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Gatemen comeback not enough in 7-6 loss to Orleans

Bobby Boser (South Florida) bats during Wareham’s 7-6 loss to the Orleans Firebirds, July 2, 2023 at Eldredge Park in Orleans. Photo by Maddy Djuric.

The Gatemen hopped on the school bus for a trip to face the Orleans Firebirds in a Sunday night matchup. The road curse continued with the Firebirds’ 7-6 walk off win in the bottom of the ninth, and Wareham’s losing streak extended to four going into the off day.

Smyth said that although things did not fall their way, the game put the positives of the sport on display.

“That was a great baseball game in general,” Smyth said. “Would’ve liked to have come out on the other side but overall, down early, we fought our way back into it and we just came up just short. But overall a great baseball game for a really good crowd tonight. That was Cape League baseball at its finest.”

Wareham battled back after falling behind early and took the lead in the top of the seventh. The bases were loaded with two outs as Bobby Boser (USF) stepped into the box. Boser hit the ball sky high and luckily enough, a group of Firebirds surrounded the ball before it dropped in the middle of them and three runs came in for the Gatemen, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to get the win.

The Gatemen had Aidan Major (West Virginia) start on the mound. The Mountaineer gave up a two-run blast but escaped the inning otherwise unscathed. However, the Firebirds put up two more runs on a string of singles in the next inning. 

After three innings of work, Major was relieved by Chance Daquila (Campbell). 

Daquila threw for the next three and only gave up a run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single. Daquila provided a necessary spark for the offense when he attacked the box to send the Firebirds batters back to the dugout.

“He was fiery,” manager Ryan Smyth said. “He was upset about the bunts which I get as a pitcher but he got himself out of that jam that he put himself in and I think he sparked our dugout a little bit just with his demeanor and how he was. And it was something we needed.”

Wareham first got on the board in the top of the fifth and started to work their way out of the hole they got put in with an RBI single from JC Colon (Missouri) to score Rene Lastres (Florida) after his big double. The Gatemen put two more up in the next inning when Dorian Gonzalez (University of Miami) and Tommy Splaine (Arizona) crossed the plate off Sebastian Murillo’s two RBI single. 

Fast forward to a scoreless eighth inning that kept the game tied at six apiece, leading to a do-or-die ninth.

Will Koger (Louisville) came in to close things out. Koger got a quick strikeout in the first batter he faced, but the second one reached on a defensive fielding error. Two wild pitches and a walk put runners on the corners for Orleans. Koger and the Gatemen decided to intentionally walk the Firebirds’ leadoff batter to create a force-out situation. Unfortunately for the Gatemen, the next batter would hit the walk off single to take the lead and win the game. Smyth said that while the team did not come out with the win, this game helps to move them in the right direction.

“When things are going bad, you gotta play really really good for things to start falling your way,” Smyth said. “And that was a fairly clean game for us and we did some really good things offensively and we’re on the brink of turning it around.”