Men left on base, a ball lost in the lights, and one pitch to C.J. Chatham were all the difference in the Wareham Gatemen’s final game of the year, as they dropped game two of the Cape Cod Baseball League quarterfinal round, 4-0 to the Bourne Braves.
With the victory, Bourne advances to the semifinals against the top-seeded Hyannis Harbor Hawks and the Gatemen are eliminated after dropping two straight contests.
Wareham turned to Stanford right-hander Brett Hanewich to start the elimination game, and Hanewich cruised for much of the night.
But Hanewich’s one mistake proved mighty costly, as Bourne shortstop C.J. Chatham took Hanewich deep for a three-run home run in the first inning. Hanewich’s final line was six innings, five hits, three earned runs, one walk and six strikeouts.
After Hanewich, the Gatemen called upon recently-signed Jeff Schank. Schank too was highly effective, scattering three hits and one run over three innings of work. The one run came on a fly ball that fell in between center fielder Andrew Calica and right fielder Jay Jabs that seemed to get stuck up in the lights. Nevertheless, it staked the Braves out to a 4-0 lead.
Bourne starter Keegan Akin was solid over 4.2 innings, as Wareham couldn’t get much going off him.
The story of the game would have been much different, though, if the Gatemen hadn’t left the bases loaded twice in two consecutive innings. First, in the fifth inning, they squandered a bases loaded two-out opportunity. An inning later, they were given a mulligan, and once again failed to plate a runner after being put in a bases loaded, one-out situation.
For the Braves, after Akin came Kyle Driscoll, who allowed three hits and struck out six in 3.1 innings of work. Closer Austin Conway pitched a clean ninth, and the Braves solidified a 4-0 victory.
After the game, the Gatemen players were able to interact with the fans who supported them the whole year, as they had a small award presentation, honoring right-hander Ian Hamilton as the team’s top pitcher, Calica as the team’s top position player, and left-hander Evan Hill as the player whose community service has gone above and beyond.
For fans who stayed longer, the team that clinched Wareham’s first playoff berth since 2012 went out in style, shaking hands with members of the organization and fans and thanking them for their support, and the fans thanking the ball club for a positive summer.