WAREHAM, MA: The Gatemen are going back to the Cape League Playoffs! Five Wareham (19-21) pitchers combined to hold Cotuit (13-24-1) to just one run en route to a 2-1 win at Spillane Field Wednesday night. Wareham will be making their 3rd playoff appearance in row and their 25th playoff appearance since 1976; winning 6 Cape Cod Baseball League Championships during that time. Last year, the Gatemen defeated the Bourne Braves in the first round of the playoffs before losing to eventual CCBL Champion Cotuit in the Western Division finals.
Wareham got all the offense it needed in the first inning. Brandon Thomas (Georgia Tech) doubled with one out and came home to score on another two-bagger by Rob Refsnyder (Arizona). One batter later, Johnny Field brought Refsnyder home with a single to give the Gatemen a 2-0 lead.
From there it was a pitcher’s duel as both teams went deep into their bullpen with great success. Stephen Perakslis (Maine) started for the Gatemen and tossed four scoreless innings, then Dillon Newman (Baylor) entered and kept the Kettleers off the board through the 6th.
Cotuit got on back in the 7th. Logan Vick (Baylor) tripled off Barret Astin (Arkansas). Kevin Roundtree (USC) followed with a double to cut the Kettleer deficit to 2-1. Wareham brought CT Bradford (Mississippi St) out of the pen, and the lefty dazzled in his second appearance of the season.
Bradford ended the 7th with back to back strike outs, and then struck out the side in order in the 8th.
Three outs away from the playoffs, the Gatemen entrusted the one run lead to CCBL All-Star closer Konner Wade (Arizona) in the last inning. Wade picked up his 9th save of the season, working around a one out single and striking out Kyle Wren (Georgia Tech) to end the ball game and send Wareham to the playoffs.
The Gatemen have two days off for the all star break, and then they are back at it Saturday in Chatham at 7 PM as they start the first of their final four games as they try to positional themselves for the 2011 playoffs.