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Dan Kapala Logs His Summer Baseball Diary From Great Lakes League

July 22, 2004

The third entry of the 2004 ND Baseball Summer Baseball Diaries comes from rising sophomore pitcher Dan Kapala, after a flip in the schedule. Senior to-be corner infielder Matt Edwards called in from the road in the Alaska League and will file his diary entry for Monday, July 26.

Kapala combined with senior lefthander Joe Thaman as the primary setup men for the 2004 Notre Dame bullpen, posting a 2.70 ERA, .248 opponent batting avg., 2-1 record and a save in 28 appearances (plus 40 strikeouts, 16 walks and 37 hits allowed in 40 innings). His 28 appearances tied Chris Michalak (28 in ’90) for the second-most ever by an ND freshman, trailing only the 31 posted by another former Irish pitcher (Aaron Heilman, 31 in ’98) who went on to pitch in the Major Leagues.

Kapala currently is a top pitcher for the Delaware (Ohio) Cows in the Great Lakes League, ranking third on the staff in ERA (2.25, with the team ERA at 3.69) and fourth among the Cows pitchers with 20 strikeouts. His other stats with the Cows include a 2-1 record, 8 walks, 22 hits allowed and 4 hit batters in 5 appearances (24 IP). Delaware owns a 20-11 record, good for second in the GLL standings. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound righthander has turned in shutout outings versus the Pittsburgh Pandas (6 IP, 2 H, 7 Ks) and vs. Grand Lake (4 IP pitch-count outing, 5 Ks) plus another solid appearance vs. Columbus (5 IP, 3 UER, 4 Ks).

The updated diary schedule is listed below (as is Kapala’s entry) while the following link provides recent updates and team website addresses for all of ND’s 2004 summer players (also see Summer Diary link on baseball main page for all entries from 2002-04):

Notre Dame Baseball 2004 Summer Diaries:

Thur., July 15 – Matt Bransfield (Waynesboro, VA, Generals; Shenandoah Valley League)

Mon., July 19 – Craig Cooper (Brewster Whitecaps; Cape Cod League)

Thur., July 22 – Dan Kapala (Delaware, OH, Cows; Great Lakes League)

Mon., July 26 – Matt Edwards (Mat-Su Miners; Alaska League)

Thur., July 29 – Danny Dressman (Faquier, VA, Gators’ Clark-Griffith League)

Mon., Aug. 2 – Tom Thornton (Wareham Gatemen; Cape Cod League)

Thur., Aug. 6 – Sean Gaston (Waterloo, IA, Bucks; Northwoods League)

Mon., Aug. 9 – Steve Andres (Solano Thunderbirds; California League)

Notre Dame Baseball 2004 Summer Diaries: Entry #3 – Dan Kapala (Delaware, OH, Cows; Great Lakes League; July 22)

Greetings Irish fans,

This is Dan Kapala, checking in from Delaware, Ohio. This summer is going very well and I am having a lot of fun. I was looking forward to playing with our shortstop, Greg Lopez, but he has been forced to stay at Notre Dame this summer due to a back injury. Other than that, I am the only Notre Dame player on the team and in the Great Lakes League.

Delaware is about 35 minutes outside of Columbus and is able to provide the small town and big city lifestyles. The downtown area is lots of fun with many neat stores and interesting places to go. Just outside the city, there are many new strip malls and lots of places to eat and hang out.

I am living with the Flahive family who are huge Notre Dame fans and have housed a Notre Dame player for the past four years. Javi Sanchez was the first, then Scott Bickford, and lastly Ryan Doherty.

I honestly could not have asked for a better situation. I have lots of room and get along with the children Phil and Mo very well. Phil enjoys working landscape to save up for the car he wants to buy when he turns 16 and he also likes beating me at video games. Mo recently attended a summer camp at Ohio Wesleyn and made the front page of the local paper, which showed her performing an experiment. Tim Flahive is the local lawyer in town and a Notre Dame graduate. He has lots of Notre Dame memerobilia, so I feel right at home in Delaware, Ohio.

As for the Cows, we are battling everyday for first place in the league. Right now i think we are 20-11 and in second place. Every game from here on out is very important to the seading for the postseason tournament. We have experienced many tough one-run losses and our record could easily be better than it is – but on the other hand, we have also had our share of thrilling comeback victories in the late innings.

The other players on the team are a lot of fun and we enjoy fishing and playing video games in our free time. The bus trips to our away games are not bad, ranging from an hour and a half to close to four hours. The coaching staff has done a great job over the season, making sure the kids on the team are having fun while keeping it serious enough to compete for first place. Our team has done quite well this year, considering we have lost seven or eight guys to injury, most of the pitchers and middle infielders.

Ryan Doherty and Greg Lopez still exist as living legends in this league, and there is always someone – either a player on the other team or a fan – who comes up and asks me about them. But perhaps one of the most famous Cows is Steve Stanley, who still holds the majority of the teams hitting records. This year, our team even had a Steve Stanley autographed trading card give away to the first 100 fans.

In Delaware, we average about 50 people a game. Away game vary from 10 to a couple hundred, so attendance at any given game is pretty unpredictable.

Before arriving in Delaware, I had heard of the great relationship Notre Dame has had with the Delaware Cows, and after spending a summer here I know what they are talking about. Much thanks goes out to our head coach Bruce Heine, who has sacrificed so much to make our season possible, as well as to the rest of the people who contribute to our experience. I would recommed Delaware to any Irish player.

Well, that’s about it, so good luck to everone else on the team and congrats to those who got drafted. Can’t wait to see all you guys again in the fall.

Farwell and GO IRISH!!!

Dan Kapala