WAREHAM, MA: – The Gatemen dropped their third game in the row to the Braves 4-2 Wednesday at Spillane Field to finish their regular season. With the loss, Wareham fell to fourth in the Western Division and will play division winner Bourne in the first round of the playoffs.
Devin Burke (Duke) (L, 1-4) got the start for the Gatemen and allowed the first batter of the game, Travis Jankowski (Stony Brook), to single to right. Jankowski was quickly erased when catcher Chris Walker (Fordham) threw him out at second for the caught stealing. However, Bourne quickly had itself another baserunner when Tommy LaStella (Coastal Carolina) doubled along the rightfield line. After Jason Coats (Texas Christian) grounded out, a Mike Nemeth (Connecticut) grounder was mishandled by first baseman Max Muncy (Baylor) and LaStella came in from second to score.
The Gatemen came to bat in the bottom of the first already down 1-0.
With one out, John Andreoli (Connecticut) dropped a perfect bunt along the third baseline for a single. After Andreoli stole second, Zach Wilson (Arizona State) struck out and Muncy walked to put two men on with two outs for Tyler Bream (Liberty). With Bream at the plate, Will Roberts (Virginia) (W, 1-0) threw a wild pitch which advanced Muncy and Andreoli to second and third. Bream then singled to center to drive in both baserunners and give the Gatemen a 2-1 lead.
Both teams were held scoreless through the next four innings, with Wareham also being held hitless. Devin Burke demonstrated excellent command through a solid five innings, but ran intro some trouble in the top of the sixth. Tommy LaStella reached first on a one-out single and stole second to give Bourne a man in scoring position. Jason Coats followed by doubling to left center to score LaStella and tie the game up at 2-2. However, the Braves offense was not done. After Mike Nemeth flied out to right, Creede Simpson singled to left to drive in Coats and Bourne retook the lead at 3-2.
Will Roberts and Devin Burke both exited the game after six innings. Roberts allowed two runs off of three hits and a walk and struck out five. Burke gave up seven hits, three runs (two earned), walked none, and fanned four. Both teams turned to their bullpen in the seventh, and Gatemen newcomer Brian Bodjiak (Rhode Island) and Bourne’s Will Jolin (Connecticut) each tossed scoreless innings.
Wareham replaced Bodjiak with lefty Andrew McKirahan (Texas) in the eighth. The southpaw issues a leadoff walk to Travis Jankowski and got Tommy LaStella to fly out for the first out of the inning. Before McKirahan induced Jason Coats to groundout to third, Jankowski had already moved into scoring position by stealing second. Mike Nemeth singled Jankowski home and increased the Bourne lead to 4-2.
After a scoreless bottom of the eighth from Logan Billbrough (William and Mary) and a scoreless top of the ninth from Erik Miller (Texas Christian), Bourne turned to closer Tony Zych (Louisville) (S, 12) in the bottom of the ninth.
The Gatemen did not give up against Zych and Tyler Bream and Chris Walker led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Pinch hitter Jake Davies (Georgia Tech) reached first on a throwing error by shortstop Bruce Bowers to load the bases with no outs. Pinch hitter Tony Caldwell (Auburn) then struck out on a generous called strike three, Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) struck out looking, and Jonathan Smith (Tennessee-Wesleyan) popped out to third to strand the bases loaded and give the Braves a 4-2 victory.
John Andreoli, Tyler Bream, and Chris Walker led Wareham with two hits each, while Zach Wilson added one. Bream’s two-run single in the bottom of the first tied him with Y-D’s Jordan Ribera for the league’s RBI lead at 26.
The Gatemen look to bounce back against the defending champion Braves in the best-of-three first round of the 2010 Cape Cod Baseball League playoffs. Wareham will play at Bourne Friday and will host the Braves Saturday at Spillane Field. Game three, if necessary, will be in Bourne Sunday.
Game 1 Friday at Doran Park is set to begin at 7 p.m. The probable starters are Max Perlman (Harvard, 3-2, 1.92 ERA) for Wareham and Grayson Garvin (Vanderbilt, 5-0, 0.74 ERA) for Bourne.