Considering how solid the Gatemen have played defensively all season long, to see how Wednesday night unfolded was a bit of a surprise.
Due in large part to four errors, including two of them in a fourth inning that produced two Falmouth (8-8) runs, and an 0-for-seven day at the plate with runners in scoring position, Wareham fell to the Commodores, 4-0, on a muggy Wednesday night at Spillane Field.
Wareham coach Jerry Weinstein discussed the importance of not getting frustrated after a game like Wednesday’s.
“If we get frustrated then we get worried about things we can’t control,” said Weinstein. “We did not play very well. We did not catch the ball tonight and we did not make many productive outs. If we do both of those things we are probably still playing right now.”
Zachary Pop got the start for the Gatemen (9-7-1), and threw three scoreless innings to begin the ball game before facing some tough luck in the top of the fourth.
Trevor Larnach reached on a leadoff walk to begin the frame for Falmouth. Willie Burger stepped up to the plate, and proceeded to hit a hard groundball into the shortstop hole. Gatemen shortstop Preston Grand Pre reeled in the chopper, and threw a missile off his back foot toward second basemen Cole Freeman.
The throw went into the palm of Freeman’s glove and out, allowing Larnach to be safe at second and putting two runners on with nobody out. Two batters later, Tyler Lawrence gave Falmouth a 1-0 lead, lining an inside fastball off the glove at Adrian Tovalin at third base for an infield single.
Moments later, the Commodores went up 2-0, as a potential double play ball off the bat of Matt Duce deflected off the glove of Grand Pre allowing Burger to score.
Meanwhile, Falmouth starter Jake Bird was on all evening long. The right-hander out of UCLA went six shutout innings, surrendered just four hits, and struck out four. He featured a terrific slider, spinning in 10 of the 17 he threw for strikes.
Falmouth added to their 2-0 lead in the top half of the fifth. Michael Gigliotti lead off with a double to right center field and Cadyn Grenier dropped a perfect bunt down the third base line, giving the Commodores runners on the corners and nobody out.
Tim Cosgrove was called on out of the bullpen for the Gatemen. Immediately, Larnach greeted Cosgrove with a base hit back through the box scoring Gigliotti. Grenier, running from first on the play, was able to get all the way to third with nobody out as the single was misplayed by Wareham centerfielder Robbie Metz.
Finally, Tristan Gray capped off Falmouth’s scoring output for the night, lining a single to center to bring in Grenier.
“I thought Gunner (Leger) was good, I thought Pop was good,” said Weinstein in regards to his staff. “There were probably a few situations where he needed to throw his secondary pitches for strikes and he just was not able to. That’s why they are here though, to learn those things. We just did not do a great job of executing offensively when we needed to score a couple of runs.”
Gunner Leger pitched two scoreless innings for the Gatemen, pushing his streak of consecutive innings without allowing a run up to eight for the season.
One of the biggest standouts from Leger’s performance was his willingness to pitch inside with his fastball to both left handed and right-handed hitters.
Leger said he has learned at Louisiana Lafayette that pitching inside is all about pitching with confidence.
“That comes from my college coach,” said Leger. “That is something he preaches everyday. We do that to protect our changeup and confuse the hitters. Its just something to mix it up and make it harder on the hitters.”