Wareham coach Jerry Weinstein’s description of leadoff man Joey Bartosic said it all.
“(Joey) is a bit of an energizer bunny for us at the top of lineup,” said Weinstein.
Led by Bartosic’s one-for-four day at the plate, that included stolen bases plus the go ahead double in the bottom of the sixth inning, and a two inning save out of Nick Sprengel, the Gatemen held on to beat Falmouth 6-5 on a cool Friday night at Spillane Field.
“(Joey) is an igniter, he makes things happen,” said Weinstein. “He has been the guy that without a doubt is making us go right now,”
Heading into the top of the ninth Wareham (5-2) held onto what appeared to be a comfortable 6-3 lead. Falmouth (5-2), however, made sure to make it interesting.
Sprengel began the inning by inducing a groundout to second base for the first out of the inning, but Michael Cantu singled with one out, and Matt Duce worked a walk to bring the tying run to the plate. Cadyn Grenier fell behind 0-2 in the count, but worked it full and was rewarded for his efforts as he smoked a base hit to centerfield to score Cantu to cut the Gatemen lead to 6-4.
Two batters later, with the bases now full, Sprengel uncorked a wild pitch that went to the back stop, scoring Grenier and moving the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position. Sprengel stopped the bleeding right there, as he got a ground ball to second base off the bat of Michael Gigliotti to preserve the 6-5 win.
“Quite simply we made the big pitches when we had to. At the end of the day, that is all there is to it,” said Weinstein.
The Gatemen trailed 2-1 entering the bottom of the fifth, and were sputtering offensively. Bartosic, however, changed that in a hurry. The leadoff man out of George Washington drew a one out walk and, on a 1-2 pitch to Trevor Ezell, stole second to get into scoring position. Ezell proceeded to strike out, but K.J. Harrison evened things up with a base hit back through the box.
Gavin Sheets followed up Harrison’s hit with a base hit of own, and Colton Shaver got by hit by a pitch to load the bases with two men down. Moments later, Colton Burns gave Wareham the lead, drawing a four pitch lead to plate Harrison with the Gatemen’s third run of the game.
Wareham’s lead did not last long, however, as in the top half of the sixth the Commodores evened the score as Gigliotti grounded a one out single up the middle, advanced to second on an errant pick off throw, moved over to third on a wild pitch, and came around to score on a wild pitch.
But nevertheless Bartosic made sure the Gatemen left Spillane Field on Friday night with a win.
Preston Grand Pre began the bottom of the sixth by reaching an error by Commodores’ third baseman Willie Burger. Two batters later, with Grand Pre now standing on second base, Bartosic came through drilling a one out double into the left center-field gap to score Grand Prep and put the Gatemen on top 4-3.
Reliever Cole Stapler tossed a shutout inning of relief in the top of the seventh, and in the bottom half of the frame the Gatemen offense provided him some insurance.
Robbie Metz, fresh off the bench, drilled a two out double into the right center field gap. Jonathan Engelmann proceeded to bloop a shallow fly ball out behind second base that was not handled cleanly, bringing around Metz to put the Gatemen up 5-3. Finally, Grand Pre capped of the Gatemen scoring output by singling back through the middle, scoring Engelmann and handing Wareham a 6-3 advantage heading into the eighth inning.