Alabama baseball player gains valuable experience in Cape Cod Baseball League

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By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Juliet Brown

The Cape Cod Baseball League hosts some of the best collegiate baseball players in the country each year. This summer, Alabama has four players playing in the CCBL. This is pitcher Zane Probst’s second summer playing for the Harwich Mariners.

“Being up on the Cape, I mean its the best (collegiate) league in the country,” Probst said. “There’s a lot of big league guys that are in this league playing that you’ll see someday on tv, so I mean it’s definitely very good for my game. It keeps me sharp and keeps me competing of the best of the best.”

Because Alabama made it to the Super Regionals that took place in June, Probst wasn’t able to get to the Cape until the beginning of August. Since he arrived, Probst has pitched in five games, including two starts. He has a 1-0 record. He most recently started Friday night against the Brewster Whitecaps.

Friday night recap

The rising senior didn’t get off to the start he wanted after giving up a leadoff walk that led to a run but found his groove in the second inning. He forced the Whitecaps to go three-and-out in the second inning and his offense responded in a huge way. The Mariners scored nine runs in the bottom of the second inning alone. Sitting for awhile didn’t affect Probst in the top of the third inning as he struck out two batters and forced the third batter to ground out.

The Harwich offense kept Probst on the bench awhile in the bottom of the third inning as the team put up four more runs. The sitting caused him to lose his groove. When the Pennsylvania native took the mound again, his off speed pitches weren’t working anymore. He gave up a lead off single and walked the next batter to put two runners on base. Florida State’s Jaime Ferrer then hit a three-run homer over the left field fence to cut the Mariners’ lead to 13-4. Probst came back to strikeout the next batter for the second out of the inning but gave up a double the next at-bat. That ended Probst’s night. He finished the game with 3.2 innings pitched, five strikeouts, three walks, 4 earned runs and threw 69 pitches.

“Obviously not the result that you want, but I had two long innings (where I) had to sit awhile… I just couldn’t find the off-speed,” Probst said. “It was just staying up, but the last two innings before that, everything was working, so I just grooved through it. That’s baseball. You gotta work through everything that comes your way, so I gotta work on finding a way to get out of that and just adjusting faster, but other than that it was alright.”

The Mariners went on to beat the Whitecaps 21-5.

Outlook on Alabama baseball for next season

While Probst hasn’t pitched against any of his Alabama teammates, he believes having so many of them playing in the CCBL shows how strong next year’s team could be.

“It definitely says a lot about our program, see how many players you can send up to this league,” Probst said. “I mean it’s the best of the best. It’s definitely a big thing for us.”

New Alabama baseball head coach Rob Vaughn previously coached at Maryland, and Probst plays with some of the guys who played under Vaughn. He said he’s heard nothing but good things about his new head coach.

“It was actually one of the first things I asked them was how Coach Vaughn was gonna be and what they think of him, and I mean I’ve heard nothing but good things about Coach Vaughn,” Probst said. “Everybody loves him and thinks he’s the best coach.”

Because he left shortly after the season ended, he didn’t have the opportunity to get to know his new head coach.

“I’m really looking forward to get back there and just be in conversation with Coach Vaughn a lot more,” Probst said.

After losing all three weekend starting pitchers and eight of its nine starters, the Crimson Tide has to replace a lot of production. Probst doesn’t believe there’s reason to be concerned, however.

“I mean with the younger guys that were there last year got to experience it, the transfers coming in, I don’t think we’ll miss a beat… We have a lot of new guys that are gonna step up and fill those roles not a problem, so I’m sure it’ll be fine.”


Heading into his final season at Alabama, Probst hopes to be a leader for his team. Staying healthy, pitching more innings, and helping his team win an SEC Championship are among his goals for next season.

“Try to be a guy out there for the team, just help them in any way I can,” Probst said. “If its starting, if its relieving, whatever it may be, I just wanna go in there, show my stuff, show what I can do and I know I’ll have a great team behind me.”

Probst will return to Tuscaloosa after the Mariner’s season ends which could be as late as mid-August. Then his focus will turn to fall ball and helping his team mesh under new leadership.

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