WAREHAM, MA: Cole Sturgeon (Louisville) scored two runs and Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) drove in two to open up the 2012 season for the Gatemen, but their effort was not enough as the Anglers won the first game of the 2012 season, 7-5.
In front of a large crowd at Spillane Field for the season opener, Sturgeon got the Gatemen off to a great start by hitting a single and scoring on an RBI double by Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) to give Wareham the early 1-0 lead in the first inning.
After striking out two batters and not allowing a hit in the first inning, Gatemen starter Jared Ruxer (Louisville) struggled in the 2nd inning. The right-hander gave up a double to Anglers right fielder Aaron Brown (Pepperdine) and after a groundout to give Ruxer two outs, the Gatemen couldn’t hold off Chatham. Nick LaCroix (Franklin Pierce) singled home Brown to tie the game, and then Ruxer walked Mike Fransoso (Maine) to load the bases.
The Indianapolis, IN native then walked Anglers DH Adam Engel (Louisville) to give Chatham a 2-1 lead and not to be outdone was Anglers first basemen Andrew Knapp (California), who then hit a 2 RBI single in the very next at-bat, giving Chatham a 4-1 lead over Wareham after only an inning and a half of play.
Ruxer bounced back in the 3rd and 4th inning, not allowing a run.
Toeing the rubber on the other side for Chatham was 6’7” Scott Frazier (Pepperdine). After the Sturgeon scored in the first inning, Frazier pitched 4 scoreless innings. At the end of the night, the Upland, CA native earned the win over 5 innings allowing 4 hits with 5 strikeouts.
Chatham plated one in the 6th inning with Ryan Milewski (University of South Carolina-Aiken) pitching in relief for Wareham. Alex Calbick (Maine) hit a sacrifice fly, allowing Aaron Brown to score his second run of the game. Milewski allowed two more in the 7th after Anglers SS Alex Chittenden (Louisville) singled home Engel, and then Knapp scored on a passed ball by Gatemen C Matt Walsh (Franklin Pierce). Heading into the 7th inning stretch, the Gatemen trailed 7-1.
Wareham started to mount its comeback in the bottom of the 7th, scoring three runs. Ethan Gross (Memphis) started off the inning with a walk, and eventually scored on an RBI single by Schwarber. Sturgeon crossed the plate later in the inning on a Daniel Palka sacrifice fly, and then Schwarber came around to cut the Anglers lead to 7-4 after Dustin DeMuth (Indiana) walked home his college teammate.
Chatham went scoreless in the 8th and 9th inning, so Wareham still trailed by three going into the final frame. The Gatemen loaded the bases with no outs, but Anglers relief pitcher Jake Joyce (Virginia Tech) struck out DeMuth and Walsh in consecutive at bats to bring Chatham to within one out of a win.
In the final at-bat of the game, Ethan Gross reached on an infield single to plate Palka and make to 7-5, but Gatemen 3B Ty McFarland (James Madison) was thrown out trying to score at home, ending the game.
The Gatemen will be back in action tonight as the Brewster Whitecaps come to Spillane Field for a 7:00pm first pitch.