SEAN TENAGLIA (Gatemen Beat Writer)
WAREHAM, MA: The Gatemen halted their five-game losing skid Saturday night at Spillane Field against the Bourne Braves. Unfortunately, they did not do so with a win.
In a game that was capped at the 12-inning limit, the Braves and Gatemen (9-22-1) played to a 3-3 tie. Despite outhitting Bourne twelve to three, the Gatemen were unable to capitalize and pull away with the win. Wareham Head Coach Cooper Farris compared the tie to “kissing your sister,” as he summed up the bittersweet nature of the game.
“It didn’t help us a whole lot,” Farris said, “but it’s still better than a loss.”
A pair of throwing errors by the Braves allowed the Gatemen to jump out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. After second baseman Kramer Robertson (LSU) led off with a single, shortstop Blake Lacey (USC) laid a bunt down the third base line. The throw to first from Blake Allemand (Texas A&M) was wild and both runners moved into scoring position with no outs. Designated hitter Chris Chinea (LSU) then hit a slow roller to shortstop, but Richie Martin Jr.’s (Florida) throw also went wide. Robertson and Lacey came around to score to give Wareham a 2-0 lead as Chinea moved up to second. Chinea crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice from third baseman Jose Cuas (Maryland) as the Gatemen grabbed their largest lead in a game since July 5.
Starting pitcher Kyle Cody (Kentucky) was fantastic once again on the mound for the Gatemen. Just hours after being named the Western Division starter for the Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game, Cody tossed 6.0 innings of three-hit ball. He did not allow a hit through his first 4.0 innings of work and he also picked up three strikeouts.
The Braves grabbed their first run on their first hit of the game, a leadoff solo shot from first baseman Zander Weil (Vanderbilt) in the top of the fifth. Cody instantly settled down to record three consecutive groundball outs to Robertson to end the frame. The Kentucky right-hander went on to retire the next six batters he faced following Weil’s blast.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Braves finally got to Cody as left fielder Brett Sullivan (Pacific) and second baseman Billy Fleming (West Virginia) reached base with back-to-back singles. Two uncharacteristic wild pitches from Cody allowed the runners to move up and Sullivan to score to cut the Wareham lead to 3-2. Farris acknowledged that the game’s frustrating outcome likely boiled down to a few bad pitches.
“We let it get out of hand with those two wild pitches,” Farris said. “They scored three runs on three hits, and those two pitches cost us big time. Maybe we just panicked a little too much.”
Scott Effross (Indiana), another All-Star selection for the Gatemen, entered the game with runners at the corners and no outs. Although Effross did not allow a hit in 3.0 innings of relief, Bourne tied the game 3-3 when a pitch got past catcher Keaton Aldridge (Memphis).
The Braves did not record a single hit over the final five innings of the game, and only tallied three total all night, but they remained in the game as the Gatemen squandered multiple opportunities to pull out the win. Wareham was in position to walk off with a win in each of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh innings, but were unable to do so.
The Gatemen had a great chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth when first baseman Danny Rosenbaum (Louisville) advanced to second on a pass ball with one out. Corey Ray (Louisville) came through with a pinch-hit single up the middle and Rosenbaum headed for home representing the game-winning run. Bourne centerfielder Harrison Bader (Florida) delivered a strike to home plate that gunned down Rosenbaum and held the score at 3-3.
In the bottom of the tenth, the Gatemen had runners at first and second with one out, but Bourne reliever John Gorman (Boston College) recorded a groundout and a strikeout to extend the ballgame. Cuas found himself 90 feet away as the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the eleventh, but Jake Sparger (Louisville) got right fielder Anderson Miller (Western Kentucky) to ground out to short. In what has become all too familiar for Farris and his team, the Gatemen failed to convert in key situations Saturday night.
“We had a couple chances there and just didn’t get it done,” Farris said. “We had runners at third and still couldn’t come up with a clutch hit.”
A Hyannis loss combined with the Wareham tie does mean that the Gatemen did pick up some ground in the playoff race Saturday. Nevertheless, the Gatemen must hope that those missed opportunities will not come back to hurt them at the end of the season. The Gatemen are in Falmouth Sunday afternoon for a rematch with the Commodores, who rallied to defeat Wareham 5-3 Friday night at Spillane Field (4:30 p.m. ET).
As always, you can watch the live stream of the game by accessing our “Gatemen Pressbox” page. The pre-game show begins around 4:10 p.m. Like the Wareham Gatemen Baseball Facebook page and follow @WarehamGatemen for all the latest news on the team.