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Gatemen ride the wave in 9-2 victory over Whitecaps

Landon Wallace (West Virginia) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during Wareham’s 9-2 win over the Brewster Whitecaps, June 26, 2023 at Spillane Field in Wareham. Photo by Maddy Djuric.

Wareham came into Monday with a chip on their shoulder after a 2-2 tie to Hyannis the night before. Brewster traveled across the bridge for the second matchup of the season between old coaching colleagues manager Ryan Smyth and Brewster manager Jamie Shevchik. The last meeting ended in a 4-4 tie, but things went very differently the second time around, with the Gatemen pummeling the Whitecaps 9-2. Smyth was happy to come out with the win against his former team.

“It feels like six points,” Smyth said. “Anytime you win out here, it doesn’t matter who’s in the other dugout. This one just obviously means a little bit more for me.”

Bryant Bulldog Coleman Picard made his third and final start for the Gatemen. Coming into the night, Picard had six strikeouts in the first two appearances but went five innings and doubled his Ks with seven on the night. Picard wasn’t just a work horse on the mound, as he also came up big with defensive plays in the infield.

The Gatemen offense looked to back up Picard’s gem as they fought to get the righty the win in his last game. David Glancy (Notre Dame transfer) grabbed the first Gatemen hit in the bottom of the second and was moved to second when Landon Wallace (West Virginia) was hit by the pitch. Sacrifice hits from Sebastian Murillo (Georgia) and Tommy Splaine (Arizona) gave Wareham an early 2-0 lead. 

In the next two innings, Picard sent four Brewster batters back to the dugout on strikeouts and left two stranded to immediately put Wareham back on offense. 

Glancy stayed patient in the box and got the walk. Wallace strolled to the plate and eyed down the opposing pitcher. Two pickoff attempts at first later, Wallace sent the ball to the Gatemen bullpen and claimed his second home run of the season. 

“I’m just trying to see a ball I can really do damage with,” Wallace said. “If it shows up, it shows up and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.” 

Splaine followed the two-run homer up with a single and advanced to second on a balk. Dorian Gonzalez (University of Miami) kept the hits coming with an RBI single to send Splaine across the plate and give the Gatemen a 5-0 lead going into the fifth. 

Brewster got their first run of the night on a string of singles, but two final strikeouts from Picard kept the game moving. The Whitecaps added another in the top of the sixth off wild pitches from reliever Jake Faherty (Arkansas). 

Wallace got drilled for the second time in the game to start the sixth and give the Gatemen an early man on base.

“Getting hit is a part of the game,” Wallace said. “You have to accept that. It’s nothing personal.”

Murillo recorded his second RBI of the night as Wallace showed off his speed as he rounded the bases and touched home. Splaine walked to first and Gonzalez’s sacrifice hit put both runners in scoring position. Murillo looked like he was taking a break from baseball and switched to football with a huge takedown at home as he crashed into the catcher as the home plate umpire called him safe, prompting cheers from the Wareham dugout.

Josh Stevenson (LSU) had been struggling at the plate but an RBI single got him into the game and increased the gap between the Gatemen and the trailing Whitecaps 8-2. 

Bryson Shaffer (Coastal Carolina) came in to close out the final innings for Wareham. Shaffer kept his clean ERA with the 13 batters he faced, only giving up three hits while striking out five. 

Wareham put salt in the wound with one final run to top it off in the bottom of the seventh and the Gatemen get to enjoy the Tuesday off day with a win. 

“Me and Shev talked about even before this game, we’re saying we can’t tie out for four games,” Smyth said. “Someone’s gonna have to win and lose and tonight we just had the upper hand.” 

Smyth noted the importance of not letting the rest day halt the momentum after a string of wins. 

“I couldn’t ask for anything more than what our guys are doing right now,” Smyth said. “To have this off day after a long stretch, and to play really well on the back end of the stretch means even more to me. That proves to me and I think everyone that comes out to the ballpark that our guys want to play baseball.”

The Gatemen will stay at home for Wednesday night’s game to face the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.