Bruins have solid showing in Cape Cod Baseball League, but end summer titleless
Sophomore catcher Noah Cardenas played for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod Baseball League this summer. Cardenas posted more walks than strikeouts – a feat he also achieved with UCLA baseball in his freshman season. (Anirudh Keni/Daily Bruin)
By Sam Connon
August 18, 2019, 11:14 pm
Seven Bruins went to Cape Cod in 2018 and four returned to Westwood with a championship.
In 2019, six new faces made the trip to the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League, but all of them returned empty-handed.
Rising sophomores right-handers Sean Mullen and Nick Nastrini, catcher Noah Cardenas and utility man Matt McLain, as well as junior infielder Kevin Kendall, all played in the CCBL this summer, but none of the UCLA baseball representatives made it past the semifinals. Mullen, Nastrini and Kendall played for the Falmouth Commodores, while Cardenas suited up for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox and McLain played for the Wareham Gatemen.
Rising junior right-hander Holden Powell pitched one game for the eventual champion Cotuit Kettleers in June.
Cardenas hit .250 in 22 regular season games for the Red Sox before going 6-for-12 across three postseason games, boosting his overall average to .297. The catcher drew eight walks and struck out seven times this summer after recording 17 walks and 14 strikeouts in his freshman season with the Bruins.
Mullen pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for the Commodores and posted a 6.91 ERA with 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He kept his opponents scoreless in seven of his 10 appearances, but his 24.75 ERA across four innings in the other three games sent his season marks through the roof.
Nastrini started seven games – including one in the playoffs – for Falmouth. He went 2-2 with a 2.18 ERA, which would have been 1.50 if not for his season debut against the Red Sox.
Kendall hit .188 in 23 games, but he went 4-for-9 with three walks in his final four games with the Commodores.
Falmouth took two out of three against the Bourne Braves to advance past the first round of the playoffs, with Nastrini getting the start in the team’s lone loss. The Bruin pitched 5 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run, but three unearned runs led to the loss.
The Kettleers swept the Commodores in the league semifinals. Mullen pitched a single scoreless inning in the series while Nastrini didn’t see the mound.
McLain was a reserve for the West Division All-Stars, making the trip to Fenway Park for the annual Cape Cod League All-Star showcase. McLain went 2-for-2 with an RBI single and solo home run in All-Star Game en route to winning the West MVP.
The former first-round pick for the Arizona Diamondbacks finished the season with a .270 batting average and 24 RBIs in 37 games.