SEAN TENAGLIA (Gatemen Beat Writer)
HYANNIS, MA: After a week of clean fielding, the error bug came back to bite the Gatemen in the worst way Sunday night at McKeon Park in Hyannis. The Gatemen (9-19) committed five errors, all of which proved costly, as the Harbor Hawks capitalized to pull away with a 10-1 win.
Wareham entered the night just two games behind Hyannis for fourth place in the Western Division. A second win over the Harbor Hawks this weekend would have jumped them right back into contention, but too many mistakes overwhelmed the Gatemen in the field.
The errors began in the bottom of the second when Hyannis first baseman Carl Wise (Charleston) reached base as Wareham second baseman Kramer Robertson (LSU) failed to cleanly field a groundball. Wise would come around to give Hyannis a 1-0 lead on an RBI single from catcher David Houser (Tennessee).
The Gatemen responded against Hyannis starter Tate Scioneaux (Southeastern Louisiana) in the top of the fourth inning by putting runners at the corners with no outs. A sacrifice fly from third baseman Danny Rosenbaum (Louisville) brought in designated hitter Chris Chinea (LSU) to tie the game at 1-1, but the Gatemen would leave two runners on in the inning.
Offensive woes continue to plague the Gatemen, who had only five hits in Sunday’s game. In each of the third, fourth, and sixth innings, they left two runners on base with an opportunity to break the 1-1 tie and change the momentum of the ballgame. Instead, the offense remained quiet while the defense coughed up the game.
Wareham starting pitcher Jake Kalish (George Mason) threw well through his first 5.0 innings of work, allowing just one run and four hits, while striking out four Harbor Hawks. Unfortunately, the wheels came off for Kalish and the Gatemen after the first two Hyannis batters singled in the bottom of the sixth. After walking Wise to load the bases, a pass ball allowed a run to score to give Hyannis a 2-1 lead.
Willie Kuhl (Cal State Fullerton) came on in relief looking to minimize the damage with one out, but only discovered more trouble in the sixth. With the bases loaded, Houser hit a routine groundball to third that allowed for a force out at home. Rosenbaum’s throw home was wild, and two runs came in to suddenly give Hyannis a 4-1 lead. The Harbor Hawks picked up two more runs when Kuhl tossed a wild pitch and the return throw from catcher John Bormann (UT-San Antonio) got away. In a matter of minutes, fielding miscues turned a close game into a runaway win for Hyannis.
The Harbor Hawks added four more runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull away and take a commanding 10-1 lead. The first run came via an RBI single from Wise, but the final three runs were scored in an incredibly frustrating fashion. Relievers Liam O’Sullivan (Saint Leo) and Andrew Zapata (Connecticut) walked three consecutive batters with the bases loaded to give away three more runs to Hyannis and put the game far out of reach for the Gatemen.
Hyannis reliever Matt Denny (Mississippi) set down the Gatemen quietly in the final three innings of the ballgame, allowing only one hit while striking out five Wareham batters to close out the win for the Harbor Hawks.
After the game, Kalish acknowledged that the pitching staff as a whole has a lot of work to do to improve and help right the ship.
“Everyone just needs to keep throwing strikes,” Kalish said. “Toward the end of the game, it’s just a matter of throwing strikes and hopefully we can just be a little more consistent.”
“We just have to flush it. We just need to understand that in order to win, we have to make plays. The hitting and the runs will come, but we have to start by throwing strikes.”
The Gatemen are back in action Monday night at Spillane Field against the Brewster Whitecaps (7 p.m. ET). With only a few weeks remaining and the playoff chase starting to heat up, a matchup with the 10-18 Whitecaps is starting to feel like a must-win to keep Wareham’s postseason dreams alive.
As always, you can watch the live stream of the game by accessing our “Gatemen Pressbox” page. The pre-game show begins around 6:40 p.m. Like the Wareham Gatemen Baseball Facebook page and follow @WarehamGatemen for all the latest news on the team.