Wellesley Native Seidl Makes Statement In Last Harwich Start Before Draft

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: Cape Cod Baseball League , Harwich Mariners

Harwich pitcher Billy Seidl, a Wellesley native, returned to the Mariners for a second consecutive summer after pitching for Duke this spring. Seidl is eligible for the MLB Draft later this month. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

HARWICH – Moments after he struck out Brewster shortstop Alex Freeland to end the top half of the fifth inning of Monday’s game at Whitehouse Field, Harwich pitcher Billy Seidl took two steps toward the Mariners’ dugout and clenched his fist by his waist.

It was hardly an animated celebration from Seidl, but the subtle fist pump was well deserved for the Wellesley native and right-handed pitcher from Duke who returned to the Cape League for a second consecutive summer with the Mariners.

While last CCBL season served as Seidl’s rehabilitation after Tommy John surgery on his elbow, this summer was his final audition for big league scouts ahead of the MLB Draft on July 17.

The final encore performance couldn’t have gone any better for the Bay State native, as Seidl held the Whitecaps hitless while striking out six batters in five innings of work.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster to go out on a high note,” Seidl said after Monday’s game ended in a 1-1 tie. “That’s what I was trying to do – get ahead of guys and get contact and that’s what happened.”

Seidl admitted he felt added pressure knowing the draft is so soon, but ultimately, he stuck with the routines that have made him a prominent pitching prospect since he and his older brother Tommy, an outfielder for the Mariners, starred on the diamond and gridiron at St. Sebastian’s in Needham.

“There’s definitely pressure, but I try to not let it faze me too much,” Seidl said. “I just try to go out there and have fun and do my thing, I think that’s all you can do. It’s tough knowing that [it was my last start], but I just stuck to my routines.”

The only hiccup Seidl faced Monday was when Freeland scored Brewster’s lone run off an error after he led off the first inning with a walk. Seidl bounced back with a dominant second inning, striking out the Whitecaps’ Logan Bravo, Parks Harber and Chase Adkison in order for a 1-2-3 frame.

The six-foot righty said the sequence of strikeouts helped him get in the rhythm he maintained the rest of the night.

“I got my fastball back and my slider was working,” Seidl said. “Mac [Guscette] caught a great game back there.”

It was the first time Seidl and Guscette, a catcher from the University of Florida, had served as batterymates. Although Guscette said it can take time to get adjusted to catching a pitcher for the first time, the Nokomis, Fla. native noted that Seidl hit his spots and made his work easy behind the plate.

“He threw everything for strikes and was competitive,” Guscette said. “He went after every hitter and he threw it wherever I called it. You could tell that he turned it around and was starting to roll after he struck out the side – all of his stuff was looking good.”

Seidl finished this summer with an 0-1 record and 3.85 ERA after all four of his appearances came in a starting role. He finished with 16 strikeouts and walked 12 in 16.1 total innings.

It was the sort of summer he was searching for after a bumpy spring at Duke in which he posted a 2-5 record and a 6.80 ERA in 43.2 innings.

Perhaps even more important than his numbers, though, is that Seidl said his arm feels much better than it did last summer when he was still working his way back from elbow surgery.

“I definitely feel 10 times better,” Seidl said before adding that he was trying to brush off a rough season at Duke. “I had to bring myself up from the ground a little bit.”

Seidl also said it was special spending the last few weeks with his brother Tommy, an outfielder from Alabama who made his Cape League debut this summer after transferring to the Crimson Tide following three seasons at Harvard.

“It’s awesome,” Billy said of playing with Tommy. “We spent a lot of time together that we don’t get to during the season, so it’s been awesome.”

Although he’ll still have to wait a while longer before he learns what professional franchise he’ll join, Seidl said he’s satisfied with his summer performance after Monday’s dominant showing.

“I left it all out there,” he said.

Email Brad Joyal at brad@capecodchronicle.com.

Twitter: @BradJoyal