HARWICH, MA: Wareham jumped out early with two runs in the top of the first inning, but Harwich stormed back to defeat the Gatemen 8-3 on Wednesday night at Whitehouse Field. With the victory, Harwich improved to 13-11. The Gatemen, meanwhile, fell to 5-19 with the loss and finish their four-game road trip at 1-3.
Wareham began the game with three straight singles from center fielder Cole Sturgeon (Louisville), second baseman Brett Pirtle (second baseman) and designated hitter Tino Lipson (UC-Davis). Lipson’s base knock to left field scored Sturgeon and advanced Pirtle to third. The next batter, first baseman Trevor Podratz (Hawaii), grounded into a double play that allowed Pirtle to cross the plate and gave Wareham an early 2-0 advantage.
But the Mariners responded with a pair of their own runs in the bottom of the inning. After second baseman Gunnar Heidt (College of Charleston) singled and stole two bases, left fielder Derek Fisher (Virginia) singled home Harwich’s first run. Fisher then moved up to third on a groundout. With two outs, Wareham had a chance to get out of the inning, but Harwich designated hitter Ian Happ (Cincinnati) reached on an error and Fisher came across to tie the game.
Starting pitchers Jared Ruxer (Louisville) and Jalen Beeks (Arkansas) settled down from that point forward. Beeks tossed six innings total and did not allow another run. The left-hander only surrendered one more hit — a triple by Podratz — and didn’t walk anyone. Ruxer also put the first inning behind him and only allowed another hit through 3.1 innings before he had to leave with a slight finger injury.
Harwich took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to center fielder Aaron Barbosa (Northeastern) and his speed. Barbosa, who was tied for the league lead with 12 stolen bases entering Wednesday night, led off with a walk and quickly advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. He then moved up to third on a wild pitch and came home to score on an RBI groundout to second base by Fisher.
The Mariners added five more runs in the bottom of the seventh against Wareham left-hander Sean Newcomb. Barbosa singled, stole second and moved to third on an error. Heidt then walked and set the stage for Fisher, who smacked a deep double to right field to score Barbosa. Right fielder Ben Moore (Alabama) then hit a grounder to Wareham shortstop Ethan Gross (Memphis), who gunned it home just after Heidt slid home for the second run of the inning. Third baseman Ryan Lindemuth (William and Mary) then roped a double to left-center field to score Fisher and Moore, and Lindemuth came in to score after catcher Brett Austin (NC State) singled to left field.
In the top of the eighth, the Gatemen managed to get one back. Catcher Chris Chinea (LSU) singled to right field and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Pirtle lasered a line drive up the middle to score Chinea and cut the deficit to 8-3.
Wareham left-hander Ryan Riga pitched 1.2 innings of relief and gave up just one run. Right-hander Jonathan Holder, back for his second summer with the Gatemen, made his season debut after arriving late from the College World Series. Holder pitched a 1-2-3 inning and had a strikeout.
The Gatemen have Thursday off and are back in action Friday when they host the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox at Spillane Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
As always, you can watch the live stream of the game by accessing our “Gatemen Pressbox” page. The pre-game show begins around 6:45 p.m.