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Archive for the ‘UCONN’ Category

Cape League: From Cape Cod to Cape Dog

Posted by Joshua Kummins on July 9, 2010

Matt Barnes is one of 11 UCONN Huskies on the Cape this summer. He was the Opening Night starter for Wareham. (UCONN Athletics photo)

It was a dream season for Jim Penders and his Connecticut Huskies.

Their impressive resume: 48-16 record. Top 25 National Ranking. Host of an NCAA Regional. Those accolades earn respect from other big-time programs and the chance for a dream summer as well.

This summer, the Huskies sent 11 players to the Cape. A number that could only rival some of the nation’s elite programs: Texas, North Carolina, and Florida to name a few.

Starting first baseman and cleanup hitter Mike Nemeth is one of three Huskies playing at Doran Park, for the Bourne Braves. He joins teammates Nick Ahmed and Will Jolin. Nemeth led the Huskies in batting this spring, hitting .386 and starting in all 64 games. He became the school’s all-time hits leader this spring during the Huskies’ late-season run at the NCAA Regional, which they were ultimately chosen to host.

Ahmed started 63 games and hit .300 as the regular shortstop, while Jolin sat out the season as a redshirt.

Four Huskies don the Cranberry colors of the Wareham Gatemen: Matt Barnes, John Andreoli, L.J. Mazilli, George Springer.

Barnes gained national attention during his start at Brewster on June 26, when he faced Red Sox draft pick and Brewster top hurler Anthony Ranuado (LSU). He pitched well, but took the 5-3 loss against one of the nation’s best, pitching seven innings and allowing just four hits and an earned run. He also recorded a whopping 14 strikeouts against the Whitecaps. Hitting double digits in K’s is nothing new for the sophomore as he led the staff with 75 in 15 games.

Andreoli hit .362, third-best for the Huskies as their starting right fielder. Mazilli has some pretty solid family lineage in professional baseball as he is the son of former Major League Baseball player, coach and manager Lee Mazzilli. He was a designated hitter for UCONN this season as he hit .312 in 26 games.

Springer is a returning Cape Leaguer as he played in Wareham in 2009 as well. This spring, he started all 64 games in center field and hit .337.

Two Nutmeg State representatives also call Chatham home in Kevin Vance and Joe Pavone. Vance was the regular closer for the Huskies as he allowed five earned runs in 18.2 innings over 17 appearances. Pavone was a catcher for UCONN and hit .273 in 39 games.

Elliott Glynn is also a returning Orleans Firebird that went 7-3 in 15 starts with a solid 2.99 ERA this spring.

One reasonable question you could ask about this is: What is the connection between the Cape and Connecticut? Two Huskies coaches have spent time on the Cape during the summer months, while one legendary field manager has his own connection to the Nutmeg State.

Jim Penders’ assistant coach Chris Podeszwa is in his fourteenth season in the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox dugout, while Justin Blood spent the 2005 summer with Y-D as a pitching coach. The CCBL’s winningest manager John Schiffner is also a big supporter of the Coach Penders and his program on the rise as he spends the rest of the year as a coach and history teacher at Plainfield (CT) High School, less than an hour away from the UCONN campus.

When All-Star rosters are announced in the not-so-distant future, the Huskies will be well represented on July 28 at Fenway Park and when the summer is over UCONN baseball can be put on the map with among the nation’s elite.

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Posted in Cape Cod Baseball League, Cape League Spotlight, UCONN | Leave a Comment »