When it comes to the Cape Cod Baseball League, if you do not show up ready to go, it’s almost impossible to come out on top.
Tuesday evening saw the Gatemen come up winless for the sixth straight game, as the Hyannis Harbor Hawks lineup pounced on Wareham started Jeff Bain for four runs in the first inning and never looked back, en route to a 6-1 win at McKeon Park.
The Gatemen are now 0-4-2 in their last six games, and have not held a lead dating back to July 8th versus Cotuit (31 innings).
Wareham coach Jerry Weinstein said Bain simply was not ready to take the mound on Tuesday.
“A non-competitive pitching performance from our guys tonight,” said Weinstein. “When you’re in trouble, when you got guys on base, you have to deal with it and compete. You can’t just flip the ball up there and see what happens. (Bain) was not ready to go from a mental standpoint tonight.”
The Harbor Hawks feasted on Bain from the moment he stepped on the mound.
Brett Netzer reached first base to begin the inning via a hit by pitch, and two batters later, Zach Rutherford lined a base hit into right centerfield, putting runners on the corners with one out.
Moments later, Jordan Rodgers gave Hyannis an early 1-0, hitting a hard ground ball down the left field line. Gatemen third baseman Adrian Tovalin was able to reach out and keep the ball in front of him to prevent extra bases, but Netzer came across to score, giving Hyannis a 1-0 lead.
Hyannis was far from finished.
Dylan Busby stepped up to the plate, and Bain quickly fell behind him 2-1.
Now, in a hitters count, Busby anticipated a fastball, and when he got it he took full advantage.
Busby sent Bain’s fastball, that was left out over the heart of the plate, on a line over the fence in right center-field for a three run home run and a 4-0 Hyannis lead.
“We just did not make pitches, and we’re not in it from a mental standpoint,” summarized Weinstein.
Wareham appeared to be on their way to getting back in the ball game in the top of the second.
Joey Bart led off the inning with a solo blast, right where Busby hit his, to cut the deficit to 4-1.
Robbie Metz kept the line moving with a base hit back through the box, and walks to Austen Wade and Tovalin loaded the bases with one out.
Gatemen shortstop Nico Giarratano came up, looking to pull his team back within a run. Harbor Hawks starter Mac Sceroler got ahead in the count, 1-2, but Giarratano laid off back-to-back off-speed pitches below the knees to work the count full.
On 3-2, Sceroler threw a perfectly executed fastball at the knees and on the outside part of the plate, leaving Giarratano with nothing to do but hit into the ground.
Giarratano did just that, hitting a slow chopper to Harbor Hawks second baseman Ford Proctor, who began a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
“When we got runners on base we did not execute,” said Weinstein. “Later in the game we had a chance to do some things after a double by (Gavin) Sheets and just could not get back in the game.”
Hyannis officially put the game out of reach in the bottom of the second.
With one out and nobody on, Peter Zyla hit a weak groundball in the hole between first and second.
Wareham first baseman Gavin Sheets corralled the ground ball, but Bain did not get over to cover first base in time, allowing Zyla to reach.
Netzer made his old team pay, following up Zyla’s infield single with a blast into the left centerfield gap. The ball one hopped the wall and bounced away from Gatemen center-fielder Joey Bartosic, allowing Zyla to score all the way from first base with Hyannis’ fifth run of the game.
Just one pitch later, Proctor put a cap on the scoring, singling up the middle that scored Netzer from second base with ease, giving Hyannis a 6-1 lead after two.