Wareham (21-14-3) vs. Falmouth (25-13)
Probable Starting Pitchers: WAREAHAM – Clayton Gelfand (0-0, 33.75 ERA), RHP; FALMOUTH – Jeffrey Passantino (2-0, 0.75 ERA), RHP
Preview: As the season turns to the stretch run of the regular season, there is no question that the Gatemen are in desperate need of arms. With the loss of Ethan Small on Tuesday to injury, and Gunner Leger due to an innings limit on Wednesday, Wareham will be forced to throw new pitchers directly into the fire. Look no further than the Gatemen’s starter on Friday evening – Clayton Gelfand – who has pitched 1.1 innings on the year coming into Friday’s contest. One of those innings came back on July 13 versus these same Falmouth Commodores, where he surrendered five runs and let up four extra base hits. Gelfand’s last appearance showed signs of promise, however, as he struck out Brewster power-hitter Ryan Noda on three pitches to escape the eighth inning. Many believe that the Gatemen still have a shot at first place in the Western Division due to their recent eight game winning streak, but if Wareham has any hope of catching the first-place Commodores, Friday’s game is a must. Wareham enters the day five points behind Falmouth and nine points ahead of third place Bourne. Should the Gatemen be able to win and the Braves fall, the Gatemen will clinch home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Over the course of their eight game winning streak, the Gatemen have been unable to pick up much ground on the Commodores as Falmouth’s won seven of their last eight. Buoyed by terrific starting pitching, Falmouth’s staff has surrendered more than three earned runs just twice since July 15. On Friday, the Commodores send their cemented ace to the mound in Jeffrey Passantino looking to put a lock on the Western Division. Passantino, out of Lipscomb, has faced the Gatemen once so far this season. In that start back on June 13, Passantino went 6.1 innings, gave up two runs on three hits, walked a batter and struck out four. He has allowed just one run since then over 29.2 innings, and that came in his last outing against Harwich. The right-hander features a fastball that gets up to 90 miles per hour, a change-up, and a breaking ball.
News & Notes:
. Wareham’s Cole Freeman currently leads the league in batting with a .385 average
. Falmouth has the lowest ERA of any team in the West (2.56), and is only second in the League behind Harwich
. Falmouth center-fielder Michael Gigliotti sits at sixth in the League in average (.331), and second in doubles (8)
West Division Standings W L T PTS
Falmouth* 25 13 0 50
Wareham* 21 14 3 45
Bourne 17 19 2 36
Hyannis 17 21 0 34
Cotuit 12 25 1 25
- = Clinched playoff birth
Game Time: 6:30pm, Guv Fuller Field, Falmouth