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UCLA rising sophomore pitchers spend summer at coveted Cape Cod Baseball League

Rising sophomore right-hander Cody Delvecchio delivers a pitch for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League. (Courtesy of Jake Moreland)

By Anthony Aroyan

July 27, 2023 12:09 p.m.

This post was updated July 30 at 6:04 p.m.

With the offseason in full swing, two UCLA baseball players are temporarily ditching Westwood’s 100-degree heat for a chance to put their talents on display on the Cape.

Michael Barnett and Cody Delvecchio, rising sophomore right-handers, are participating in the Cape Cod Baseball League in Massachusetts, arguably the most premier summer baseball league in the country. The Bruins’ rotation hopefuls have earned reps on the mound playing for the Falmouth Commodores.

“Last year I was in a West Coast league, and that was good competition going into my freshman year,” Delvecchio said. “But here you’re facing draft guys day in and day out, so the competition is through the roof.”

The pitching duo’s freshman season was unordinary, with continuous injuries to UCLA’s roster necessitating the pair to take the mound in high-leverage situations all season long.

Barnett said he viewed his early-collegiate appearances as a chance to showcase his talents. The sinker-throwing righty served as the Bruins’ Tuesday starter for the majority of the season.

“From my point of view, I looked at the increased roles as increased opportunities to go and show what you’re capable of,” Barnett said. “I think that myself and Cody both did that to the best of our abilities.”

Barnett and Delvecchio have toed the rubber in five and four games, respectively. The former is currently 3-0 in his starts while the latter has taken on a closer role similar to his first season in Westwood.

(Courtesy of Jake Moreland)
Rising sophomore right-hander Michael Barnett lunges while throwing a pitch. Barnett joined Delvecchio on the Commodores for the summer. (Courtesy of Jake Moreland)

Delvecchio said the CCBL is a way to hone skills he wanted to work on after the collegiate season.

“During my exit interview with coach (John) Savage, we talked about my pitches and I told him I wanted to develop a new pitch,” Delvecchio said. “I felt the three-pitch mix wasn’t enough for me, so out here I wanted to test myself with the curveball.”

Beyond the results on the field, the experience in Cape Cod has presented a time for the rising sophomores to grow as individuals and cement their relationships as teammates in the summer and as fellow Bruins.

Both players acknowledged each other’s competitive strengths and helped each other cover their weaknesses.

“I think we can both learn from each other’s successes and failures on the mound,” Barnett said. “We both went through a rough patch throughout the year, but knowing we have each other’s backs along with our teammates solidifies yourself to get through that and stay strong.”

As Barnett and Delvecchio enter their second year in Westwood, they will face heightened expectations compared to last year after quickly becoming veterans on the pitching staff. Nine pitchers departed UCLA following the 2023 season – through a combination of the 2023 MLB Draft and the transfer portal – likely causing the duo to see more time on the field in the upcoming campaign.

Aside from the increased opportunities to pitch, both players are looking forward to serving as leaders on the team for the incoming recruiting class.

“We’re both very excited about next year,” Barnett said. “We have a very good freshman class coming in and we’re really excited to work with them and start building them into the culture we have at UCLA.”

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