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“A dream come true”: Gatemen players stay patient, find confidence in win over Harwich

Kevin Michaels (left) high-fives Jimmy Brennan (right) after Michaels hit a home run in the third inning of Wareham’s 12-1 win over the Harwich Mariners, June 13, 2023 at Spillane Field in Wareham. Photo by Maddy Djuric.

Wareham’s 12-1 victory over the Harwich Mariners Tuesday was, in many ways, a dream come true for multiple Gatemen players. Whether it was a home run, a base hit or a walk, bat-on-ball contact yielded smiles, satisfaction and scoring in the blowout win.

Kevin Michaels (St. John’s) started the scoring for the Gatemen in the bottom of the third inning, crushing a pitch over the left-field wall for the first home run at Spillane Field of the 2023 season and tying the game 1-1. The slam marked Michaels’ first hit of his Cape League career.

And as is the case for most big events like that, Michaels didn’t have any thoughts running through his mind until he crossed home plate.

“It felt really good,” Michaels said. “It’s been a while since I did something like that, so it felt amazing.”

Michaels’ hit jump started the scoring for the Gatemen, as they put up two more runs in the inning. He also showed up in a big way at second base, turning plays in conjunction with first baseman Will Cook (Louisville) to knock down the Mariners’ batsmen.

“It’s every kid’s dream to be out here; it’s this and the MLB,” Michaels said. “It’s a dream come true to be out here.”

But Michaels wasn’t the only Gateman to see his hopes become reality. Bobby Boser (USF), who went 0-for-9 in Wareham’s first three games, came to life at the plate. Boser’s first hit of his Cape League career came in the bottom of the third inning — two batters after Michaels — in the form of a no-doubt double.

“It felt great,” Boser said. “Definitely broke the ice. I got a nice pitch to hit and make contact. It went a good distance, so I’m happy with it.”

Bobby Boser (USF) celebrates after doubling for his first hit of the season, breaking an 0-10 run during Wareham’s 12-1 win over the Harwich Mariners, June 13, 2023 at Spillane Field in Wareham. Photo by Maddy Djuric.

With the talent spread throughout the Cape League, Boser was happy to break out of his slump and take advantage of whatever he could, and his team was just as pleased.

“It’s hard hitting in this league in general,” manager Ryan Smyth said. “So when you get opportunities to really hit, then you keep capitalizing on those opportunities.”

Boser also took advantage of the Harwich pitchers’ lack of control, working three walks in three consecutive at-bats. He was stranded twice and came around to score in the eighth inning to add to Wareham’s already overpowering lead of 10-1.

“I was swinging at good pitches, taking bad pitches, just playing the game,” Boser said. “(Staying patient) was huge.”

A large part of playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League is demonstrating talent and “proving” oneself as worthy of being there. And thanks to Tuesday night’s game, Boser is confident in his ability as a standout baseball player.

“I feel like I can play any position just as good as anybody,” Boser said. “I feel like I can compete with anybody, so just being out here and competing, doing well, it’s great.”

Thanks to Michaels, Boser and a host of other Wareham players, the Gatemen recorded their first home win of the 2023 season in front of the Wareham faithful and now stand at 2-2 on the season.

“It definitely feels good to do it at the park with all the local Wareham residents watching,” Michaels said.