August 1, 2023 1:15 am | by Joanna Dwyer
The annual Polar Park game had an end of season matchup set between the Wareham Gatemen and the Bourne Braves. The game had the two teams travel off-Cape to Worcester, Massachusetts Monday night for the series finale. Wareham fell to Bourne by a final score of 6-3 and just narrowly avoided being shut out.
After the Gatemen were unable to bring a run across the dish for the first seven innings, Dorian Gonzalez (University of Miami) sent three home all on his own in the bottom of the eighth. Bayram Hot (Marist) came in as a pinch hitter and led off with the third hit of the night before he was moved to second by Michael Brooks (Kansas) who walked. The bases were then juiced as Grant Sherrod made his way to first on a walk of his own. Gonzalez had struggled so far on the night, going 0-3 at the plate. After seeing two balls, Gonzalez took a big swing and cleared the bases with a three run double to right field to make the score 6-3.
Will Koger made his final start on the mound for Wareham, hoping to end his season on a high note. The Louisville product got attacked early by the Bourne bats, but of the three runs that came across in the top of the second inning only one was earned. The Braves tacked on another run in the next inning with an RBI double. Koger ended his night after his season-high four innings of work and allowed five hits while striking out six batters.
Several Gatemen runs were left on the field throughout the evening, as Wareham left seven runners stranded on the night including two in the bottom of the first that would have given them a quick lead.
Wareham was able to hold Bourne scoreless through three innings in the middle of the game thanks to some heads up defense to turn a double play, catch a runner stealing, and a stabbing grab by reliever Nate Chudy (Marist transfer). Chudy pitched a strong four innings and allowed just two runs on five hits.
The top of the seventh saw another run by the Braves flash on the scoreboard as they took advantage of the Gatemen defense focusing on turning a double play to make the score 5-0. The final Bourne run came in the top of the eighth before Gonzalez stopped the Gatemen from being shutout. The Braves led off with a triple that would later be brought home with a sacrifice fly before the three Wareham runs in the bottom half of the inning.
The Gatemen will climb the bus one last time in 2023 as they travel to McKeon Park Tuesday night to face the Hyannis Harbor Hawks with first pitch set for 6 p.m..