YARMOUTH, MA: A dramatic, go-ahead homerun by Ty Ross (LSU) in the top of the 9th inning capped off a comeback by the Wareham Gatemen who defeated the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox 5-4 in Game 1 of the Cape Cod Baseball League Best-of-Three Championship Series. Colby Suggs (Arkansas) pitched a dominating 9th inning to pick up the save. Wareham has a chance to win their 7th Cape Cod League Championship tonight at Spillane Field.
For the 3rd time in 6 games; including the regular season finale and now in back to back CCBL Playoff games, the Wareham Gatemen came from behind during the current 8 game winning streak. Down 4-2 heading into the 7th inning, the Gatemen scored a run in each of the final innings to take a 1-0 series lead in the CCBL Finals.
Kendall Graveman (Mississippi State) made his second start of the postseason and after a perfect first inning, the Red Sox pushed across 3 runs in the second. Back to back single by Robert Pehl (Washington) and Zak Blair (MercyHurst) set the table for a big inning. With one out, Alex Blandino (Stanford) doubled to drive in the first run of the series. Justin Shafer (Florida) followed with an rbi single and YD jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded, Carlos Asuaje walked to score a run but he was caught too far off first and Gatemen cather Ty Ross (LSU) picked him off to limit the damage in the inning. This would prove to be a big play as the Red Sox would score only 1 additional run in the game.
The Gatemen cut into the YD lead in the third inning and scored their first run of the series when Cole Sturgeon (Louisville) drove home Dustin DeMuth (Indiana).
Yarmouth-Dennis got that run pack on a Robert Pehl solo shot the left in the very next inning. From that point forward, Kendall Graveman settled down and did not allow another run. He pitched 7 innings, struck out 4 and scattered 7 hits in is second quality start of the post season.
The Gatemen struggled to figure out a terrific outing by YD starter Andrew Thurman (UC-Irvine). Thurman struck out 12 over 7 innings, walk just 1, 5 hits & 2 earned runs. One of those runs was a 4th inning Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) blast that started the Gatemen comeback & closed the gap to 4-2.
Wareham then added single runs in the 7th, 8th & 9th to complete the comeback. In the 7th, Mott Hyde (GeorgiaTech) drew a lead off walk, stole 2nd base and then scored on an rbi single by Ty Ross. In the 8th inning, with runners on 2nd & 3rd, YD decided to intentionally walk Tyler Horan (Virginia Tech). Daniel Palka followed with his 2nd rbi of the game with groundout to first the tied the game 4-4.
After Jonathan Holder (Mississippi State) pitched a perfect bottom half of the 8th, Ty Ross led of the 9th and hit a 1-1 pitch over the center field fence for a homerun and completed the Wareham comeback. A fist pumping Ross was greeted by a Gatemen bench the exploded out of the dugout in the most dramatic moment of the season for Wareham.
Colby Suggs (Arkansas), despite walking one batter, looked unhittable – striking out the side and hitting 95-97 on the radar gun.
Game 2 will be played tonight at 7:00pm at Spillane Field where the Gatemen have a chance to win the 2012 Cape Cod Baseball League Championship. Barrett Astin (Arkansas) will be the starting pitcher for Wareham and he will oppose Aaron Blair (Marshall).