BOURNE, MA: Brent Suter (Harvard) pitched a complete game; allowing only 5 hits and 3 runs while the Gatemen offense exploded for 12 runs; lifting Wareham to their 6th consecutive win and their 2nd consecutive playoff sweep of the Bourne Braves. The Gatemen have advanced to the CCBL Western Conference Finals where they will face the winner of the Hyannis & Falmouth best-of-3 series that is tied 1 game apiece.
The pregame ceremonies were a testament to how talented the Bourne Braves were this season. CF Travis Jankowski (Stony Brook) was presented with the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Pat Sorenti MVP Award, RHP Scott Eades was named the league’s most outstanding pitcher and honored with the BFC Whitehouse Award and catcher Patrick Cantwell (Stony Brook) was given the Daniel J Silva Sportsmanship award.
Once the game started the Gatemen took an early 1-0 lead thanks to an rbi single by Johnny Field (Arizona) to give Wareham the early lead. The Bourne Braves answered with 2 of their own in the bottom half of the 2nd inning. A scoreless 2nd and 3rd inning made way for the Wareham offense to begin their largest output of the season.
Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) led off the 4th inning with a single and he scored from 1st base on a double by William Carmona (Stony Brook) to tie the game at 2. The Gatemen were far from done. Ty Ross (LSU) moved Carmona to 3rd with a single and Mott Hyde (Georgia Tech) delivered a 2-run double and a 4-2 Gatemen lead.
Hyde’s double chased Bourne starter Kevin Brandt (East Carilona) from the game and Bourne head coach Harvey Shapiro handed the ball to Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina). Connolly was not greeted too kindly by the Gatemen. RBI singles by LJ Mazzilli (UCONN and Max Muncy (Baylor) sandwiched an rbi groundout by John Andreoli (UCONN); capping a 5-run inning and putting Wareham ahead 7-2.
Suter pitched a perfect bottom of the 4th and help keep the Wareham offense in rhythm. A double by Daniel Palks and a single by William Carmona in the 5th resulted in another Braves pitching change as they turned to RJ Alvarez (Florida Atlantic) who is normally their closer. He was brought in to face to face Mott Hyde and delivered a strikeout for the 2nd out of the inning. Bourne appeared to be getting the lift they were looking for from Alvarez but LJ Mazzilli turned on a 2-0 pitch and drove it out of Doran Park for a 3-run homerun and Wareham led 10-2 after 5 innings.
Again, Suter sat down the Braves in order in the home half of the inning and the Gatemen came right back to the plate and scored their 11th and 12th runs of the game. Max Muncy, who walked for the 3rd time in the game to start the inning, later scored on a wild pitch. Daniel Palka’s sacrafic fly resulted in another run and a 12-2 Wareham lead. The story of the game from that point forward was the left-handed starting pitcher Brent Suter.
Suter pitched a perfect 7th & 8th inning and head coach Cooper Farris gave him a chance to finish the complete game in the 9th. He did allow a run in the final inning but closed out the game; pitching the first complete game of the CCBL playoff season and the first complete game in the playoffs for the Wareham Gatemen since 2006. He allowed only 2 earned runs, struck out 8, walked just 2 and Bourne managed only 5 hits against him over his 9 innings. The Gatemen swept the Braves in the first round for the 2nd consecutive year and are now 5-0 all-time vs. Bourne in CCBL playoff history.
Offensively, every hitter in the Gatemen lineup had at least 1 hit with Mazzilli, Field, Refsnyder, Palka & Carmona all having multiple hit games. Mazzilli also had 4 rbi and 2 runs scored. In last year’s series clinching win vs. Bourne, LJ also had a big game; delivery a walk-off double to deep left-center field to clinch the series for the Gatemen in extra innings and advance them to the division finals vs. eventual CCBL Champion Cotuit.
The Gatemen will return the the CCBL Western Division finals this year and await the winner of the 3rd and final game of the other Western Division Semi-Finals series between Falmouth & Hyannis that will be played on Sunday night in Hyannis at 7:00pm.
Game 1 of the CCBL Western Division Finals will be on Monday night in either Hyannis or Wareham. The Gatemen will retain home field advantage with a Falmouth win and will travel to McKeon Park on Monday night if the regular season champion Harbor Hawks win game 3 over the Commodores.