04/19/2011 3:03 PM
Talent-Laden Mariners Feature
Strong Outfield and Bullpen
By ASHLEY CROSBY
HARWICH - The Harwich Mariners are banking on sheer athleticism and experience of five returning players to vault their team back to the playoffs in 2011.
Outfielder Brian Goodwin (Miami-Dade CC), first basemen John Wooten (East Carolina), shortstop Austin Nola (LSU), and pitchers Pierce Johnson (Missouri St) and Lex Rutledge (Samford) will all be returning to Whitehouse Field in June.
Rutledge and Nol were Team USA invitees last year, choosing to return before the All-Star break. Johnson, a freshman last year, showed command on the mound, while Wooten provided leadership and Goodwin patrolled the right field with the talent reminiscent of a Bobby Abreu or Nyjer Morgan.
Also joining the team this year are Austin Wilson and Brian Ragira, teammates from Stanford who were ranked highly in Baseball America.
“Talking to Coach Englert, they are two freshmen who can really give us some good speed, and some good athletic ability,” said Harwich GM Ben Layton.
Add a well-built rotation and deep bullpen, including 6’7” Jim Stokes (Elon), and the Mariners could field another All-Star packed team.
“Coach Englert always seems to find that quick, fast outfield that we have,” said Layton, adding that, “because Harwich’s outfield is a lot of real estate to cover, we’ve got to have the guys in our outfield that can cover that ground. That gives us an advantage defensively, plus if those guys can start swinging the lumber, we’ll be able to really produce something around the bases.”
John Garner, Jr.
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