HARWICH, Mass. It took them an extra inning, but the Wareham Gatemen broke through for their first win in a week, blowing out the Harwich Mariners 5-1 in eight innings at Whitehouse Field.
The Gatemen (11-11-4) gave up a lead for the sixth straight contest, but this was the first occurrence in that stretch that the Gatemen rallied for a victory.
A pitchers’ dual between Wareham starter Brandon Workman (Texas) and Aaron Meade (Missouri State) kept both teams scoreless through five innings. In the sixth, Connor Rowe (Texas) led off the inning with a solo home run over the fence in left field, giving the Gatemen a 1-0 lead. The long ball was Rowe’s first of the year and came on just his fourth hit of the season.
Workman took the mound in the seventh looking for a complete game in his first start of the 2009 campaign, but he could not hold off the Mariners (11-14). Levi Michael (North Carolina) drew a lead-off walk and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Stuart Tapley (Florida State). Michael advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Marcus Nidiffer (Kentucky). The Mariners were able to knot the score at 1-1 despite being held hitless in the seventh.
Wareham made the most of their first at-bat in extra innings, as Jordan Swagerty (Arizona State) singled to left off of reliever Glen Troyanowski (Florida Atlantic). Rowe hit a flare into shallow right field that dropped in, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Shea Vucinich (Washington State) drew a walk to load the bases, and after Ryan LaMarre (Michigan) struck out, George Springer hit a shallow fly ball that was caught in foul ground by Daniel Grovatt (Virginia). Swagerty tagged up from third on the play and was ruled safe at home, as the catcher Nidiffer dropped the ball at home, after lengthy deliberation by the umpires. Wareham regained the lead at 2-1.
Alex Dickerson (Indiana) alleviated some of the potential controversy by smashing a three-run home run to right center, putting the Gatemen up 5-1. The homer was Dickerson’s first on the cape, and it marked Wareham’s league-leading 15th long ball of the year.
Workman shut down the Mariners in the eighth inning. In his first start of 2009, Workman pitched eight innings, giving up one run on six hits. He struck out nine and walked only one.
The Gatemen go for the doubleheader sweep of the Mariners in game two, beginning at approximately 7:20 p.m. at Whitehouse Field.