Seven Braves to participate in All-Star festivities

Seven Bourne Braves will participate in the All-Star festivities at Spillane Field in Wareham on Saturday.

Seven Braves set to participate in All-Star festivities

By Mac Friday

(Graphic: Joey Kurtz/Bourne Braves)

Six Bourne Braves will be participating in Saturday night’s CCBL All-Star Game at Spillane Field, as well as a participant in the Home Run Hitting Contest.

The West will be managed by Braves manager Scott Landers and his staff, providing opportunities for the Bourne players to show off their skills.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Braves players participating at the festivities at Spillane.

Carson Jones – Outfielder – Home Run Hitting Contest

The Virginia Tech lefty very quickly made an impact with his power for the Braves, hitting a moonshot over the right-field scoreboard in Hyannis as a part of Bourne’s massive 11-run top of the ninth en route to an 18-10 victory.

As a part of a Virginia Tech outfield unit with the likes of Jack Hurley and Gavin Cross, Jones didn’t see the field as much as he would’ve like in 2022, but mashed the baseball when he got the chance. In just 55 at-bats, Jones hit eight home runs, and hopes to take home the title with plenty of home runs at Spillane.

“I was surprised, but I’m super excited for the opportunity,” Jones said. “It’s going to be something that’s really cool for all the teams to send their individual guys to do. It’s going to be fun to compete against guys from all across the country.”

“The goal is to win it, but to go out there and have fun is the main goal,” Jones said. “I’m confident enough to where I feel like I can win if I go out there and compete the way I know I can.”

Matt Shaw – Middle Infielder – All-Star Starter

One of two starters on the West All-Star team from the Braves, Shaw has been on an absolute tear since he arrived on the Cape, currently leading the league in average, slugging, on-base percentage and in turn, OPS. Shaw has a league-high 42 hits, 10 doubles and is tied for the lead with multiple players at five home runs. He’s the frontrunner for league MVP and is a no-brainer choice to start in the middle infield for the West.

“It’s really cool to be in the All-Star Game here, this is a great league,” Shaw said about the opportunity. “I’m excited to meet the guys. I’ve talked to a lot of them so far and just having (the chance to meet) guys from other teams being good players around the country is always really cool.”

Evan Sleight – Outfielder – All-Star Starter

Perhaps the hottest player in the month of July across the entire CCBL, Sleight has widened eyes and turned heads with his recent play.  Sleight has 23 hits in 24 games in July and is currently in the midst of a 20-game on-base streak.

The Rutgers product from Framingham, less than an hour away from the Cape, spoke about his excitement to be selected to start in the premier CCBL showcase on Saturday.

“It means a lot, it’s been a really fun summer,” Sleight said. “Growing up here in Massachusetts this is always something you dream of. I’m really honored to be an All-Star and I’m excited to go hang out with some of the guys and meet some new people and play baseball.”

Chris Brito – First Baseman – All-Star

Another Rutgers player selected to participate in the CCBL All-Star Game is Brito, Bourne’s punisher of baseballs. Currently sitting top five in exit velocity amongst players in the league, Brito hopes to show off his big home run swing at Spillane, as well as his keen eye for the ball, as he leads the league in walks.

“It feels good to be selected as an All-Star,” Brito said. “I didn’t know this was a possibility, but I’m proud to be a part of it. I just want to learn from the other people there.”

Seth Keener – Right-Handed Pitcher – All-Star

The most consistent of any pitcher on the Braves staff, Keener has been nails wherever he is needed – as starter or reliever. The Wake Forest righty has allowed just one hit in four appearances at Doran Park and holds a 2.57 ERA through the month of July.

“It’s cool to get an award in this league,” Keener said. “It’s the best summer league in the country so it was pretty exciting to hear.”

Keener was originally a temporary player for the Braves earlier in the season, but his success proved to be irreplaceable, earning him a permanent spot on the roster throught the rest of the season.

“When I came here I was just on a temporary contract, so I was just trying to stay to be honest,” Keener chuckled. “I was just trying to pitch well and enjoy it and compete and hopefully get better and let the chips fall where they may and I ended up getting pretty lucky.”

Ty Cummings – Right-Handed Pitcher – All-Star

The multi-role reliever mostly seeing time for the Braves as the closer, Cummings holds one of the lowest ERAs on the Cape at 0.57, including a 0.00 ERA through four appearances in July.

Much like Keener, Cummings was originally a temporary player for the Braves vying for more opportunities, but found his luck turn permanent.

“I came here as a temporary player, so I was hoping to get a couple outings in my two weeks and see what happened from there,” Cummings said. “Being able to be an All-Star and stay for the entire summer is insane and I can’t wait for the future.

Bryce Cunningham – Right-Handed Pitcher – All-Star

Responsible for two of the most dominant starts by Braves pitching this summer, Cunningham went five innings twice in July allowing just two hits and a single run across the two outings.

An All-Star replacement for players selected in the MLB Draft, Cunningham found out about his selection after his most recent start at Doran Park from Landers, much to his surprise.

“It made my day so much better,” Cunningham said. “I wasn’t expecting it, but I’m thrilled to be around the best of the best.”

Jones will participate in the Home Run Hitting Contest at 5:00 p.m. The Braves All-Stars will play in the game starting at 6:05 p.m.