The Westerners, who are entering their 18th season and are the longest-running franchise in the wooden-bat league, will welcome Marist first baseman Mike Orefice, shortstop Zach Shank and pitcher Brett Houseal to Rogers Park this summer.
Orefice has started all 14 games so far this season for Marist (4-10) and hasn't committed an error. He is batting .333 (19-for-57) -- which leads all regular starters for the Red Foxes -- and has 10 runs, five doubles and six runs batted in. Last year, he batted .263 with three homers and 27 RBIs.
Shank has started 12 games for Marist and is batting .300 (15-for-50) with a double, a homer and eight runs batted in. He, too, has played solid defense, posting a fielding percentage of .964. Last year, he batted .269 with 31 runs, 35 RBIs and seven stolen bases. He struck out only 15 times in 186 official at-bats.
Houseal is 0-3 in four starts this season with a 7.04 earned-run average. Last season, he appeared in 17 games and posted a 3-3 record with two saves and a 2.47 ERA in 40 innings.
The Westerners will open the season on June 8 against the Mystic Schooners at Rogers Park in Danbury. Earlier that same day, the Westerners will hold their 18th annual celebrity breakfast at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury. The celebrity guest speaker will be former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton, the author of the controversial bestselling book Ball Four.
Reservations are required for the breakfast. Tables of 10 are $300, and can be secured online at www.danburywesterners.com or by mail to PO Box 3828, Danbury, CT 06813. Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Mike Malone at 203-788-3408. Immediately after the event Bouton will be signing and selling copies of his book, Ball Four: The Final Pitch, which is the original edition, plus the 1980, 1990 and 2000 updates and 138 photos.
The Westerners have also announced that their eighth annual charity golf outing will be held on July 18 at Richter Park in Danbury. Interested participants should contact Paul Schaffer at 203-241-4655 or Paul@danburywesterners.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.