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SUMMER CATCH

About The Story
Cape Cod in summer is the quintessential all-American vacation locale. Families return to the Cape every year to enjoy the charms of idyllic New England — picturesque landscapes, warm summer nights, and tranquil seaside atmosphere.

But the Cape is also home to a more high-pressure phenomenon — the Cape Cod Baseball League. Every summer, college all-stars from around the country convene in the Cape League to prove to the pro scouts and to themselves that they've got what it takes to make it in in the Majors. As local pitching hopeful Ryan Dunne says. "I've seen so many dreams come true and die on the ball fields of the Cape."

"The Cape Cod summer league is a very high stakes, winner-take-all environment," says director Mike Tollin. "The college players who participate are used to being treated like superstars. Then they come to the Cape League where they have to start from scratch to make an impression. Major League scouts come in droves, so the kids are performing under great scrutiny and tremendous pressure. It can be terribly humbling. Players who can't cut it often end up quitting and going home."

For Ryan Dunne (FREDDLE PRINZE JR.), a blue-collar kid with Major League aspirations, this summer couldn't be any more crucial. "Ryan's not the most reliable guy in the beginning of the story," Freddie Prinze Jr. says of his character, the first local boy in years to earn a pitching slot in the prestigious Cape Cod League. "He's facing heavy competition and he's fighting his tendency to let distractions get in the way of his success.

His eyes on the prize, Ryan tries to stay focused, but the temptation to score off the field is almost as intense as the pressure to win on the diamond. And the local girls are all too willing to help the players cut loose after hours. During one of many nightly outings to the Oasis, the local bar where townies and team members mix it up. Ryan's ex flame Dede Mulligan (BRITTANY MURPHY) impresses the team by performing her signature trick of pouring a can of beer from between her legs. "Dede Mulligan is the town tart," Brittany Murphy says cheerfully. "But I think she iust has a ball playing around with these guys. If anybody is being used, it's them."

The down-home debauchery is also enhanced by the town's very own "Mrs. Robinson," who kicks off her infamous annual "initiation" of new recruits with naive young second-baseman Mickey "Domo" Dominguez (WILMER VALDERRAMA).

As friction builds between his loyal townie friends and his cocky teammates, the last thing Ryan's looking for is a summer fling.. .until he meets Tenley Parrish (JESSICA BIEL), a sexy college grad with dreams of her own. "Tenley is really smart and sophisticated," Jessica Biel says of her character, who is so confident in herself and her attraction to Ryan that she pursues him to prove their chemistry is worth his attention.

"Ryan and Tenley's relationship is a great role-reversal in that she's always chasing him," Prinze says. "She's rich and beautiful and he's broke and mows lawns for money. It takes him a while to believe that she would be really interested in a guy like him."

"She's definitely a go-getter, but she finds herself giving Ryan advice that she herself needs to follow," says Biel. "Tenley tells him, 'If you want big rewards, you have to take big risks."'

Tenley doesn't make it any easier for Ryan to keep to keep his mind on the game, and adding to the pressure is Ryan's rivalry with his teammate Eric Van Leemer (COREY PEARSON), who jumps at any opportunity to rattle Ryan's concentration and flaunt the fact that he's being courted by the Dodgers. "Van Leemer is arrogant," says Corey Pearson, who has experience playing college baseball. "He's full of talent, but unfortunately, he's also full of himself."

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