After Brief Stint In Orleans Last Summer, USC’s Overn Feeling At Home In Chatham

by Brad Joyal

SOUTH YARMOUTH – Austin Overn may be wearing a new uniform while playing for a new team, but the center fielder from the University of Southern California is feeling right at home in his second stint in the Cape Cod Baseball League.

After appearing in 11 games for the Orleans Firebirds last summer before shipping off to the USA Collegiate National Team Training Camp, Overn returned to the Cape this summer to play for the Chatham Anglers.

A former dual-sport athlete – he played wide receiver for the 2022 Trojans football squad – Overn has been a fixture in the Anglers’ lineup while batting leadoff and leading the outfield in center.

“He is a special, talented kid,” Chatham’s first-year manager Jeremy Sheetinger said. “He has elite skills in a lot of different areas. His speed is different. His defensive ability, I think, is one of the most underappreciated parts of his game. Everyone sees the offensive numbers but you don’t realize how many hits he’s taken away and how many plays he’s made that I really don’t know if any other center fielder can make.”

Overn initially didn’t expect to play any summer ball after hitting .270 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs at USC this spring. Once he decided he wanted to return to the Cape for another summer in the nation’s top summer league, he reached out to Orleans manager Kelly Nicholson to inquire about the possibility of returning to the Firebirds.

“First I hit up Kelly and he said they were full, so I ended up reaching out to some of the coaches at SC to help me figure it out and Sheets said [Chatham] had a spot available,” said Overn. “It worked out perfectly, and I’ve been loving it so far.”

The Tustin, Calif. native has been a strong addition to Chatham’s lineup. Through 12 games, he leads the Anglers in batting average (.362), hits (17) and runs (10) and is tied for the team lead in RBIs (8) and stolen bases (4).

Although his time in Orleans last summer was brief, getting a taste of the Cape League helped Overn enter this summer with informed expectations.

“Last year, I didn’t really know anything about the Cape,” he said. “I knew it was a good league, but I didn’t realize it was the best of the best. So, coming out I got a little off guard with the [velocity] and realizing that every pitcher that comes in is a stud. This year, I'm on time with [velocity], which is really the only thing I’ve been focusing on — getting my timing down. So far, it’s been working out.”

Overn also credits the time he spent with USA Baseball last summer for helping him be a better player.

“I had a lot of fun being around those kinds of guys because it’s the best of the best,” Overn said. “It’s great to see firsthand how the guys play, their mindsets and their approach. I picked some details of what they had to say and translated them to my kind of game.”

As talented as he is, Overn’s bright future isn’t limited to his on-field skills. Sheetinger said he “has a mature approach to the game.”

“He makes great adjustments. Very high IQ,” the Anglers skipper said. “It’s a mature young man that really gets the highest level adjustments of this game. That’s what is going to make him successful. I’ve seen that in a lot of different ways — his conversations are different and I think that’s going to set him up for a nice, long career.”


Despite building a 5-1 lead in the second inning, Brewster suffered a 12-7 loss to Hyannis on Saturday. It marked the second straight loss for the Whitecaps, who fell to 5-8 and are tied for third place with the Anglers in the East Division standings.


Harwich collected back-to-back wins over the weekend following a 4-1 win over Falmouth on Friday and a 5-1 victory over Orleans on Saturday. The Mariners (8-5) own sole possession of second place in the East Division standings and their pitching has allowed 16 runs in their past five games — the fewest in the league during that stretch.


The defending East Division champions’ struggles continued Saturday with a 5-1 loss to Harwich. Orleans (3-10) sits in last place in the East Division and is tied with Falmouth for the fewest wins in the Cape League.