COTUIT, MA: In control for 8 innings, the Wareham Gatemen gave up 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th; capped by a game winning sacrafice fly by Kyle Wren (Georgia Tech) to complete a 5-4 final inning comeback for the defending CCBL Champions.
Coming into the game with a league best 6 points and a 3-1 record, the Gatemen gave starter Matthew Grimes (Georgia Tech) a 2-0 lead to work with in the first inning. Brandon Thomas (Georgia Tech), leading the CCBL coming into the game with a .500 batting average, doubled to lead off the game. He was moved to third on a sacrafice bunt by Johnny Field (Arizona) and scored later on a sacrafice fly ball to center field by Max Muncy (Baylor). Wareham’s second run of the inning came on an rbi single by Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech).
Cotuit cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning. After a Kyle Wren single and stolen base, Micah Johnson (Indiana) singled to score Wren with the Kettleer’s first.
Yet another Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket would impact the game in the top of the 2nd with one out as Mott Hyde tripled to put the Gatemen in scoring position once again. After a Johnny Field walk, an errant pick off attempt by Cotuit starting pitcher RJ Fondon (Florida International) allowed Hyde to score Wareham’s 3rd run.
After a quick start for both offenses, the starting pitchers would settle down for the next 4 1/2 innings. Grimes would allow only 4 base runners over his final 5 shutout innings and finish with a total of 5 strikeouts and would not walk a batter. Cotuit starter Fondon was also impressive during this stretch but would be lifted in the 7th after a leadoff triple by Gatemen OF Robert Refnsnyder (Arizona); his 2nd and league leading triple in as many games.
Mason McVay (Florida International) replaced Fondon and with Refsnyder standing on 3rd, managed to retire the first two batters. Johnny Field, however, delivered for the Wareham – singling to drive home a run and put Wareham ahead 4-1.
Field’s college teammate, Konnor Wade (Arizona) came out of the Gatemen bullpen to make his first Cape League appearance to start the 7th inning. Wade was stellar in protecting the Wareham lead; allowing only 1 hit in two innings of work and striking out two. Coach Cooper Farris then turned to Andy Flett (Louisville) to close out the game in the 9th inning.
Flett was greeted with a single by Pinch Hitter Stefan Sabol (Oregon) and the walked Kevin Roundtree (USC) to set the stage for the Kettleers’ dramatic comeback. Flett was lifted in favor of Steven Perakslis (Maine) who then walked SS Kevin Mager (Rollins) to load the bases. Cotuit Head Coach Mike Roberts pressed the right buttons once again and sent Pinch Hitter Logan Vick (Baylor) to the plate as a pinch hitter. Vick delivered a clutch, 2-run single and suddenly the Kettleers, down 4-1 entering the final inning, were within 1 run with 2 runners on base and no outs.
A sacrafice bunt by Ryon Healy (Oregon) placed 2 runners in scoring position and a Patrick Biondi (Michigan) fielder’s choice resulted in the tying run crossing the plate. Kyle Wren, the highly touted freshman from Georgia Tech, then stepped to the plate and landed the final blow to the Gatemen; hitting a sacrafic fly to score the winning run for Cotuit to the delight of the light but enthusiastic crowd at beautiful Lowell Park.
Wareham’s record falls to 3-2 and Cotuit moves to 2-2-1. The Gatemen are tied atop the Western Division with Hyannis with 6 points at this early stage of the 2011 season. Wareham will play next on Thursday at Orleans; starting at 7:00pm from Eldredge Park. Justin Amlung (Louisville) will be the starting pitcher.