08/10/09 - CCBL Champion Will Come out of the West - Bourne/Cotuit Final
By SCOTT EATON
CARY, NC: Not since the Wareham Gatemen won back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002 has a CCBL Champion come out of the Western Division. That will change this year as the Bourne Braves will have home field advantage in a best-of-3 championship series that will decide the 2009 Cape Cod Baseball League Championship.
Led by '09 CCBL MVP Kyle Roller (East Carolina), the Bourne Braves won the Western Division regular season title and then defeated the Orleans Firebirds in two games to advance to the championship. The Cotuit Kettleers, led by base stealing phenom Chris Bisson (Kentucky) and power hitting catcher Cameron Rupp (Texas), finished 2nd in the West. The Kettleers defeated the Wareham Gatemen in a one game, first round playoff before defeating the team with the best record during the regular season, Yarmouth-Dennis, in a deciding game 3 that sent Cotuit to the finals for the 2nd consecutive season.
The 2008 Cotuit Kettleers were swept 2-0 by the Harwich Mariners in last year's championship series. Cotuit has won a league best 14 championships and Bourne is looking for their first title since joining the Cape Cod Baseball League along with the Brewster Whitecaps in 1988. This will be a fun matchup featuring the offensive power of Bourne vs the speedy Cotuit Kettleers.
Both teams also possess fine pitching staffs as the Kettleers and Braves finished 3rd and 4th respectively in team ERA. Cotuit has a number of quality starters; including Justin Grimm (Georgia), Seth Blair (Arizona State) and Chad Bell (Walters St CC), who threw a no-hitter earlier this season. Bourne is led by Seth Manness (East Carolina), Alex Wimmers (Ohio State) and Eric Cantrell (George Washington). The Braves bullpen is also anchored by Stephen Harold (UNC-Wilmington); who is 4th in the league with 6 saves.
Roller was close to a triple crown; leading the league in homeruns and rbi while finishing 2nd to Todd Cunningham (Falmouth) in batting average. The Braves are also bolstered by the hard hitting Stefen Romero (Oregon State) and CCBL 10th Player Recipient Pierre LePage (UCONN).
Cotuit counters with the spead of Chris Bisson and Rico Noel (Coastal Carolina) who had 36 and 26 stolen bases respectively. The Kettleer lineup also features some big bats; led by catcher Cameron Rupp OF Zach Cone (Arkansas) and Kevin Patterson (Auburn).
Game 1 of the CCBL Championship Series begins on Tuesday, August 11th at 7:00 @ Doran Park on the campus of Upper Cape Cod Regional Vocational High School. Game 2 will be played at Lowell Park in Cotuit on Wednesday, August 12th @ 3:00pm. If necessary, a deciding game 3 will be played back in Bourne at 7:00 on Thursday. Click here for directions to both ballparks.