SEAN TENAGLIA (Gatemen Beat Writer)
WAREHAM, MA: With only eleven active players, including five recently added replacement players, the Gatemen took the field for their season finale Tuesday night at Spillane Field.
The Gatemen (14-28-2) ended their disappointing 2014 campaign with a 5-1 loss to the Bourne Braves, who will cruise into the Cape Cod League Playoffs as the No. 1 overall seed. The new-look Wareham lineup struggled against a five-pitcher effort from Bourne’s bullpen, but there certainly were highlights for Gatemen fans to take away from the game.
Four local temporary players made their Cape Cod League debuts on Tuesday night and all four were productive in the Wareham lineup. Shortstop Nate Farias (UMass Dartmouth), a native of Fall River, MA, was 1-4 in the two-hole for the Gatemen. Farias’ college teammate, Alberto Vasquez (UMass Dartmouth), filled the hole in right field and reached base on a walk.
First baseman Sebastian Salvo (Fairfield), who attended Tabor Academy in nearby Marion, MA, was 2-4 with a pair of infield singles. Second baseman Billy Peterson (Springfield), a Wareham native, ripped a single down the third base line in the bottom of the eighth and came around to score the only Wareham run of the ballgame on an RBI groundout from catcher Keaton Aldridge (Memphis).
The depleted roster allowed a pair of pitchers to also try out something new on Tuesday night. Liam O’Sullivan (Saint Leo) had developed into a consistent starter for the Gatemen down the stretch of the season, but against the Braves he was forced into action at third base. O’Sullivan managed quite well at the hot corner, and although he did not record a hit in the game, he showed off some of his power with a few batting practice home runs.
Jake Kalish (George Mason) had a unique opportunity to not only start the game on the mound but to also serve as his own designated hitter. After his scheduled start was pushed back twice due to a pair of rain delays, Kalish was ecstatic to wrap up the season on the mound for the Gatemen. He shook off a rocky three-run first inning and did not allow another run over the final six innings of his outing. In 7.0 innings of work, the George Mason southpaw allowed eight hits and three runs, while striking out nine Bourne batters.
As a designated hitter, Kalish looked comfortable in the batter’s box and appeared to have an RBI double in the bottom of the second. He did lose the RBI when Salvo was ruled to have missed third base on his way home, but Kalish nevertheless delivered with a solid piece of hitting.
The Braves added a pair of runs in the top of the eighth on RBI singles from second baseman Sutton Whiting (Louisville) and third baseman Blake Allemand (Texas A&M). The Gatemen did plate a run in the bottom of the eighth to cut the score to 5-1, but that would be as close as they would get, as the Braves wrapped up their league-leading 28th win of the summer.
The season did not end exactly as Head Coach Cooper Farris and his players would have liked, but there certainly were plenty of positives to take away from the past two months in Wareham. Whether the summer was the next step along the long road to a future in the big leagues or simply a once-in-a-lifetime experience, all Gatemen players will never forget the lasting memories they made on the Cape.