July 17, 2023 11:47 pm | by Joanna Dwyer
The Gatemen dropped a close one to the Chatham Anglers Monday night, losing 6-3 in the extra inning.
The Anglers would take advantage of difficult fielding to tack on three runs in the top of the seventh for the tie, and another three to win the game in the single extra inning.
“We’ve been on this little streak where we can’t seem to get things going,” starting pitcher Aidan Major said. “We just two days ago broke a five game losing streak and it felt like we’re finally getting some things going in the right direction and then tonight going up early in the game and having some good pitching early on and then some things happen there towards the end and the end up losing it there in extras, it just really stinks.”
Wareham got on the board early with Nick McLain (Arizona State) reaching on a leadoff single. McLain caused some chaos on the basepaths by stealing second, advancing to third on a wild pitch, and finally crossing home when the baffled Chatham pitcher threw the ball out of play. Grant Hussey (West Virginia) reached on a walk and Tommy Splaine (Arizona) singled to give the Gatemen two more runners. Josh Stevenson (Ohio State transfer) would be credited with an RBI on a bloop double that caused the Chatham infielders to collide, giving the Gatemen a 2-0 lead.
Splaine reached first when he was hit by the pitch to open the bottom of the third and moved to second on Grant Sherrod’s (USC Upstate) single. Michael Brooks would bring Splaine home on an RBI single to increase the Gatemen lead to 3-0.
Major made his fourth start on the mound for Wareham. The West Virginia product was dealing blow after blow to the Chatham lineup for 4.2 scoreless innings with 6 Ks. The righty was making plays all over the mound, including a Michael Jordan-esque jumping grab to get the toss to first for the out.
Chatham’s bats finally got hot in the top of the seventh. Major had allowed just three hits before Chase Chatman (St. Thomas) came in for relief, Chatman pitched 1.2 innings before forcing Will Koger (Louisville) into a jam. Three runs came in that were credited to Chatman, but Koger was able to force the final two outs to stop the damage before it got too bad.
Koger was a force on the mound, including striking out the side in the top of the ninth to give the Gatemen a chance to walk it off. Unfortunately the Gatemen batters were retired, before the Anglers completed the comeback with their three runs in the top of the tenth despite Koger’s seven strikeouts in relief.
Although the loss is a tough one to swallow, Major said the attitude stays the same for the team.
“Just attack every day,” Major said. “Any time you get complacent is when those errors start to happen. So you stay on the attack and then you take those chances of those errors being smaller and smaller. I think the work for tomorrow is to go attack and attack the day and whatever happens, happens.”
The Gatemen travel to Veterans Field for the final game of the series, a rescheduled matchup due to the game on July 10 being suspended due to fog. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.