For the second consecutive year, the Falmouth Commodores lead the way with six players named to the Cape Cod Baseball League All-League team as best of the best.
Pacing the runner-up Commodores was league most valuable player and two-time batting champion and shortstop Kevin Newman (Arizona), who led the league with a .380 batting average.
The hard-hitting Newman was joined on the All-League squad by Falmouth teammates Steven Duggar (Clemson) in the outfield, along with DH Conner Hale (LSU), pitchers Matt Hall (Missouri State), Kevin McCanna (Rice) and utility man Jake Madsen (Ohio).
Another winner was fire-balling reliever Phil Bickford (Cal State Fullerton) of the Cape League champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. Bickford led the league with eight saves, was named Outstanding Pro Prospect and was co-recipient of the league’s outstanding relief pitcher award along with Cotuit’s side-winding right-hander Adam Whitt (Nevada Reno). Bickford and Whitt were named All-League closers.
Bickford compiled a 2.25 ERA and struck out 33 batters in 20 innings for a superb 14.85 K’s per nine innings pitched for the league champion Red Sox while Whitt was 5-0 with a league-best 1.00 ERA and 34 K’s in 36 innings pitched for the Kettleers.
Pacing the All-League pitching staff was Orleans right-hander Kolton Mahoney (BYU), named the league’s outstanding pitcher after posting a 3-2 record, striking out league-best 47 batters in 37 1/3 innings with a 1.93 ERA and capping it off with a 13-strikeout performance against eventual champion Y-D in the playoffs.
One of the All-League catchers was Sportsmanship Award-winner Anthony Hermelyn (Oklahoma) of Harwich, who batted .323 with 20 runs, 10 RBI and a .414 OBP to lead the Mariners to the East Division regular-season title.
The All-League first baseman was Chatham slugger A.J. Murray (Georgia Tech), who was presented with the 10th Player Award after sporting a .321 batting average with six homers and 31 RBIs.
Chatham’s Chris Shaw (Boston College) joined Hale as the other DH and was the New England Top Prospect Award winner after batting .278 with a league-leading seven home runs. He also tied Murray for second place with 31 RBI.
Named All-League infielders are first baseman A.J. Murray (Chatham, Georgia Tech), second baseman Billy Flemming (Bourne, West Virginia), shortstop Kevin Newman (Falmouth, Arizona), David Thompson (Orleans, Miami), utility infielder Richie Martin Jr. (Bourne, Florida), catcher Jameson Fisher (Cotuit, SE Louisiana) and catcher Anthony Hermelyn (Harwich, Oklahoma).
The outfield All-League players named to the team are Gio Brusa (Brewster, Pacific), Donnie Dewees Jr. (Hyannis, North Florida), Steven Duggar (Falmouth, Clemson), Ian Happ (Harwich, Cincinnati), Mark Laird (Bourne, LSU) and Andrew Stevenson (Y-D, LSU).
Connor Hale (Falmouth, LSU) and Chris Shaw (Chatham, Boston College) were named the team’s designated hitters and Jake Madsen (Falmouth, Ohio University) was named to a utility role.
Pitchers named to the team are Matthew Boyle (Harwich, Radford), Zack Erwin (Harwich, Clemson), Matt Hall (Falmouth, Missouri State), Jordan Hillyer (Chatham, Kennesaw State), Justin Jacome (Y-D, Cal Santa Barbara), Ryan Kellogg (Bourne, Arizona State), Kolton Mahoney (Orleans, Brigham Young), Kevin McCanna (Falmouth, Rice), Andrew Naderer (Brewster, Grand Canyon) and Kyle Twomey (Orleans, USC).
The two closers selected are Phil Bickford (Y-D, Cal Fullerton) and Adam Whitt (Cotuit, Nevada).