Bourne (21-21-2, 0-0) vs. Warehan (25-15-4, 0-0)
Probable Starting Pitchers: BOURNE – Michael Dibrell (2-1, 1.60 ERA), RHP; WAREHAM – Brett Conine (2-1, 3.96 ERA), RHP;
Preview: Following a blazing end to the regular season that saw the Gatemen go 12-2-1 in their last 15 games, Wareham now begins what they hope will be an extended postseason run Friday evening at Spillane Field. The Gatemen, who have not won a playoff series since 2012 when they Cape Cod Baseball League Championship, face a familiar foe in the Bourne Braves in round one. Just last season, the one seeded Braves knocked off the Gatemen in the first round – sweeping them in two games. Now, with home field advantage on their side, Wareham hopes to take care of a Braves team that they have done particularly well against all season long. During the regular season, the Gatemen went 5-0-1 against the Braves, including 3-0 at Spillane Field. The two’s only tie came in their first matchup of the season when Bourne rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to even the score at seven. Brett Conine – who has been by and large the best pitcher for Wareham in the second half of the season – makes the start for the Gatemen in game one. Conine, a rising sophomore out of Cal State Fullerton, has surrendered more than three earned runs in just one start this season. In his final outing of the season, Conine was at his sharpest, going six innings of shutout baseball against Harwich, scattering just two hits, walking one, and striking out four. On the year, opponents have a .239/.309/.343 slash line when facing Conine.
Wareham’s offense will get their second look at Mike Dibrell as he gets the call to start game one of the postseason for Bourne. Dibrell opposed the Gatemen back on July 4 and was spectacular. The rising junior out of Kennesaw State went six innings, allowed only two unearned runs on four hits, walked no one and struck out eight. Uncharacteristically, Dibrell has not struck out a batter over his last 6.2 innings of work, causing some to wonder whether the “strikeout stuff” that he showcased earlier in the season is starting to fade. Despite his recent lack of strikeouts, however, Dibrell still has fanned 36 in 38.1 innings while giving up 28 hits en route to a 1.60 ERA. He contains an upper 80s fastball, a 12-6 curveball, and a change-up in his repertoire.
News & Notes:
. The Bourne Braves’ Willy Yahn was awarded with the John Claffey New England Top Prospect Award prior the Braves final regular season game against Falmouth.
. Wareham became the first team since Falmouth to have a player atop the league leaderboards in batting average, home runs, and RBIs. Cole Freeman captured the league lead in hitting (.374) while Colton Shaver lead the league in homers (8) and RBIs (29).
. Gatemen left-handed reliever Ryan Wilson, who has not pitched since July 20, is expected to be available out of the bullpen for the Gatemen this evening
Game Time: 6:30pm, Spillane Field, Wareham