FALMOUTH, MA: – A once-maligned bullpen tossed three scoreless innings, and Jonathan Smith (Tenn.-Wesleyan) launched a three-run home run late in the game to send Wareham to its third straight win against Falmouth at Arnie Allen Diamond.
With runners at first and second and two away in the top of the ninth inning, Smith turned on a 2-0 pitch from reliever Rob Chamra and sent it well over the fence in the right center field, plating three and adding some much-appreciated insurance for the Gatemen (7-13), as three different relievers combined to keep the Commodores (9-11) off the board and hold on for the 7-3 victory.
Wareham starter Josh Urban (Texas) was handed a 4-0 lead after the Gatemen tacked on four runs in the top of the first inning off of lefty Christian Jones. Both starters were up and down: Jones struggled early and was forced to exit the game after five innings due to a high pitch count, and while Urban was good enough for the win—striking out six and walking three—he allowed seven hits and had to work in and out of jams.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Max Muncy (Baylor) sent a hard-hit ball right at the Falmouth first baseman, but the ball went right under his glove, allowing two runs to score. Collegiate teammate Josh Ludy (Baylor) came to the plate two batters later and pulled a single to the right side to score another pair of unearned runs and putting the Gatemen on top early.
But Urban found himself in a bases-loaded jam of his own in the bottom of the second. Kyle Van Tungeln dumped a single into left to cut Wareham’s lead in half. Van Tungeln then scored in the fifth off of a ground-rule double from Barret Barnes to make it a one-run game. Urban tossed one more scoreless inning, and then yielded his 4-3 lead to the bullpen.
Joseph Flynn (Franklin Pierce) came on in the seventh inning, and immediately allowed a leadoff double to Kevin Merano to put the tying run in scoring position. An error allowed the next batter to reach, making it second and third with no outs. But Flynn persevered, and struck out three of the next four batters, including a bases-loaded strikeout from Zach Wright to end the inning.
In the eighth, it was Andrew McKirahan (Texas) who was called upon. Despite KC Serna reaching on a throwing error and moving to third on a stolen base with one out, McKirahan struck out back-to-back hitters to keep Falmouth at bay.
Smith put the game out of reach with his three-run bomb in the ninth, but those runs wound up being unnecessary after the bullpen’s heroics. Kenneth Ferrer (Elon) entered the game in the ninth, and tossed a perfect inning in a non-save situation to shut the door on the Commodores.
The Gatemen will be back in action on Thursday night when they travel to Lowell Park to take on Cotuit. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.