WAREHAM, MA: – Tony Caldwell may not be starting in next week’s Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star game, but on Wednesday night at Spillane Field, his efforts proved the difference for Wareham against the Hyannis.
Looking to end a three-game skid, the Gatemen (13-18-1) rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to down the Harbor Hawks (12-20), pushing Wareham back into third place in the Western Division. Caldwell (Auburn), named to the Western Division All-Star team earlier on Wednesday, came up with the go-ahead base hit in the bottom of the eighth inning to complete the comeback.
Down 2-1, Max Muncy (Baylor) drew a leadoff walk against righty reliever Jose Mata (South Carolina) and pinch-hitter Jake Davies (Georgia State) roped a single down the right field line to put runners on the corners. With the infield drawn in, Nico Rosthenhausler (Oklahoma State) grounded a single through the hole to knot the game up, and advanced to second on the throw to third.
That led to Caldwell’s heroics. With runners at second and third, Caldwell blooped a single into shallow right to put Wareham on top. After stealing second, he was driven in off the bat of Zach Wilson (Arizona State) to put the Gatemen up 5-2.
Max Perlman (Harvard) capped the rally by setting down Hyannis in order in the top of the ninth, capping a complete victory to improve his record to 3-1 on the year. It spoiled a tremendous outing for Justin Wright (Virginia Tech), who was in line for the win after going six innings while striking out 12 and walking none while yielding just one run.
At one point, the Chesterville, Va., native struck out eight batters in nine at-bats, but his bullpen could not hold on. Perlman wound up allowing six hits and two runs—both in the fourth inning—while striking out seven and walking none.
Wilson, one of five Gatemen who were selected to the Western Division All-Star team, got things going in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out home run to deep right field, putting the Gatemen up 1-0.
Hyannis did all of its damage in the top of the fourth. A.J. Pettersen (Minnesota) led off the inning with a base hit and eventually scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Cam Seitzer (Oklahoma) to tie the game. Before the inning was over, fellow All-Star Casey McElroy (Auburn) drove an RBI-single to right to give the Harbor Hawks the 2-1 lead.
Wareham had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Nico Rosthenhausler (Oklahoma State) blooped a single into shallow left field to lead off the inning. But after a sacrifice moved him to second, Wright stranded Rosthenhausler there after back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning.
Hyannis turned to Mata and Tyler Mizenko (Winthrop) after Wright’s dominant stretch, but the duo could not preserve the lead. Mata tossed a scoreless seventh, but could not record an out in the eighth before giving way to Mizenko. The righty came in after three batters, and struck out a batter before Caldwell’s game-winning drive.
Wareham has tomorrow off before traveling to Falmouth on Friday night. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.