BOURNE, MA: The Wareham Gatemen will face off against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in a Best-of-Three Series to determine the 2012 Cape Cod Baseball League Championship. The Gatemen swept the resilient Bourne Braves in two games; including tonight’s dramatic, back and forth 8-6, game 2 victory – highlighted by a Mott Hyde (Georgia Tech) 2-run, go ahead homerun in the top of the 9th.
The Gatemen will face the YD-Red Sox in Game 1 of the CCBL Championship Series tomorrow afternoon at 4:00pm at Red Wilson Field in Yarmouth. Game 2 will be on Thursday night at Spillane Field at 7:00pm and if necessary, Game 3 will return to YD on Friday afternoon.
Tonight’s win over Bourne is the 8th consecutive win for the Gatemen; including the final 4 games of the regular season and 2 game sweeps of the Falmouth Commodores and Bourne Braves respectively. The Gatemen have now defeated the Bourne Braves in all 6 CCBL Playoff Series Matchups in which the teams have faced off; including 9 consecutive playoff games vs the Braves dating back to 1998.
The 2012 Bourne Braves finished 4th in the West Division and upset heavily favored Cotuit in the first round of the CCBL West Semi-Finals. They brought a depleted roster; including only 8 regular positional players into the West Division Finals to face the Gatemen and it took two late inning comebacks by the Wareham Gatemen to knock them out.
The series could not be discussed without mentioning Bourne second baseman LJ Mazzilli (UCONN). Signed with only 5 game remaining in the regular season by the Braves, Mazzilli carried Bourne into and during the playoffs; hitting to homers and collected 15 rbi in just 5 games. Mazzilli played both 2010 and 2011 with the Gatemen and ironically, hit a walk-off, playoff series clinching double in 2010 for the Gatemen to knock the Bourne Braves out of the playoffs. Forward two years and another Wareham-Bourne playoff matchup; despite wearing a different uniform, Mazzilli had a huge impact on the series.
In the first inning of tonight’s game, Mazzilli drove home a run in the first inning and gave Bourne an early 1-0 lead. The Braves added a run in the 2nd inning before the Gatemen got going in the 4th inning. Mott Hyde started his big night by hitting a game tying, bases clearing triple that scored 2 runners. Dustin DeMuth (Indiana) followed up with an rbi single and game Wareham a 3-2.
In a game that featured many ties and lead changes, the Braves grabbed the lead back in the bottom half of the 4th on a Jack Reinheimer (East Carolina) 2 run single.
Tyler Horan (Virginia Tech) answered with a 2-run, homer, his first of the playoffs and his 17th overall on the season and the Gatemen once again took the lead 5-4. Wareham added what appeared to be an insurance run on a Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) rbi double. The Gatemen did leave the bases loaded in the inning with no outs- something that almost came back to cost them. Bourne relieve Shane Taylor (North Carolina), after giving up the initial hit to Palka after coming out of the bullpen, struck out 3 straight Gatemen – giving Bourne some energy heading into the later innings.
Reliever Cole Sturgeon (Louisville) left the game with 2 outs and runners on 2nd & 3rd in the 8th inning and Coach Farris handed the ball to Gatemen closer Colby Suggs (Arkanas). The batter he faced was LJ Mazzilli and he delivered a 2-run single to tie the game 6-6 heading into the 9th.
In perhaps the most dramatic moment of the season and after Daniel Palka drew a walk, Mott Hyde hit a 2 run blast to the delight of the Gatemen fans that made the trip over the bridge.
The homer proved to be the series clincher as Colby Suggs shutdown the Braves in the 9th and send the Gatemen to their first CCBL Championship appearence since 2006.
Please check back to www.gatemen.org and follow us on Twitter at WarehamGatemen for lots of updated information about Wareham’s run to the finals.