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A Brief Introduction to the Cape Cod League

Updated: Jun 28, 2023


(Photo Courtesy of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks)


Monday night, LSU won their first national championship since 2009 with their 18-4 win over the Florida Gators, thus ending the 2023 college baseball season. But, just because the official NCAA season is over doesn't mean we have to stop watching college baseball. Players across the country are continuing their seasons by participating in college summer leagues, whether it be in Massachusetts, Alaska, the Great Lakes, or the Appalachian Mountains. College baseball is still available for our entertainment, if you know where to watch.


The Cape Cod League in Massachusetts is considered the premier college baseball summer league, with the best players from schools across the country. This season, the Cape Cod league celebrates its 100th anniversary, and almost every game is available to watch on D1baseball.com and YouTube.


Players are typically recommended to Cape Cod League teams by their college coaches, which is why you will sometimes see players from the same schools on the same Cape Cod League teams. Players returning to the league for a second or third year will often stay on the same team they played for previously. With the NCAA Tournament and Team USA training camp still ongoing when the Cape League starts, there's a large need for temporary players early in the season. As of June 26, there have been 120 players released, just 16 days into the season. But now that the Men's College World Series has ended, the rosters have mostly settled and shouldn't have as much turnover moving into the summer.


Format

The season actually started June 10 this year, during NCAA Super Regionals and will run until roughly mid-August. The 10-team league is split into two divisions of five teams each. Each team plays its division foes six times and their non-division opponents four times, for a total of 44 regular season games. The top four teams from each division will make the playoffs, which consists of three best-of-three rounds to determine a champion.


Because there are ties and rainouts, standings typically are determined by points. Each team receives two points for a win and one for a tie. Games are almost exclusively played in the evening, with start times varying between 4:45 EDT and 7:00 EDT.


The Cape Cod League All Star Game takes place July 22 in Harwich, MA, and festivities include a Home Run Derby before the game.



Teams (East Division)

Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, (9-5-1)

The YD Red Sox currently lead the East Division with 19 points in the standings, just ahead of the Harwich Mariners. Founded in 1946 as the Yarmouth Indians, the Red Sox last won the Cape Cod League in 2016. Distinguished alumni include Whit Merrifield ('08), Buster Posey ('06-'07), Walker Buehler ('14), Chris Sale ('09) and countless others. YD leads the Cape League in Slugging Percentage and ERA.


So far this summer, the Red Sox offense has been paced by the duo of Hunter Hines (Mississippi State) and Max Viera (Seton Hall). Hines leads the Cape with 6 home runs and 21 RBIs, while Viera is hitting .339 with 9 stolen bases in just 15 games. Khal Stephen (Purdue) has been very good to start the summer, with a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings, while Hector Garcia (Hope International) has provided quality innings with a 1.74 ERA over three games pitched. The Sox currently have 3 players inactive due to Team USA invites: two-way star Mitch Voit (Michigan), catcher Ryan Stafford (Cal Poly), and first baseman Anthony Martinez (UC-Irvine).


Key Players

RHP Khal Stephan (Purdue)

1B Hunter Hines (Mississippi State)

OF Jacob Jenkins-Cowart (East Carolina)

IF RJ Austin (Vanderbilt)

IF Casey Cook (North Carolina)


Harwich Mariners (9-5-0)

The Mariners sit just half a game back of the YD Red Sox for first place in the East Division, with 18 points. Harwich, founded in 1927, hasn't won the Cape Cod League since 2011. Despite having been around for 96 years, the Mariners have only five total championships. Distinguished alumni include Tim Lincecum ('05), Ian Happ ('13-'14), Aaron Nola ('12), and Dustin Ackley ('08).


The Mariners have five players currently inactive due to Team USA invites. An entire starting infield of Ethan Anderson (Virginia), Griff O'Ferrall (Virginia), Kaelen Culpepper (Kansas State), Nick Kurtz (Wake Forest), and Seaver King (Wake Forest) are all currently absent for Harwich, and yet, they're still near the top of the division. A big reason why is the performances of pitchers like Andrew Armstong (Florida State) and Tom Chmielewski (Princeton), who both have ERAs under 2.00 and over 9 innings pitched.


