WAREHAM, MA: Yarmouth-Dennis starting pitcher Aaron Blair (Marshall) was pitching a no-hitter through 5 innings & frustrated not only the Gatemen lineup but the 3,672 fans that packed Spillane Field tonight. Behind the support of Blair, the YD offense did enough to force a game 3 at Red Wilson Field tomorrow after at 4:00pm where the winner will take the 2012 Cape Cod Baseball League Championship.
One blowup inning by the Gatemen bullpen was enough to hold Wareham’s potent offense at arms length in a 5-1 Yarmouth-Dennis victory in game two of the Cape League Championship Series at Spillane Field.
After a riveting come from behind 5-4 win at Y-D in game one, Wareham traveled home with a chance to close out its first championship since 2002 with a win. But with Red Sox ace Aaron Blair (Marshall) facing struggling Gatemen righty Barrett Astin (Arkansas), Y-D held a clear starting pitcher advantage.
Through seven innings, Blair lived up to his ace billing. The Marshall righty no-hit Wareham for five innings before exiting with a 2-0 lead after the seventh. He also struck out 10. While Astin wasn’t as dominant, he did all he could to keep the Gatemen in the game. The Arkansas reliever turned Wareham starter tossed his best outing of the season completing seven innings and giving up just two runs. He was pulled after giving up a leadoff single to Carlos Asuaje (Nova Southeastern) in the eighth. That’s when the wheels fell off the Gatemen train.
Relief ace Nick Rumbelow (LSU) gave up a quick double to the next Y-D hitter Robert Pehl (Washington). Following an intentional walk to Zak Blair (Mercyhurst) that loaded the bases, Rumbelow plunked Alex Blandino (Stanford) on the shoulder to force in a run and make it 3-0 Red Sox. Two batters later, Y-D manager Scott Pickler called a timely squeeze bunt with Justin Shafer (Florida) at the plate. The bunt surprised Rumbelow and he threw the ball away down the first base line, allowing another run to score. Three runs had now scored in the inning and Y-D had opened up a 5-0 advantage.
With their nine game winning streak on the line and the clock ticking, the Gatemen offense came to life in the bottom of the eighth against Red Sox reliever Rick Knapp (Florida Gulf Coast). Kyle Schwarber (Indiana), Tyler Horan (Virginia Tech), and Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) each roped singles to load the bases with no outs. Mott Hyde (Georgia Tech) then grounded into a fielder’s choice up the middle that got the Gatemen on the board down 5-1. With runners still on first and third and one out, Ty Ross (LSU) popped out and Dustin DeMuth (Indiana) struck out to end Wareham’s best opportunity to get back in the ballgame.
The loss was Wareham’s first in six postseason games. For the first time in three series’, the Gatemen will have to close out in game three. Just like in 2006 when Y-D defeated Wareham in three games, the 2012 winner take all affair commences tomorrow afternoon at four at Red Wilson Field in South Yarmouth.