In addition to Henry and Browning, three other current and former Seminoles are competing in the Cape League – pitchers Hunter Jones and Mark Sauls, and third baseman/outfielder Ryne Malone. All-America closer Tyler Chambliss played the first half of the season before returning home.
"It's a blessing to be up here with the talent that there is," Browning said. "You learn something every day, even when you are not playing."
Browning is in the starting rotation for the Cotuit Kettleers, usually taking his turn on Saturdays. He will toe the rubber again this Saturday at 2 p.m. in a Scouts' Day matchup against and Sauls and the Hyannis Mets.
Browning, a former JuCo all-American at Chipola Community College, has struck out 12 in 18 innings pitched in his three starts thus far. He also has a save to show for three relief appearances.
"It's been nice to get out there and pitch on a regular basis," said Browning, seldom-used down the stretch of the FSU season.
The rising senior has a decision to make – drafted by the Rockies this spring, Browning said he'll decide at the end of the summer whether he will go pro or play his final season with the Seminoles.
"I told the coaches that I'm preparing to come back to FSU and right now that's what my mindset is," he said. "We'll see what happens at the end of the summer. If they hit me with something that sounds good, there's always a chance (that I'll leave)."
Henry, meanwhile, is filling a role he is used to. Much like he did this season with the Seminoles, the junior-to-be is breaking into the lineup as a third baseman between starts on the mound. Last week, he even found himself in the outfield for the first time since his youth baseball days.
As of Thursday, Henry was 3-2 and had an ERA of 3.90 in five starts for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. The Tallahassee native has 14 strikeouts in 28 innings of work. Henry is scheduled to start Thursday night against Ryne Malone and the Brewster Whitecaps.
"It's a great honor to be up here with all the great talent that there is," Henry said. "I'm improving every day."
One of Henry's games was attended by Don Mattingly, but he didn't get a chance to speak with the former first baseman and current hitting coach of the New York Yankees. Browning's team is coached by the father of Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts, who led the AL in hitting for much of the season's first half.
One false assumption that both dismissed is that the league is easier on pitchers because opposing hitters have to use wooden bats instead of the livelier aluminum bats that are used in the college game.
"I was looking forward to that, but I gave up four broken bat singles in my first start," Henry said. "Baseball is baseball and you can't really do anything about things like that."
"These guys will hit it with anything they've got in their hands if you can't pitch inside," added Browning.
The Cape League regular season runs through August 7, when the top two teams in each division will play a best-of-three series for the right to advance to the CCBL championship, also decided by a three-game set. Henry's Red Sox are two games behind Chatham for the second spot in the Eastern Division. Browning and Cotuit are one game behind Wareham for the final spot in the West.
Other Seminoles in the CCBL:
Hunter Jones – 0 Earned runs in 9.2 innings pitched
Mark Sauls – 0-3, 5.19 ERA in four starts, 26 innings pitched
Ryne Malone – hitting .269 with a .423 OBP
Tyler Chambliss – 0-1, 5.14 ERA in seven innings in season's first half
Fans can catch Internet broadcasts of select CCBL games at this URL:
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