Unfortunately, the Mariners recently released Hunter Fitz-Gerald (Old Dominion), who had led the team with a .349 average in 12 games; while both Kaelen Culpepper (Kansas State) and Seaver King (Wake Forest) were very productive before departing for Team USA training camp. Duke's Devin Obee and Andrew Yu were fringe players for the Blue Devils last season, but they will be looking for the Cape Cod League to spark their potential breakouts ahead of next year. Kennedy Jones, a transfer from UNC-Greensboro heading to South Carolina, is hitting .222 with 6 extra base hits and 13 RBIs over 12 games. He'll be the key man in the lineup as the Mariners await the return of their USA teammates.


Key Players

RHP Chandler Marsh (Georgia)

RHP Andrew Armstrong (Florida State)

IF Mason Guerra (Oregon State)

OF Kennedy Jones (South Carolina)

OF Lorenzo Carrier (Miami, FL)


Brewster Whitecaps (6-7-2)

The Brewster Whitecaps just missed repeating as Cape Cod League Champions in 2022, after losing in the final series to the Bourne Braves. The Whitecaps are a newer team, founded in 1988. Their championship in 2021 was their third. Famous alumni include Sean Casey ('94), Billy Wagner ('92), Aaron Judge ('12), and Ryan Braun ('04).


Brewster doesn't have any players missing due to Team USA Invites, and the lineup is anchored by a pair of Florida State outfielders in Jaime Ferrer and James Tibbs. But 15 games into the season, it's Indiana catcher Brock Tibbitts and South Alabama outfielder Will Turner leading the Whitecaps in hitting. Tibbitts is hitting .343 but has no extra base hits, while Turner is hitting .308 with a homer. Louisville pitcher Patrick Forbes is playing both ways and hitting .261 with a home run in 23 at-bats so far. As a team, the Whitecaps are hitting just .236.


The early star on the mound for the Whitecaps has been Josh Timmerman (Ohio State), who is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts over 11.2 innings. Missouri's Javyn Pimental leads the Whitecaps in innings pitched with 15 over 3 starts, featuring a 1.20 ERA and 14 strikeouts. Despite those electric numbers, the Whitecaps have a 4.74 ERA as a staff, but they are hoping the recent roster moves have solidified their pitching.


Key Players

LHP Javyn Pimental (Missouri)

C Ike Irish (Auburn)

IF Trevor Werner (Texas A&M)

OF James Tibbs (Florida State)

OF Jaime Ferrer (Florida State)


Orleans Firebirds (6-8-0)

The Orleans Firebirds were founded in 1928 and have won 11 Cape League titles, but they haven't won any since 2005. Famous alumni include Nomar Garciaparra ('93), Matt Wieters ('06), Marcus Stroman ('10-'11), and Corbin Burnes ('15).


Infielders Jo Oyama (UC-Irvine) and Andy Blake (Duke) lead the Firebirds in hitting. Oyama is hitting .355 with three triples, while Blake is hitting .294 with a double. Austin Overn, who has since departed for Team USA training camp, was hitting .237 but had 7 stolen bases in just 11 games. Eddie King Jr., who had a breakout season for Louisville this past spring, is struggling early. He's hitting .160, with no extra base hits in 25 at-bats to start the summer. As a team they are hitting a paltry .217.


A pair of starting pitchers in Daniel Avitia (Grand Canyon) and Dylan Jacobs (Stetson) have been outstanding in their first three appearances. Avitia is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 15 strikeouts over 13.1 innings, while Jacobs has a 1.98 ERA over 13.2 innings. Cam Leiter, a highly touted transfer heading to Florida State from Central Florida, is struggling after giving up 3 earned runs earlier this week, bringing his summer ERA to 13.50. Konnor Eaton (George Mason) and Jake Peppers (Jacksonville State) have also impressed.


Brandon Neely (Florida) and Austin Overn (USC) are both inactive due to Team USA invites.


