WAREHAM, MA: For the third time in the last four games, a timely and dramatic late innings hit – this time by catcher Ty Ross (LSU), lifted the Wareham Gatemen to an exciting victory. The Gatemen won their fourth straight game by defeating the Bourne Braves in the first of the annual home & home, July 4th series between the two Western Division rivals.
Starting pitchers Kendall Graveman (Mississippi State) for Wareham and Mike Mayers (Ole Miss) for Bourne both impressed early in this game and developed a pitcher’s dual into the 6th inning. The Gatemen finally broke the scoreless tie in the bottom half of the inning but without getting ball out of the infield. A Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) infield single; his 14th which is good for 3rd in the CCBL, and a Claude Johnson (Arkansas State) rbi groundout put Wareham ahead 2-0.
The Bourne Braves wasted no time scoring their owns runs of the game in the very next inning. Chase McDonald (East Carolina) hit his 2nd homerun of the season (both against the Gatemen) to lead off the 7th inning. Mike Ahmed (UCONN) followed with a single and later scored on a game tying, rbi single by Aaron Payne (Oregon). That would end the night for Kendal Gravemen who finished the game by going 6 innings, striking out 6, allowing only 1 earned run and scattering just 5 hits in his Cape League debut. The bullpen combination of Clay Chapman (Florida Southern) and Joe Filomeno (Louisville) shutdown the Braves to keep the game tied 2-2 heading into the final two innings.
After a scoreless bottom half of the 7th and top of the 8th, the Gatemen manufactured base runners against Bourne reliever Hawtin Buchanan (Ole Miss). An Ethan Gross (Memphis) lead off walk followed by a sacrafice bunt by Cole Sturgeon (Louisville) and a single by Ty McFarland (James Madison) put runners on the corners with 1 out. Buchanan induced a shallow fly ball to centerfield by Scharwber but walked Claude Johnson to load the bases with two outs.
Bourne Manager Harvey Shapiro made another call to the bullpen and handed he ball to John Farrell (William & Mary) to face Gatemen catcher Ty Ross (LSU). The 1,327 at Spillane Field erupted when Ross hit a 2-2 pitch into the gap in right-center field; driving in two runs and giving Wareham a 4-2 lead.
The Gatemen have a lot big arm options to turn to in the bullpen but this time went to Colby Suggs (Arkansas) who made his own CCBL debut after arriving from the College World Series. He would give up a couple of hits but struck out two and ended the game himself on a nicely played come backer that he flipped to 1B Ty McFarland to close out the game and pick up his first save.
The win improves the Gatemen record to 9-7; two points behind first place Falmouth and 4 points clear of 3rd place Cotuit. With last night’s Hyannis win, Bourne falls into last place in the Western Division and is now 3-13 on the season.
Wareham was without starters and middle of the lineup power hitters Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) and Tyler Horan (Virginia Tech) – both who where among only 8 players in the nation selected to participate in the College Home Run Derby in Omaha, NE.
Wareham will travel to Bourne today – July 4th – to complete the annual home & home, holiday series with the Bourne Braves. The game starts at 5:00pm and the Gatemen will send LHP Brad Kuntz (Baylor) to the mound to face Tyler Skulina (Kent State).