COCA COLA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
The first pitcher to secure the Coca Cola Pitcher of the Week award is Falmouth’s Mark Pope (Georgia Tech). Pope was lights out in his first appearance, his only to date. In a 1-0 victory over Cotuit, the righty fanned 11 Kettleers over seven shutout innings, surrendering only two hits. The 11 strikeouts recorded by Pope have been matched by only three other pitchers over the first week of games.
A bright future lies ahead for the Georgia Tech sophomore. As a freshman, Pope was the Yellow Jackets’ closer, recording 18 scoreless innings in 25 appearances, good for a 5-1 record and eight saves for the season. In 2010 as a starter, the versatile Pope went 8-1, ending the season with both a complete game and a save. He was selected in the 18th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, but elected to attend Georgia Tech instead.
COCA COLA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Rick Oropesa, Chatham 1B
Chatham first baseman Rick Oropesa (USC) has been named 2010’s first Coca Cola Player of the Week. Over his first week of Cape League games, Oropesa batted a strong .304, but it was his power numbers earned him this week’s honor. The Trojan’s two home runs leave him tied for the most over the past week, while his seven runs batted in stand alone atop the leader board. A .609 slugging percentage, good for fourth in the league, coupled with a .429 on-base percentage make Oropesa a force at the plate.
The sophomore USC product’s success should not be a shock. This past season for the Trojans, Oropesa led the team in all three triple crown categories: batting average (.353), home runs (20) and runs batted in (67). He was named All-America Second Team and received All Pac-10 honors last year after being named Freshman All-America the season before. Oropesa was drafted in the 24th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Boston Red Sox upon graduation from high school, before deciding to attend USC.