Focus on Sports
Busy Brainer jumps head-long into pro career

Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – It didn’t take Bryan Brainer long to get his introduction to the world of professional baseball.

Brainer, the former Chesapeake College and Salisbury University pitching standout, signed with the New Haven County Cutters of the independent Can-Am League less than two weeks ago. He’s already pitched in four games for the Cutters, including one start.

"The most difficult aspect has been adjusting to the schedule. You’re working from 3 to 11 p.m. and you have to get your body clock right," said Brainer, who indicated he has yet to experience his first long minor-league road trip.

"My first series was in Atlantic City and then we had an eight-game home stand," said Brainer. I haven’t really experienced a road trip yet."

Brainer is currently 0-1 with a 4.66 earned-run average. He has five strikeouts and four walks in 9 2/3 innings pitched for the Cutters, whose 10-19 record places them ninth in the 10-team league, which stretches to Quebec to New Jersey.

The 22-year-old Brainer said another former Skipjack, Cambridge-South Dorchester High grad Cory Willey, helped hook him up with the Cutters.

"Cory played with New Haven last year and got picked up this year by the Phillies organization," said Brainer. "He provided access to the Cutters for me."

Brainer was an all-state and all-region standout for the Skipjacks, helping Chesapeake to the 2005 NJCAA Division II Region XX and Northeast District championships. He finished his JuCo career by posting a four-hit complete-game win over Madison (Wis.) Area Technical College in the opening round of the NJCAA World Series.

Brainer completed his collegiate career in May, posting an 8-3 record with a 2.14 ERA for Salisbury University as a senior. After averaging 8.8 strikeouts over each nine innings pitched for the Capital Athletic Conference champion Sea Gulls, he quickly set about starting his professional career.

"Playing a game every day is an adjustment, but a fun adjustment," said Brainer, who will resume work on his Salisbury University education degree next academic year, including his student teaching assignment.

Brainer credited family support and good coaching with preparing him for his shot at professional baseball.

"From high school, having a great coach in my father (former Kent Island High head coach Glenn Brainer), to Coach (Frank) Szymanski at Chesapeake I’ve been fortunate to play for good leaders," said Brainer. "My mom and my brothers and sisters have also always been there for me."

Brainer’s brother, Brad – who just finished his Chesapeake College baseball career – just signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Division I University of Maryland Baltimore County

"I think it’s great for him to be able to go and play Division I baseball," said Bryan Brainer. "He’s worked really hard and he deserves it. It’s great to have a younger brother that’s close in age that you can have baseball as a common interest."

Willey thriving in Class A

Cory Willey, the player who helped connect Brainer with the Cutters, is helping himself with an impressive season with the Clearwater Threshers of the Class A (Advanced) Florida State League.

The 26-year-old Willey is 4-1 with four saves and a 2.15 ERA in 22 games for the Threshers. Willey’s strong season has helped the Threshers to a 42-32 record, including a 3-1 mark in the second half of the season.

Delawter honored at UMBC

Former Chesapeake College first baseman Will Delawter, named an NJCAA Division II All-American in 2005 while playing for the Skipjacks, was recently named the designated hitter on the America East all-conference first team after completing his first baseball season at UMBC.

Delawter led the Retrievers (13-40) in batting average (.365), hits (62), RBI (38), slugging percentage (.553) and on-base percentage (.418). He was also named to the America East All-Academic team.

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