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July 27, 2009 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-07-27

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Monday, July 27, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Burgoon has All-Star experience

Wolverine pitcher
dominates summer
Cape Cod League
By NICOLE AUERBACH
Daily Sports Editor
BOSTON - It was tough to pick
junior Tyler Burgoon out of the
crowd of baseball players huddled
around Fenway Park's third base
dugout on Thursday.
All of the Cape Cod Baseball
League players on hand for the
Cape League All-Star Game were
dressed in similar warm-up jerseys
- and all had ear-to-ear grins on
their faces.
Burgoon was no exception.
Even as the pre-game drizzle
turned into a steady rain and the

Burgoon couldn't wipe that smile
from his face.
The right-handed Wolverine,
like many other players on that
field Thursday, was simply thrilled
to be on the field at a big-league
park. The fact that it was Fenway,
a cathedral of incredible baseball
history - well, that was simply
icing on the cake.
"I walked up, went through a lit-
tle hallway and just saw the field,"
Burgoon said, with an awestruck
glance at the infield before the
game. "It was pretty nice to know
that I was going to be pitching from
that mound."
Unfortunately for the Cape Cod
League and half of its All-Star
pitching staff, rain prevented the
All-Star game from continuing past
the fifth inning. After four and a
half innings, and a 3-0 lead by the
Western Division, the game was
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called due to rain and poor field
conditions.
Burgoon was one ofnine unlucky
pitchers who didn't get a chance to
throw his inning from the Fenway
mound.
As a closer for the Yarmouth-
Dennis Red Sox, Burgoon has
posted a league-leading 11 saves,
giving up just one earned run in 15
appearances (through July 26). His
30 strikeouts to six walks in 19.3
innings ranks him among the best
pitchers in the league.
So it was understandable that
Eastern Division All-Star man-
ager Steve Englert would be saving
Burgoon for the late innings of last
Thursday's game - the innings that
ended up being rained out.
"Before Thursday's game start-
ed, during the national anthem and
introductions, (Vanderbilt closer)
Russell Brewer looked over at
me, and he was like, 'No chance,"'
Burgoon said yesterday of Thurs-
day's game. "We were throwing
the eighth and the ninth. There
was no chance. We kind of knew it
wasn't going to happen. It was nice
that they let the game get played as
much as it did, though."
And even without pitching, Bur-
goon had a pretty busy and exciting
day. Thursday began with a 9:30
a.m. bus trip from Barnstable to
Boston, about a 90-minute drive.
Burgoon and the other All-Stars
went out to lunch in the city and
sat through a brief lecture by the
Boston Red Sox scouting director.
The highlight for many players
that night came when they arrived
at the ballpark -- a tour of historic
Fenway Park.
Preparations for the actual
All-Star game followed -- getting
dressed, shagging balls during

Junior Tyler Burgoon had an ERA hovering near five last season, but in the Cape C.
League this summer, he's found his stride, leading the league in saves as a closer.

batting practice and the pre-game
home run hitting contest.
Pitchers claimed it was the first
time they'd ever gotten excited to
field balls in the outfield during
batting practice. Burgoon said he
was shocked and that he enjoyed
seeingrteammates "yoke" it out over
the Green Monster.
Thursday marked Burgoon's
second trip to Fenway this summer.
The Defiance, Ohio, native attend-
ed a Red Sox game a few weeks ago
as a fan, calling it the best experi-
ence he's ever had at a major league
baseball park.

He will go again this Thursday
for the Cape League All-Star appre-
ciation afternoon game.
Even with the disappointment
that accompanied not pitching in
the All-Star game, Burgoon still took
away the positives from his experi-
ence. What mattered was that he
was honored as an All-Star, and even
more important, he got to take the
field at Fenway among the most tal-
ented players in the Cape League.
"Some of the best players in the
nation are here," Burgoon said yes-
terday. "Even just getting to play
with them is great."

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