Baseball America listed Gio Brusa (Pacific) as the Cape League’s fourth-best prospect last summer. The other players in the top five all were selected among the first 73 picks in the 2015 draft. Brusa was selected with pick number 701, in the 23rd round. The 6’3, 225-pound outfielder was coming off an injury-hampered junior season and he had reportedly indicated to teams before the draft that he was leaning toward a return to Pacific.
With another year of college ahead, Brusa headed for the Cape and hooked on with the Y-D Red Sox, after spending last summer in Brewster. He got off to a shaky start, going 3-for-23 out of the gates, but since then, he has looked the part of the guy who kept good prospect company last year.
Brusa is on an 11-game hitting streak and hit his fifth home run in that span last night as Y-D beat Harwich 5-3. Brusa is now hitting .277, is tied for the league lead in home runs with five and ranks sixth in the league in RBI with 14.
Again, he has done essentially all of this in 11 games.
Brusa’s hot streak has helped the Red Sox find their footing, too. Tuesday’s win was their fourth in a row. They’re 7-4 in the month of July and have moved one game over .500 at 15-14.
Tuesday, they were tied with Harwich 1-1 before Brusa’s three-run homer powered a four-run fifth inning.
Donnie Walton (Oklahoma State) and Tommy Edman (Stanford) added two hits and an RBI each. Edman is on a hot streak of his own, with hits in nine straight games.
Stater Brett Adcock (Michigan) allowed two runs in 4.2 innings before a strong showing by the Y-D bullpen. Dalton Lehnen (Cincinnati) got the win in relief and Ben Bowden (Vanderbilt) picked up his first save. Bowden, a late arrival after Vandy’s run in Omaha, has struck out 12 in 6.1 scoreless innings this summer.
Y-D is now tied with Brewster for third place in the East and only one game back of Chatham for second. With Brusa streaking toward a second straight all-star summer, the defending champion Red Sox may be primed for another run.
Brewster 6, Chatham 0
Alec Rash (Missouri) delivered perhaps the best performance of his college and Cape League career as Brewster shut out Chatham. Rash, a former second-round pick of the Phillies that has struggled at Missouri, tossed six innings of one-hit ball against the Anglers. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. Three relievers followed him to the hill and finished off the shutout, as Chatham managed just three hits. Toby Handley (Stony Brook) led the Brewster offense with two hits and two RBI. League batting and RBI leader Nick Senzel (Tennessee) went 1-for-5 and knocked in his 19th run. J.C. Escarra (Florida International) and Ryan Peurifoy (Georgia Tech) also had RBI. Brewster is now just one game back of Chatham for second place in the East.
Hyannis 5, Falmouth 2
The Harbor Hawks stopped Falmouth’s four-game winning streak and upped their West division lead to four games with a 5-2 victory. Devin Smeltzer (Florida Gulf Coast) delivered his best start since his no-hitter last month, giving up one earned run and striking out five in 6.2 innings of work. Aaron Civale (Northeastern) notched his third save in relief of Smeltzer. Ryne Birk (Texas A&M) went 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Hyannis attack. Austin Hays (Jacksonville) homered, while Jacob Noll (Florida Gulf Coast) and Arden Pabst (Georgia Tech) had two hits each.
Orleans 8, Wareham 2
East-leading Orleans also gained a little more distance, pushing its lead to five games with a win over Wareham and a Chatham loss. Eric Lauer (Kent State), who’s doing his best to keep up with teammate Mitchell Jordan, struck out nine and gave up one run on two hits in five innings of work. Lauer is now second in the league in strikeouts to Jordan with 39 and fifth in ERA with a 1.45 mark. Catcher Sean Murphy (Wright State) went 3-for-5 for the second time in four games, raising his average to .235 and continuing his emergence as another big bat in the powerful Firebirds lineup. Bryson Brigman (San Diego) added two RBI.
Cotuit 3, Bourne 1
The Kettleers moved within two games of second-place Bourne in the tightly-packed West standings with a 3-1 win over the Braves. Jeren Kendall (Vanderbilt) had two hits, a home run and an RBI, giving him six hits in five games since his late arrival. Brett Stephens (UCLA) added two hits. Matthew Milburn (Wofford) allowed just an unearned run in 5.2 innings for the win. Justin Dunn (Boston College) tallied his fourth save.
What to Watch
Daulton Jefferies (California), who had a 2.57 ERA with Team USA, makes his return to Wareham as the Gatemen visit Chatham tonight.