By Dylan Wolter
August 1, 2015
Each year the Kettleers have a player vote for the Offensive player of the year and the Pitcher of the year. Head Coach Mike Roberts made sure to point out that the players don’t vote based on a popularity contest; it’s an honest vote as to who is most deserving.
Jonathan Woodcock (Virginia Tech) won Pitcher of the year, practically a no brainer. Woodcock started six games this year, winning three of them and holding a 1.50 ERA. A cape league all star, Woodcock finished with 34 strikeouts in 42 innings and allowed only 11 walks. He has easily been the most consistent pitcher of the year and a constant ace for the Kettleers.
Woodcock was just happy he could receive the award, thinking that there were other guys who deserved it just as much. “The staff on this team has helped pave the road for the majority of the season so there was a good amount of competition,” claimed the always modest Woodcock.
Michael Paez (Coastal Carolina) fittingly won Offensive player of the year due to his hard work both on and off the field. With one game to go Paez owns a .294 batting average with 16 runs, 10 RBI’s, 21 walks, eight stolen bases, and one home run. The on base machine started at shortstop for the all star team, and led his team in hits, runs, stolen bases, and walks.
“Michael has played every day, he’s really gotten after it and worked extremely hard,” mentioned his head coach, “he is very deserving.” Paez was excited to add some hardware to his collection but claims awards are always looked at as a bonus. “You come here to just get better,” said the dedicated Paez.
Perhaps the most significant award that was received on Saturday was the Daniel J. Silva Sportsmanship award. The award is given to one person in the league who best represents strong will and the sportsmanship aspect of the game. It is decided by the umpires and officials who have a connection with players not always seen from the stands.
The award was given to Will Haynie (Alabama), having no clue he was even considered. “It’s a real honor. I actually had no idea I was being presented with that today.” His sportsmanship stems from his respect for the game and respect for the players on the other side.
Director of Officiating, Sol Yaz, has been presenting players with the award for 13 years. He claims it’s a terrific way to get the umpires involved and present an award to someone so deserving, “It’s an award highly regarded by the league and by us.” Yaz noted even through Haynie’s struggles, he never lost his ability to play the game the right way and never lost his respect.
Mike Roberts also felt his catcher epitomized the honor of the Daniel J Silva award, saying, “I’m extremely appreciative that the umpires would think that highly of Will Haynie. I caught my whole life and communication with umpires behind the plate is really important.”
Haynie has had to face failure to not only get better on the field but off it as well. He has worked harder than just about anyone on the team this year and no one is more deserving. This is the first catcher that has won the award in Mike Roberts’s tenure for the Kettleers.
Debut of Luke Olson- Not often does a player arrive to the ballpark mid game, greet his teammates, then pitch only innings later. This is the story of Luke Olson (George Washington). Kevin Ginkel (Arizona) was released on Sunday morning, clearing the way for Olson, a submariner who had played in the New England Collegiate Baseball League for a majority of the summer.
Olson dazzled in the NECBL, recording eight saves with a 0.47 ERA. When he arrived in the second inning, he walked into the dugout and was gleefully greeted by his teammates and coaches. For Olson, he was still in shock that he got the call to join the prestigious Cape Cod League.
“Getting all the way up here is a dream come true,” remarked an overjoyed Olson after the game, “It’s pretty amazing. I did not expect it so it’s kind of weird.”
His debut couldn’t have started any better either. Olson replaced Daniel Brown (Mississippi St) in the seventh inning with a man on first and one out. His very first pitch, Olson induced a groundball to Spencer Gaa (Bradley) at third who was able to start an inning ending double play. Olson summarized his debut perfectly, “One pitch was awesome, that was perfect.”
Olson did admit there were some nerves going for him in his very hectic day, claiming there are much more fans in the Cape than the NECBL. Still you could hardly tell as he threw 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball to end the game. Whether he is here for one more game or the entirety of the playoffs, Olson has an experience he won’t soon forget and the Kettleers have an arm that can do some damage.