COTUIT, MA: – The Wareham Gatemen fell for the fifth straight time on Friday afternoon at Lowell Park, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Cotuit Kettleers.
With the game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Deven Marrero singled down the right field line off of Wareham starter Jed Bradley (Georgia Tech). A misplay allowed Marrero to advance to second, and two batters later, he crossed home plate on a fielder’s choice to send the Gatemen (4-12) to their fifth consecutive loss.
The Kettleers (6-10-1) saw a fine performance out of the bullpen in Brady Rodgers, who made his season debut and was phenomenal, allowing one hit during 3.2 scoreless innings of work. His fastball topped out at above 95 mph, as he kept Wareham off the board in the final four innings in relief of starter Nick Tropeano. The Stony Brook righty tossed 5.1 innings and scattered eight hits, striking out four and walking one while allowing three runs.
Bradley, coming off a complete game, 11-strikeout performance against Hyannis on June 25, cruised through three innings before Paul Hoilman launched a leadoff solo home run to start the bottom of the fourth inning. In all, Bradley went 7.2 innings while allowing two earned runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Wareham got to Tropeano early on with two runs in the first. LJ Mazzilli (Connecticut) started the game with an infield single, and would later score on a single by collegiate teammate George Springer (Connecticut). Three batters later, Max Muncy (Baylor) grounded out to second to score Springer, as the Gatemen took the early 2-0 lead.
Things were quiet until the bottom of the fourth, when Hoilman crushed a solo shot to get Cotuit on the board. Jordan Leyland doubled to left center, and two batters later, Marrero reached on a throwing error by third baseman Zach Wilson (Arizona State), who was making his Gatemen debut after the Sun Devils were eliminated in the College World Series. Wilson went 3-for-3 with a walk at the plate, but his fielding mishap proved to be the difference in the ballgame.
With runners at second and third, catcher Curtis Casali singled to left to score both runners and put the Kettleers on top 3-2. In the top of the fifth, Jonathan Smith (Tenn.-Wesleyan) doubled with one out, and scored on a single by Alex Dickerson (Indiana) to tie the game at 3-3.
Wareham would muster only up one hit through its final four at-bats after amassing five in the first inning, and after Andrew McKirahan (Texas) and Ken Ferrer (Elon) combined to get Bradley out of trouble in the eighth, the Gatemen went down in order in the top of the ninth to wrap things up.
The Gatemen will return to action tomorrow night at Spillane Field, when they take on Yarmouth-Dennis for the second time this season. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.