Key Players

RHP Greysen Carter (Vanderbilt)

LHP Chase Lummus (Texas)

RHP Cam Leiter (Florida State)

IF Jack Penney (Notre Dame)

OF Eddie King Jr. (Louisville)


Chatham Anglers (4-9-1)

The Chatham Anglers have not had a good start to their summer and are already 4.5 games back in the East Division. They haven't won the Cape Cod league since 1998, and that drought doesn't appear to be ending in 2023. One of the original teams founded in 1923, the Anglers only have five total championships. Famous alumni include Thurmon Munson ('67), Zac Gallen ('14-'15), Jeff Bagwell ('87-88), and Evan Longoria ('05).


The roster includes four players from Oklahoma State, such as stud outfielders Nolan Schubart and Carson Benge. Benge has only played in 6 games but is hitting .455 in 22 AB's with a triple, while Schubart is hitting .250 in 36 AB's with three doubles. Catcher Hudson White, who is transferring to Arkansas from Texas Tech, is having an abysmal start to the summer and is hitting .071 in 14 ABs. Chris Maldonado (Vanderbilt) and Kaeden Kent (Texas A&M) are likewise struggling. Both are hitting under .250 and have combined for just on extra base hit between them. The Anglers leading hitters are Xavier Casserilla (Seminole State College) and Lyle Miller-Green (Austin Peay). Casserilla is hitting .296 with three extra base hits while Miller-Green is hitting .281 with two home runs.


Hayden Durke (Rice) and Trey Gibson (Liberty) have each gotten chances as starters this summer and both have ERAs over 12.00. Georgia Tech's Aeden Finateri has been decent, throwing 10.0 innings with a 3.60 ERA, while Liam Paddock (Gonzaga) has been their best pitcher, with a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings. But, a 5.75 team ERA is a big reason why the Anglers are in last place.


Brody Brecht (Iowa), Parker Smith (Rice), and JJ Wetherholt (West Virginia) are all inactive due to Team USA invites.


Key Players

RHP Tanner Witt (Texas)

RHP Aeden Finateri (Georgia Tech)

C Hudson White (Arkansas)

IF Chris Maldonaldo (Vanderbilt)

IF Kaeden Kent (Texas A&M)

OF Carson Benge (Oklahoma State)

OF Nolan Schubart (Oklahoma State)


Teams (West Division)

Cotuit Kettleers (10-5-0)

The Cotuit Kettleers are the Cape Cod League's version of the New York Yankees. Their league championship in 2019 was their 15th all-time, more than any other team. Founded in 1947, Cotuit has such distinguished alumni as Joe Girardi ('84), Jeff Kent ('88), Justin Smoak ('06), and Chase Utley ('99). The Kettleers lead the West Division with 20 points, 4 clear of second place Wareham.


Camron Hill (Georgia Tech) is the reigning Cape Cod Pitcher of the Week and is coming off a perfect 4-inning outing over Orleans. In 5 games, the Georgia native is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 12.2 innings, with 19 strikeouts to just 2 walks. With a successful summer, the lefty could be poised to break out for the Yellow Jackets in 2024. Rafe Schlesinger (Miami), is another ACC arm that is looking impressive to begin the season. In 10.2 innings he has a 0.84 ERA and 10 strikeouts. Tucker Novotny (Minnesota) is the only pitcher to have started three or more games so far for the Kettleers and it hasn't gone as planned. He's 0-1 with a 6.54 ERA in 11 innings, but all of that damage occurred this week when he gave up eight earned runs in just 3.1 innings to Bourne. As a staff, the Kettleers have a 3.54 ERA.


Brett Bateman (Minnesota) was leading the entire Cape League with a .500 average in 46 AB's, but he was released by Cotuit June 26. NC State's Kalae Harrison has impressed early with a .346 average, while his former teammate Cannon Peebles (Transfer Portal) is hitting .233 with just one extra base hit in 30 at bats. The Kettleers are hitting .252 as a team, but Indiana stars Josh Pyne and Carter Mathison are a combined 1-27 to start the summer.


The Kettleers are missing RJ Green (Cal), Christian Moore (Tennessee), and Malcolm Moore (Stanford) due to Team USA invites.


