BOURNE, MA: Trailing 3-2 in the 8th inning and facing Bourne reliever & CCBL All-Star John Farrell (William & Mary), who had not given up a single run all season, the Wareham Gatemen scored 4 runs and went on to beat the Bourne Braves 6-3. The win moves the Gatemen within 2 points of the 2nd place Braves and the two teams will play for 2nd place & home field advantage in the first round of the Western Division Playoffs on Wednesday night at Spillane Field.
Short on fresh arms and perhaps trying to setup his playoff rotation, Manager Cooper Farris sent recently signed Jake Boyd (Stetson) to the hill to make his Cape Cod Baseball League debut. Boyd, who made an incredible 38 appearances during the college season – none of them starts, gave Wareham 4 quality innings; allowing on 1 earned run on 4 hits while striking out 5.
An opening error by shortstop LJ Mazzilli (UCONN) and an infield hit by Patrick Cantwell (Stony Brook) set the stage for Bourne to score 2 runs in the first inning. Blake Crohan (Tulane) delivered a 2-out, 2-run single to give the Braves an early 2-0 lead.
A Tyler Ross (LSU) rbi single in the 2nd and a Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) rbi double in the 4th tied the game at 3. DJ Hicks (Central Florida) drove in his 19th run of the season in the bottom half of the inning and Bourne retook the lead 3-2.
As has been the case for the past week or so, the Gatemen pitching staff once again showed tremendous versatility. Luke Farrell (Northwestern), normally a regular in the Gatemen rotation, made his first relief appearance of the season for the Gatemen. Farrell did not allow a hit in 4 innings of work and struck out 6 Braves; keeping the Gatemen in the game by making perhaps the best relief outing of the year for Wareham. Bourne reliever RC Orlan (North Carolina) was equally impressive; not allowing a Wareham hit in his 3 innings of work.
Orlan handed the ball over to Bourne Braves All-Star John Farrell to pitch the 8th inning. The bottom of the Gatemen batting order came through in one of the most dramatic innings of the season. A leadoff single and a stolen base by Max Muncy (Baylor) setup the inning. With two outs, rbi’s by the #6 hitter Daniel Palka, #7 hitter William Carmona (Stony Brook), #8 hitter Ty Ross and the #9 hitter CT Bradford (Mississippi) allowed the Gatemen to score 4 consecutive runs and take a 6-3 lead into the final inning.
Gatemen closer Konner Wade (Arizona) entered the game in the 9th and picked up his 11th save of the season. Wade moves into a tie for 2nd on the all-time, single season saves list for the Wareham Gatemen; passing current Cleveland Indian Justin Masterson.
Daniel Palka led the Gatemen offense by going 4 for 4 with 2 rbi, 2 runs scored and a walk. He now finds himself tied for 3rd in the CCBL with a .330 batting average. Johnny Field (Arizona), CT Bradford and Ty Ross all had 2 hits for the Wareham offense.
The win for the Gatemen (22-21) sets up a regular season finale showdown on Wednesday with this same Bourne Braves (22-19-2) team at Spillane Field. Already paired against each other in the first round of the CCBL Western Division playoffs, the winner will get home field advantage and be the host in game 1 of the division semi-finals on Friday night.
The Gatemen starting pitcher vs. Bourne on Wednesday will be Matthew Grimes (Georgia Tech).