WAREHAM, MA: In the first of 6 regular season matchups of 2011 and the first since the 2010 CCBL Playoffs, the Wareham Gatemen defeated the Bourne Braves 8-4 and reach the .500 mark having now won two straight.
This Gatemen team has shown a lot of resiliency in first half of this season and this game was a reflection of that characteristic. Matthew Grimes (Georgia Tech), coming off of a tough start last time out vs. Yarmouth-Dennis, showed his own ability to comeback.
After giving up 5 earned runs in just 2.2 innings vs. the Red Sox, Grimes took the hill at Spillane Field and gave his team just enough to stay in the game and in position for what turned out to be a comeback victory. Grimes went 4.1 innings, allowed only 2 hits, struck out 4 and allowed 3 runs – but only 1 of those earned. Grimes’ four walks did get him in trouble and shortened his outing but he didn’t let the game get away from him and it set the stage for his teammates in the bullpen.
Wareham jumped out to an early lead for the 2nd consecutive night in the first inning. With one out, John Andreoli (UCONN) singled and stole 2nd base to begin what turned out to be a big night for the Cape League veteran. Robert Refsnyder (Arizona) singled to move Andreoli to 3rd and then Max Muncy (Baylor) delivered an rbi single to plate Andreoli and give Wareham that early 1-0 lead. Muncy’s rbi was his 8th; moving him towards the top 10 in the league in a category where he finished 2nd in the CCBL in 2010. With two outs in the inning, Jeff Reynolds (Harvard) singled to drive in another run and extend the Gatemen lead to 2-0.
That score held up until the top of the 4th inning when the Braves put up there first run. With 2 outs and after an earlier single DJ Hicks (UCF), a grounder by Colin Morgan (North Carolina) appeared to end the inning but couldn’t be handled by Max Muncy at first base; allowing Hicks to come around from second base to score Bourne’s first run. Another Gatemen error, this time at shortstop by Mott Hyde (Georgia Tech), started off the top of the very next inning.
Grimes walked the next two batters to load the bases. A strikeout and another walk to Jason Coats (TCU) forced home the game tying run and that was the end of the night for Matthew Grimes who was replaced by Barret Astin (Arkansas). Astin inherited a bases loaded situation and walked the first batter he faced, DJ Hicks, to force in the 2nd run in as many batters and suddenly the Braves found themselves ahead 3-2 with 1 out and the bases still loaded. However, Astin settled down and ended the inning with a strikeout and a groundout to minimize the damage and keep Wareham in this game.
Bourne took that 3-2 lead into the 6th inning but the Gatemen offense came back to take the lead for good – and all with 2 outs. Johnny Field (Arizona) doubled and CT Bradford (Mississippi State) followed with a 2-out, game tying, rbi single to spark the Gatemen charge. Chad Green (Louisville) replaced fellow reliever Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina) and after Bradford stole third, he hit Brandon Thomas (Georgia Tech) will a pitch. Thomas swiped 2nd base and along with Bradford, scored on John Andreoli 2-run single and Wareham finished the inning with a 5-3 lead.
An inning later after loading the bases, the Gatemen put this game away. Johnny Field singled to drive in 2 runs and Brandon Thomas also drove in a run to extend the Wareham lead to 8-3.
The Braves added a run in the 9th off of Dillon Newman (Baylor) but that is as close as they would come as Dillon closed out the game and preserved the win for Wareham.
The win moved both Bourne and Wareham into a 3-way tie for 2nd place in the Western Division; along with Falmouth. Two consecutive wins have raised Wareham’s record to 8-8 and they have won 3 out of the last 4 games. Barrett Astin picked up the win for the Gatemen and Ryan Connolly was given the loss for Bourne.
Offensively, John Andreoli was 3 for 5 with 2 rbi and Johnny Field was 3 for 4 with his own 2 rbi. Robert Refsnyder and Max Muncy also had multi-hit game with two hits apiece. The Gatemen stole 6 more bases tonight and raised their team total to 30 on the season; 3rd in the CCBL. The Gatemen will face the league’s leader in stolen bases, Cotuit, on Friday afternoon at 5:00pm on the road at Lowell Park. Justin Amlung (Louisville) is expected to get the start.