The Wareham Gatemen dropped their seventh straight road contest Sunday evening, falling to the Cotuit Kettleers 5-3 in eight innings.
A logjam of baserunners for both teams in the middle innings, which then prompted various mound visits and pitching changes was the death sentence for the Gatemen’s (13-19-1) hopes of knotting the game in the ninth.
With Cotuit (13-20) in the driver’s seat with a 4-3 lead, a conference between head coaches and umpires was held at the start of the eighth inning. The consensus reached indicated that the game would continue, but the parties would reconvene at the end of the inning to determine whether or not the game would go into the ninth.
The combination of the semblance of a Gatemen rally in the top portion of the frame—two runners reaching base but then ultimately stranded—and a run on an RBI single from Jack Klein for Cotuit in the bottom half all but ensured there was not enough light to begin the ninth inning.
Gatemen starter Brett Hanewich (Stanford) was razor sharp through the first three innings, retiring the first nine batters he faced.
Meanwhile, the offense rode the wave of momentum created by last night’s walk-off suicide squeeze to the tune of three runs of support through the first four innings—a feat that marks only the second time in 13 games the offense has put up more than two runs.
Mark Karaviotis’s (Oregon) RBI single, which scored Andrew Calica (UC Santa Barbara), was the damage in the first. It was then followed by two runs in the fourth inning on a two-RBI single from Calica.
Cotuit then answered with a run of its own in the fourth, as Brett Stephens (UCLA) grounded a single into left field and scored Jeren Kendall (who was running on the pitch) all the way from first base.
Still with a 3-1 advantage, the wheels then came off the outing of Hanewich in the fifth.
The right-hander sandwiched a strikeout between two walks, but then paid dearly for the baserunners when Kendall chopped a triple down the right field line to plate a pair and tie the game.
The go-ahead run for the Kettleers came in the sixth inning against Gatemen relief pitcher Ryan Olson (Cal Poly Pomona) when pinch-hitter Brody Weiss knocked home Stephens with an RBI single.
The insurance run in the eighth from Klein proved inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but undoubtedly played a role in the hasty termination of the game, and completed the string of five unanswered runs for Cotuit.
After an off day on Monday, the Gatemen return home on Tuesday to host the Falmouth Commodores in a battle between the Western Division’s fourth and third place teams, respectively. Matt Krook is scheduled to start for Wareham, while Falmouth projects to send Turner Larkins to the mound.