WAREHAM, MA: It was a pitcher’s duel turned slugfest at McKeon Park tonight in Wareham’s exciting 7-6 comeback victory over Hyannis.
Through the first six and a half innings, Gatemen starter Don Tobik (Tennessee-Martin) engaged in an unconventional back and forth battle with his Harbor Hawks counterpart Scott Silverstein (Virginia). Neither pitcher was particularly dominant. They combined for just three perfect frames and only six strikeouts (three apiece). But both starters were effective enough with men on base to get out of jams and leave the game in a 2-2 deadlock heading into the bottom of the seventh. Tobik was aided mightily by his catcher Ty Ross (LSU), who threw out three Hyannis runners trying to steal. Once Silverstein got through a scoreless top of the seventh, the fireworks began.
Harbor Hawks pinch hitter Zach Alvord (Auburn) broke the tie and started the slugfest with a tape measure solo shot to leftfield off new Gatemen pitcher Vladimir Camacho (Franklin Pierce). Camacho would give up a single to Hyannis second baseman Brett Michael Doran (Stanford) before being pulled for Ryan Millewski (USC-Aiken) without recording an out. After a passed ball on Ty Ross and a bunt single by Harbor Hawks centerfielder Dominic Jose (Stanford), Hyannis had men on first and third with still nobody out. One and two hitters Zac Zellers (Kentucky) and Brandon Trunkwon (UC Santa-Barbara) then delivered with a pair of RBI singles to push the lead to 5-2. After an RBI groundout by Will Callaway (Appalachian State) one batter later, the advantage became 6-2 before the inning ended on a strikeout of Brad Zebedis (Presbyterian).
Just like they have all season, the Gatemen offense stayed after the opponent. Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) led off the top of the eighth with a towering solo homer to right field that cut the deficit to 6-3. After Tyler Horan (Virginia Tech) roped a double, Mott Hyde (Georgia Tech) brought him home with a line drive single to left two batters later.
After a key shutdown inning in the bottom of the eighth, Wareham had one final chance to tie the game in the top of the ninth off Hyannis righty David Garner (Michigan State), who hadn’t given up a run in 8 1/3 innings so far this season. Three of the first four Gatemen hitters singled to load the bases. With one out, Horan bounced a single through the hole on the right side that plated Ethan Gross (Memphis) and Ty McFarland (James Madison) to tie the score at six. With runners on first and third, Horan attempted a steal of second as Ty Ross struckout. On the ensuing throw to second, Schwarber boldly tried to score from third. The Indiana product slid just under Hyannis catcher Blake Austin’s tag to give Wareham a well-earned 7-6 lead. When Gatemen closer Jonathan Holder (Mississippi State) slammed the door in the ninth, the dramatic comeback was complete.
Kyle Schwarber has now moved into 2nd in the league with .377 batting average. Cole Sturgeon’s (Louisville) 3rd homerun in the 3rd inning place him tied for 4th in the league alongside Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) – who happens to 3rd in the CCBL with 13 rbi.
Wareham is on the road again on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Cotuit to take on the Kettleers at 5:00pm. Jared Ruxer (Louisville) will face Cotuit’s Jordan Smith (Western Carolina). Our live broadcast from Lowell Park will begin at 4:45 right here at www.gatemen.org.