WAREHAM, MA: At long last, the Gatemen snapped a pair of dubious futility streaks with a 6-3 win over Bourne at Spillane Field. At the start of the evening, Wareham had not won a home game since defeating the same Braves team 4-3 just over three weeks ago on July Third, a streak of seven consecutive losses. That was also Wareham’s fourth straight win. But Cooper Faris’ club proceeded to go almost the entire rest of the month of July without another winning streak, until tonight.
Before the game even started, Wareham was the beneficiary of some good fortune. The Braves lineup was already missing Cape League RBI leader Colin Moran (North Carolina) when cleanup hitter Chase McDonald (East Carolina) joined Moran on the shelf as a late scratch five minutes before first pitch. McDonald has been a Gatemen killer this season with a .583 average to go along with two home runs and four RBI in three previous meetings between the teams.
For the third straight game, the Gatemen jumped to an early first inning lead. Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) and Tyler Horan (Virginia Tech) both hit two out singles before a Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) Texas leaguer into left plated Schwarber for a 1-0 advantage. The pendulum swung back and forth for the next seven innings. With Bourne leading 2-1 in the fifth, Wareham regained the lead at 3-2 when Cole Sturgeon (Louisville) singled and Horan reached on an error by Braves second baseman Trent Gilbert (Arizona). The very next inning, Bourne evened the score back up when Jordan Patterson (Alabama) launched a solo home run.
With the score tied at three in the eighth, the Gatemen were again the beneficiaries of sloppy defense by Gilbert. With Sturgeon at first after a single, Mott Hyde (Georgia Tech) hit a sharp chopper towards the middle that ricocheted off of Gilbert’s backhanded glove and into centerfield. One batter later, Schwarber ripped a bases clearing triple that opened up a 5-3 Gatemen lead. Palka then drove Schwarber home with an RBI double that added an insurance run.
The win not only improved Wareham’s record to 15-17 but it also catapulted them a half game ahead of the slumping Falmouth Commodores for second in the Western Division. Falmouth has lost eight in a row.