Three Diamond Heels are spending their summer covered in sweat and sunburns, but not because of beach vacations or lake days. Instead, Casey Cook, Dalton Pence and Ben Peterson are spending their summer immersed in the world of baseball’s premier summer league known as “the Cape”.
Pitchers Pence and Peterson and outfielder Cook, have traveled to the over 100-year-old wood-bat Cape Cod Summer League to showcase their skills. The Cape boasts alumni such as Aaron Judge, Jeff Bagwell, Chris Sale and Adley Rutschman — along with former UNC standouts Zac Gallen and Matt Harvey — who all spent summers on one of the league’s ten teams.
Both Peterson and Pence are using their time at the Cape to fine-tune their existing pitching arsenal.
It was an easy decision for the UNC arms, as Pence sees the Cape as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches and players in the country.
“Being around different coaches and different players from different teams would be really helpful for me, just kind of picking their brain and learning more about what they see, what I'm doing wrong,” Pence said. “And what I can fix, what improvements I can make. Just getting help from others.”
The lefty, who worked as a long reliever and even started for the Diamond Heels, is spending his summer focusing on off-speed pitches.
Mentally, the Cape has been a confidence builder for Pence and as he gets more appearances under his belt Pence said he feels a sense of self-satisfaction.
Peterson is taking his time at the Cape as a chance to get comfortable with two-pitch variations. The righty debuted a new two-seam fastball and cutter midseason after a couple of rough outings with a four-seam with subpar metrics and is looking to fine-tune those pitches.
After a rocky start to his time in the Cape with the Chatham Anglers, Peterson hit his stride in early July, recording his first save while allowing one hit and striking out four in three innings of relief.