Key Players

C Cannon Peebles (Transfer Portal)

IF Emilien Pitre (Kentucky)

IF Josh Pyne (Indiana)

OF Carter Mathison (Indiana)

OF Ryan Waldschmidt (Kentucky)


Wareham Gateman (7-6-2)

Wareham is two games back of Cotuit in the West Division and due to a pair of tie games, is sitting on 16 points. Founded in 1927, the Gatemen have won the Cape Cod League nine times, most recently in 2018. Notable alumni include Mo Vaughn, Kyle Schwarber ('12-'13), Lance Berkman ('96), and Paul Skenes ('21).


Nick McLain, the youngest brother of Cincinnati Reds rookie Matt McLain, currently leads the Gatemen in hitting with a .374 average and 3 home runs, in just 9 games played this season. Catcher Jedier Hernandez (Seton Hall) is hitting .353 in 17 at bats, while David Glancy (Notre Dame) and Landon Wallace (West Virginia) both have multiple home runs with 3 and 2, respectively. Ryan Campos (Arizona State) has struggled in 22 at bats, hitting .136. As a team, Wareham is hitting .246 with a league leading13 home runs.


On the pitching side, Wareham has gotten dominant outings from its two primary starters in Coleman Picard (Bryant) and Mark Manfredi (Dayton). In 14 innings, Picard has a 1.93 ERA with 13 strikeouts, while Manfredi has a 2.08 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 13 innings. Daniel Frontera, another Seton Hall player having a great start to his Cape League campaign, is 2-0 with a 1.68 ERA in 10.2 innings of relief.


Wareham is only missing Eldridge Armstrong III (San Diego State) and Cam Cannarella (Clemson) from their roster due to Team USA invites.


Key Players

RHP Yoel Tejeda (Florida State)

RHP Casey Tallent (Clemson)

C Ryan Campos (Arizona State)

IF Sebastian Murillo (Georgia)

OF Landon Wallace (West Virginia)

OF Nick McLain (Arizona State)


Bourne Braves (7-7-1)

The defending Cape Cod League champs are currently sitting in third place of the West Division and 2.5 games back of Cotuit. One of the original teams that founded the modern Cape Cod League in 1923, Bourne has won only 3 championships in 100 years. Notable alumni include Pete Alonso ('15), Kevin Youkilis ('00), and Mark Mulder ('97).


Derek Bender (Coastal Carolina) is the reigning Cape Cod player of the week. He's hitting .567 over 30 at bats with 3 doubles, a triple, and three home runs. Boston College catcher Adonys Guzman is struggling, hitting .091 in just 11 AB's, but Cam Foster (Liberty) has impressed by hitting .281 with three doubles. Virginia Tech All-Freshman Garrett Michel is hitting .289 with two doubles and a home run. As a team, Bourne is hitting .273 to lead the Cape League.


The pitching has not been bad, either, as the team sports a 3.73 staff ERA. Matt Duffy (Canisius) had been outstanding in three starts with a 1.88 ERA and 16 strikeouts, while Logan Evans (Pittsburgh) has been solid with a 4.50 ERA in 14 innings. But, both players have since been released. Kade Grundy (Louisville) could be the breakout star out of the bullpen for the Braves. Grundy has a 1.13 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 8 innings. Dalton Pence (North Carolina) has also been really good and is yet to give up a run in his first 4 innings of work.


Bourne only has one player in Kodey Shojinaga (Kansas) missing due to Team USA invites.


Key Players

RHP Marcus Morgan (Iowa)

RHP David Falco (Maryland)

C/1B Derek Bender (Coastal Carolina)

1B Garrett Michel (Virginia Tech)

IF Jonathan Vastine (Vanderbilt)

IF Kendall Diggs (Arkansas)

OF Gage Harrelson (Texas Tech)


Hyannis Harbor Hawks (7-6-1)

Another of the original four Cape Cod League teams, the Hyannis Harbor Hawks haven't won the title since 1991. Like the Bourne Braves, Hyannis has only three titles in 100 years of Cape League participation. Distinguished alumni include Jason Varitek ('91,'93), Buck Showalter ('76), Albert Belle ('87), and Brian Wilson ('02). Sitting on 15 points, the Harbor Hawks are 2.5 games behind Cotuit in the West Division.


