Preview: Gatemen look to shrink “magic number” to one on Sunday


Cotuit (12-22) vs. Wareham (18-14-3)

Probable Starting Pitchers: COTUIT – Justin Hooper (0-2, 3.48 ERA), LHP; WAREHAM – Zachary Pop (2-3, 3.11 ERA), RHP

 Preview: The Gatemen continue their quest on Sunday evening to lock up a playoff spot in the Cape Cod Baseball League playoffs when they take on Cotuit. Wareham enters Sunday’s matchup with a magic number of three, meaning any combination of Gatemen wins and Cotuit losses the rest of the way that equals three will earn the Gatemen a spot in the postseason. The Kettleers, for their part, find themselves seven points back of Bourne for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Division. After starting the season 2-14, Cotuit seemed to have turned a corner, going 9-3-1 over their following 13 games. Since then, however, Cotuit has found themselves back in a bit of rut, losing four straight before topping Orleans on Saturday, 6-4. Zachary Pop hopes to keep the Kettleers down and out of the playoff picture when he gets the start for the Gatemen, his fifth of the season. Pop’s most recent start against Orleans on July 17 may have been in his best so far, as he went five shutout innings while scattering just two hits. The right-hander out of Kentucky saved his best for last in that start, gearing it up to 94 miles per hour in his final inning of work. On the year, Pop is 2-3 with a 3.11 ERA, giving up 23 hits in 26 innings, walking 12, and striking out 23.

`                 Justin Hooper will face the Gatemen for the first time this season as he makes his fifth start this season for Cotuit. Hooper, a rising sophomore out of UCLA, is considered to have an extremely bright future in baseball. A left-hander that can get up to 95 miles-per hour, Hooper posses some lights out “stuff”, but at times this Cape Cod Baseball League season has suffered from control issues. Hooper has walked two or more batters in five of his seven starts this season, and has 13 walks in 20.2 innings. His most recent start came back on July 17 where he went four innings against Falmouth, surrendered three runs on five hits, walked three, and struck out four. Hooper, to go along with his high-velocity fastball, also features a two-seam fastball that can get up to 92, a curveball, and a change-up, which is considered his worst pitch.

News & Notes:

. Wareham’s Colton Shaver leads all hitters in the CCBL with seven home runs and 25 RBIs

. Gatemen LHP Gunner Leger will make his final start of the season on Wednesday due to an innings limit

. Cole Freeman, who represented the Gatemen in the CCBL All-Star Game yesterday, is expected to be back in the lineup for Wareham on Sunday

West Division Standings    W       L       T     PTS

Falmouth                                      22       13       0      44

Wareham                                      18       14       3      39

Hyannis                                         15       17       2      32

Bourne                                           15       17       2      32

Cotuit                                             12       22      1       25

Game Time: 5:30pm, Spillane Field, Wareham

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