By SEAN TENAGLIA (Gatemen Beat Writer)
WAREHAM, MA: The hits just kept coming for the Bourne Braves Friday night. After the Braves and Gatemen (6-14) traded leads early in the game, Bourne poured on eight runs in the final three innings and 13 total hits to earn a 14-6 win at Spillane Field.
The Braves jumped on starter Anthony Kay (Connecticut) in the top of the first to grab a 2-0 lead. Shortstop Richie Martin Jr. (Florida) led off the inning with a single to right field, and found himself at third base with one out. Second baseman Billy Fleming (West Florida) grounded back to Kay, who trapped Martin in a pickle at third, but somehow the Bourne shortstop maneuvered himself around the Gatemen fielders and across the plate. The Braves added a second run on an RBI single down the right field line from designated hitter Gavin Collins (Mississippi State).
Wareham bounced back in the bottom of the first to even the score at 2-2. Second baseman Kramer Robertson (LSU) and centerfielder Jake Little (Memphis) walked and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice fly from first baseman Nick Halamandaris (UC-Berkeley). Left fielder Kyri Washington (Longwood) delivered with a big two-out, two-run single to left field to bring the runners across.
Bourne responded immediately in the top of the second to regain the lead. With two outs, Martin doubled to centerfield and came around to score again when Washington could not catch a fly ball hit to left field by right fielder Mark Laird (LSU). Down 0-2 in the count, Fleming delivered with an RBI single to right to plate Laird and give the Braves a 4-2 lead.
In the back-and-forth contest, the Gatemen battled back again in the bottom of the second to tie the game again. A sacrifice bunt from shortstop Errol Robinson (Mississippi) moved third baseman Jose Cuas (Maryland) and right fielder Anderson Miller (Western Kentucky) into scoring position with one out. An RBI groundout from designated hitter Willie Calhoun (Arizona) and an RBI single from Robertson evened the score at 4-4.
Kay settled down and cruised through the middle innings, allowing only one hit and one walk between the third and fifth innings. In 5.0 total innings of work, he allowed five hits, four runs and three walks.
The Gatemen grabbed their only lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth after catcher Chris Chinea (LSU) doubled and Cuas singled to lead off the inning. RBI groundouts from Miller and Robinson scored the two runners to give Wareham a 6-4 lead.
In his Wareham debut, reliever Jason Richman (Georgia Southern) struggled against a high-powered Bourne offense. The Braves grabbed a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to knot the game at 6-6. Three more runs crossed the plate in the top of the seventh, and were charged to Richman, as Bourne grabbed a 9-6 lead.
Trailing 10-6, the Gatemen brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the eighth in the form of Willie Calhoun. Bourne reliever Jimmy Herget (South Florida) got Calhoun to pop out to the shortstop to escape the bases loaded jam unscathed. Wareham was unable to muster anything in the ninth, as Herget set down the Gatemen quickly to end the ballgame.
Bourne’s excellent offensive performance was capped off by a four-run top of the ninth. Laird crushed a bases-clearing triple to the wall in right-centerfield, and came around to score on an RBI groundout from Fleming.
The Gatemen tallied nine base hits, including three from Chinea and two from Cuas, who also scored two runs in his third game with Wareham.
“It felt great,” Cuas said. “I was seeing that ball really well tonight. I was able to get some balls to drop and fall in the opposite field. I’m working on staying back on the ball. I’ve been trying to let it come to me, as opposed to reaching out for it, and it’s definitely been paying off now.”
Cuas recognized that the team still has a lot of work to do to close out games and pick up some wins.
“We played well, but I feel like we died out once they went up on us,” Cuas said. “We need to work as a group, as players and coaches, to give it all we got through nine innings.”
The Gatemen have an immediate opportunity for revenge when they travel to Bourne Friday night for a July 4th matchup with the Braves (6 p.m. ET).
As always, you can watch the live stream of the game by accessing our “Gatemen Pressbox” page. The pre-game show begins around 5:40 p.m. Like the Wareham Gatemen Baseball Facebook page and follow @WarehamGatemen for all the latest news on the team.
“Coop’s Scoop” – Postgame interview with Manager Cooper Farris – Click below to listen to interview
Pregame Interview with Gatemen Player of the Game Jose Cuas (Maryland)