Former Clemson break-out star Billy Amick (Transfer Portal) is the hot bat in the Hyannis lineup. Amick is hitting .368 with two doubles and two home runs. Cam Smith (Florida State) is the only other player on the roster with two home runs, after hitting a lead-off home run in each of the last two nights. Outfielders Will Taylor (Clemson) and Trey Lipsey (Ohio State) have been cold, with both players hitting under .200. Zach Ehrhard (Oklahoma State) has yet to get a hit in 22 AB's this summer. Bradke Lohry, a transfer heading to Tennessee, leads the team with four doubles. As a team, Hyannis is hitting a poorly .225.


The Harbor Hawk pitching, however, has been really good. Sporting a 3.43 ERA, the pitching staff is led by Thaniel Thumper (Kansas), Hayden Frank (Lipscomb), Jay Driver (Harvard), and Jamie Arnold (Florida State). All four pitchers have thrown nine innings or more and sport sub-3.50 ERAs. Driver has yet to give up a run in nine innings of work. Cade Obermueller (Iowa) has also been outstanding in 5.1 innings of scoreless work.


Hyannis only has one player, Mason Nichols (Ole Miss), missing due to Team USA invites.


Key Players

LHP Cade Obermueller (Iowa)

LHP Jamie Arnold (Florida State)

C Brady Donay (Virginia Tech)

IF Billy Amick (Transfer Portal)

IF Cameron Smith (Florida State)

OF Will Taylor (Clemson)


Falmouth Commodores (3-10-2)

It has been a rough start to the summer for the Falmouth Commodores, who have the worst record of the ten Cape League teams. One of the original four founding teams, Falmouth has won 14 titles, but none since 1980. Notable alums include Jeff Weaver ('97), Adley Rutschman ('17), Tino Martinez ('86), and Darin Erstad ('93-'94). The Commodores have lost five in a row as of this writing and are six games back of Cotuit.


Noteworthy, the Falmouth Commodores are missing the most players due to Team USA invites. Jac Caglianone (Florida), Charlie Condon (Georgia), Ethan Gourson (UCLA), Jace Laviolette (Texas A&M), Mason Molina (Texas Tech), and Matt Scott (Stanford) are all attempting to represent their country this summer. With so many position players missing, it's no wonder Falmouth is struggling recently. Laviolette, Condon, and Goursen were all playing before heading to Team USA. Laviolette is still the team's leading hitter after going 8-21. Tab Tracy, a teammate of Laviolette's at Texas A&M, is now the team's active leader with a .300 average in 30 AB's, but he has no extra base hits.


Catchers Ross Highfill (Mississippi State) and Walker Janek (Sam Houston State) are struggling offensively after decent early performances. John Spikerman (Oklahoma) is hitting .160, while Oregon State stars Travis Bazzana and Gavin Turley are a combined 1-20. Highly touted sophomore Colby Shelton, who is transferring from Alabama to Florida, is hitting .143. The team as a whole just isn't performing, as indicated by the .217 average.


Pitching hasn't been much better for the Commodores, who feature a 4.81 staff ERA. Carson Montgomery (Florida State), the only active pitcher to have started three games this summer, has a 5.78 ERA in 9.1 innings. Louisville's Tucker Biven has had a nightmare start to his Cape campaign, with a 35.10 ERA in 3.1 innings. NC State teammates Rio Britton and Sam Highfill, however, have pitched well and sport sub-3.00 ERAs. KC Hunt (Mississippi State) is also giving Bulldog fans reason to hope for his return, as he has a 1.17 ERA in 7.2 innings. Braden Davis (Sam Houston State) is the team's active leader in strikeouts with 11 and has yet to give up a run in 7.1 innings.


Key Players

LHP Parker Coil (Arkansas)

RHP Sam Highfill (North Carolina State)

C Ross Highfill (Mississippi State)

IF Travis Bazzana (Oregon State)

IF Gavin Kilen (Louisville)

IF Colby Shelton (Florida)

OF John Spikerman (Oklahoma)

OF Gavin Turley (Oregon State)


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