By SEAN TENAGLIA (Gatemen Beat Writer)
BREWSTER, MA: Brewster catcher Wade Wass (Alabama) produced a stat-line against the Wareham Gatemen that would make any baseball player jealous. Wass was 3-5 with two home runs, both of them grand slams, and nine RBIs. Wass’ first grand slam gave the Whitecaps a 4-2 lead, while his second capped off Brewster’s 12-5 win over the Wareham Gatemen (6-13).
The Gatemen grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first after second baseman Willie Calhoun (Arizona) and designated hitter Keaton Aldridge (Memphis) reached base on a walk and an error, respectively. After centerfielder Jake Little (Memphis) moved both runners into scoring position, first baseman Danny Rosenbaum (Louisville) brought them home with a big two-run double ripped down the right field line.
Wareham starting pitcher Brock Hartson (UT-San Antonio) looked good through the first two innings, allowing only one walk and no hits while striking out two Whitecaps batters. He ran into trouble in the third inning after walking the first two batters. Brewster centerfielder Bradon Bishop (Washington) then laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases with no outs. After Hartson struck out third baseman Travis Maezes (Michigan), Wass stepped into the batter’s box and delivered a no-doubter grand slam over the left field wall.
Hartson’s night ended after 3.2 innings of work, in which he allowed three hits, four runs, and four walks while striking out five Brewster batters. His command struggles that led up to Wass’ first slam came as a bit of a surprise from someone who has been a consistent and reliable arm in the Wareham rotation early in the season.
Finding themselves behind in the ballgame, the Gatemen rallied yet again, this time in the top of the fifth, to tie the score at 4-4. Shortstop Errol Robinson (Mississippi) led off with a single that hopped over the second baseman’s head into right field. After Willie Calhoun walked again, Little hit into a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners with two outs. Robinson came around to score when Brewster starter Cody Ponce (Cal Poly Pomona) delivered a wild pitch to home plate. Right fielder Corey Ray (Louisville) came through with a big two-out double down the left-field line that scored Little to tie the game. With runners at second and third, Ponce was able to strike out Jose Cuas (Maryland) to limit the damage.
The Whitecaps responded immediately in the bottom of the fifth by picking up a pair of runs off reliever Ryan Olson (San Diego). Wass drove in Maezes with a double down the right field line, while Gio Brusa (Pacific) plated Wass with a double of his own to give the Whitecaps a 7-5 lead.
Brewster would take advantage of Wareham fielding miscues to add a run in both the sixth and seventh innings to increase their lead to 8-4. Wass’ second grand slam, this one off Liam O’Sullivan (Saint Leo) in the bottom of the eighth, put the game out of reach for good for the Gatemen.
The Gatemen were unable to get anything going against Brewster reliever Andrew Naderer (Grand Canyon), who set down the first eight batters he faced. Wareham finally broke through with an RBI single from Aldridge in the top of the ninth, but by then the Gatemen had dug themselves too deep of a hole.
Aldridge actually came on to pitch for the first time this season in the bottom of the eighth and retired the only two batters he faced. He got pinch hitter Luke Lowery (East Carolina) to strike out swinging to end the frame.
After a pair of tough losses, the Gatemen will look to pick up a big win Thursday night when they face division rival Bourne at Spillane Field (7 p.m. ET). The Gatemen will celebrate Ed Rose Night on Thursday. You can learn more about Mr. Rose and his B.E.S.T Baseball Academy here:http://www.gatemen.org/06_30a_14.htm.
As always, you can watch the live stream of the game by accessing our “Gatemen Pressbox” page. The pre-game show begins around 6:40 p.m. Like the Wareham Gatemen Baseball Facebook page and follow @WarehamGatemen for all the latest news on the team.
“Coop’s Scoop” – Postgame interview with Manager Cooper Farris – Click below to listen to interview
Pregame Interview with Gatemen Player of the Game Danny Rosenbaum (Louisville)