemen to win the batting title.