WAREHAM, MA: – After the toughest loss of the season the night before, the Wareham Gatemenbounced back less than 24 hours later and won two games on Friday, the second one a 3-2 win over the Brewster Whitecaps that moves Wareham just one point behind the Cotuit Kettleers and Bourne Braves who are tied atop the divison.
Recently, it’s been better late than never for both Wareham and its All-Star outfielder Zach Wilson.
With the game tied at two runs apiece in the eighth inning and Wilson at the plate, the Arizona State product had a chance to deliver, and did just that. Capped with a win earlier in the day against Falmouth in a scheduled makeup game, the Gatemen (18-20-1) completed the double-header sweep against their second opponent of the day, as the 3-2 decision sent the reeling Whitecaps (22-16-1) to their seventh loss in nine games.
Jonathan Smith (Tenn.-Wesleyan) drew a two-out walk and advanced to second on a throwing error, setting the stage for Wilson, the CCBL All-Star Game most valuable player. With the count even at 2-2, the Long Beach, Calif., native lined one through the hole and into left field, as Smith scampered home and beat the throw to put Wareham on top.
Devin Burke (Duke), a righty reliever throughout most of the season, was called upon to make a spot start. He went 7+ innings and gave up two runs on six hits while striking out three and walking three. It was the 10th appearance for the Darien, Conn., native, who also made one other start earlier in the year.
Keith Bilodeau (Maine) came on in the ninth inning and converted for his team-leading fourth save of the season. The Sagamore, Mass., product struck out one and induced a game-ending 1-6-3 double play to end it.
Matt Larkins (UC Riverside) tossed six innings and yielded two runs on five hits, striking out four and walking one before giving way to Kendall Carillo (Texas) out of the bullpen. Both starters had no decisions, while both bullpens put forth impressive efforts. Kendall Carillo took the loss, allowing the go-ahead run and lasting 1.2 innings while striking out one, walking one and surrendering one hit.
Things got interesting in the top of the eighth after Burke allowed a leadoff single to Nathan Melendres (Miami), who was bunted over to second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Erik Miller (TCU) entered the game looking to rebound from a rough outing a day ago, and induced a fly out to right before Jake Davies (Georgia Tech) earned the third out of the inning on a groundout to short. The lefty wound up the win, his first of the season.
Wareham claimed the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning off of three hits. Zach Wilson (Arizona State) drew a leadoff walk, and advanced to second on a passed ball. Max Muncy (Baylor) drove in his league-leading 25th run of the season with a double down the left field line to score Wilson, putting the Gatemen on the board. Three batters later, Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) came up with a clutch, two-out single to left to give Wareham the 2-1 lead.
Brewster knotted the contest at 2-2 in the top of the seventh on two hits off Burke. Danny Oh (Cal-Berkley) blooped one to left to lead off, and scored and after a single and a walk moved him to third, was plated by Khayan Norfork (Tennessee) on a sacrifice fly.
The Whitecaps took the early lead in the top half of the fourth after Danny Oh (UC Irvine) singled up the middle to score Andy Burns (Kentucky), who doubled to deep left to start the inning. But Burke retired the next two batters to end the inning.
The Gatemen will look to make it three in a row—and their first win of the season against Orleans—tomorrow night at Eldredge Park. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.