Will Brennan and James Cosentino are more familiar with each other than most guys who play summer ball together in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Growing up teammates, rivals and now teammates again, Brennan and Cosentino are part of the Big 12 rivalry between Kansas State and Kansas. This summer, they’re reunited on the field with the Falmouth Commodores in Massachusetts.
“It’s awesome just being out on the field together getting each other better,” said Cosentino, who goes to KU. “Pushing each other to work harder is pretty great.”
“It’s nice having a familiar face around,” said Brennan, who hails from K-State. “Baseball’s all about fun, so having that kid that you grew up with, it’s nice to have that around.”
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Brennan grew up in Stilwell, Kan., Cosentino in Leawood. They first met in middle school, playing basketball for a travel team called the Nets. They suited up for rival travel-ball teams but spent many winters together on the hardwood.
“It was fun to play with him, mess around with each other and make each other better,” Cosentino said.
While they never attended school together, the two juniors-to-be kept in touch throughout high school and now in college.
Brennan earned All-Big 12 first-team honors in his sophomore campaign for his work both on the mound and at the plate. He’ll mainly patrol the outfield and hit in Falmouth, but he considers himself a two-way player. He hit safely in the Commodores’ first five games from the leadoff spot and has appeared in both center and left field this summer.
Consentino hit Falmouth’s second home run of the season and plays a slick middle infield for the Jayhawks and Commodores, flashing plus-power from a sub-6-foot frame.
When their teams faced each other this spring in college competition, Brennan found himself on the mound against his friend. Cosentino was quick to admit that he struck out, but Brennan said it’d be tough to whiff him again.
The pair share a mutual respect.
“He’s really good,” Brennan said. “I’d try to throw it harder, I guess.”
During that same series, Brennan asked Cosentino where he’d be playing this summer. Cosentino told him he was heading to Falmouth, and Brennan said he was, too.
With players coming to Falmouth from across the country, their relationship is inspiring those around them to interact more with their summer teammates.
“I feel like this team is really relaxed and laid back,” Brennan said. “Everyone gets along well and it feeds into our relationship.”
“This team has good chemistry, and having Will beside me helps, too,” he said.
Brennan admits Cosentino is a better football player (mainly because Brennan never played), and their baseball careers are far from over. But their fiercest rivalry might still await on the basketball court.
“I’ve gotta think I’ve got him,” Cosentino said. “... I’ll do a little crossover, maybe a little fadeaway.”
“I’m D’ing that up all day,” Brennan said with a laugh.
Let the battle continue.