The Wareham Gatemen dropped their second game of the 2015 season Saturday night—a 12-11 slugfest against the Harwich Mariners—blowing a six-run lead after a quartet of relief pitchers proved largely ineffective.
Initially down by three runs after the first inning—an outburst by Harwich that gave it more runs in a single inning than it had notched in three of its four games—the Gatemen battled back with an outburst of their own in the second.
Though all seven of the runs posted by Wareham in the second inning were unearned (Harwich committed a total of three errors in the frame), center fielder Charlie Warren, first baseman David MacKinnon and third baseman Mark Karaviotis all roped singles; designated hitter Darryn Sheppard laced a double; and right fielder Jay Jabs cranked a moonshot grand slam to punctuate the inning.
The Gatemen tacked on runs in the subsequent frames—thanks to MacKinnon’s solo shot in the third and left fielder Logan Sowers’s RBBI double in the fourth—which gave them a comfortable 9-3 lead.
Yet Harwich’s offensive attack proved relentless.
The Mariners tallied a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth off Gatemen relievers Jayce Vancena and Mike Adams to cut the deficit to two runs.
The devastating blow came in the seventh inning, in which two walks, an error and two hits plagued the abbreviated outing of reliever Tyler Zombro, and notched Harwich a 10-9 lead.
The Mariners then added critical insurance runs in their portion of the ninth inning off Gatemen reliever Pete Grasso, as extra-base hits from leadoff hitter Nick Walker and cleanup hitter Preston Palmeiro brought in a run apiece.
Wareham showed resiliency in the bottom of ninth though, scoring two runs on RBI singles from Sowers and Warren and placing the tying run on third and the winning run on first.
The rally proved futile, however, as MacKinnon (who already had three hits and two RBIs) grounded out to end the game.
Wareham starter Ryan Williamson had mixed results in his first start of the season, tossing 3 ½ innings, surrendering three runs (one earned) and two walks, but also twirling five strikeouts.
Now 3-2 on the year, the Gatemen travel to Orleans on Sunday to take on the Firebirds (3-2) in a doubleheader. Anthony Kay is scheduled to toe the rubber in game one at 4 pm ET in what will be his final start with Wareham before he departs for Team USA, while Zach Plesac will get the start in game two at 7 pm ET.