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Sound pitching not enough as Gatemen lose to Falmouth 8-6

The Gatemen infield players huddled up at the mound during the game of Wareham Gatemen vs Falmouth Commodores on July 11th, 2023. Photo by Will Bradley.

Tuesday night at Spillane Field was expected to feature an exciting contest, as the Wareham Gatemen took on the Falmouth Commodores. The two teams, tied for last place in the West Division, were each vying for a win to move up to fourth place and create a little more stability in the standings.

The matchup didn’t disappoint, as the teams combined for a total of 14 runs and 19 hits. However, the Gatemen couldn’t pull out a win, losing 8-6 and extending their losing streak to three.

The Commodores only put up runs in two innings, but that was all they needed. Both third and fourth innings saw four Commodore runners cross home plate, working off of singles and some Gatemen fielding errors.

“If you look at the board, it came down to two innings,” manager Ryan Smyth said postgame. “We just played a little sloppy for two innings, and it ended up costing us in the end.”

The first Commodore baserunner of the third inning, Tab Tracy (Texas A&M), reached base on an error from second baseman Garen Caulfield (Arizona), who bobbled the ground ball and was unable to recover to make the throw to first base. Tracy, along with two other Commodores who reached base via singles, all came around to score later in the inning. A throwing error by Lawson Harrill (Campbell)l in right field added to the series of unfortunate events for the Gatemen.

However, starting pitcher Yoel Tejeda was only charged with two of the six runs that came across the plate in his three innings of work. Tejeda, pitching his longest outing of the summer, gave up six hits and one walk and struck out two batters. The other Gatemen relief pitchers — Brett Wozniak (High Point), Jake Faherty (Arkansas) and Will Koger (Louisville) — also had solid outings, but in the end it didn’t matter.

Of the eight Commodore runs, only four of them were marked down as earned on the part of the Gatemen pitching staff. 

“Our pitchers threw fantastic tonight,” Smyth said. “But when you give a good baseball team — like all the teams are out here — extra outs in innings, it comes back to haunt you in the end.”

Wareham had a decent offensive showing, scoring the most runs it has since July 6 against Bourne in a 9-8 victory. Wareham struck first Tuesday night thanks to an RBI sacrifice fly from Sebastian Murillo (Georgia) to bring in Harrill, who hit a single to start off the inning. The Gatemen followed that up with two runs in the third inning, trying to retaliate after the Commodores’ four-spot in the top of the inning.

Nick McLain (Arizona State), Caulfield and Harrill all reached on walks, and a single from Tommy Splaine (Arizona) —  his second of the night already — scored two runs to bring the Gatemen within one run. Grant Sherrod (USC Upstate), in his first start and second game for the Gatemen, quickly made an impact in his second at-bat of the night, launching a two-run home run to right field.

During his short time with the Gatemen, Sherrod has already recorded one hit, three RBI, two walks and a sacrifice fly.

“I haven’t really seen a live pitcher in a while,” Sherrod said. “I was just hunting the fastball, trying to get on time, and I put a good swing on the ball.”

The Gatemen were able to tack on one more run in the bottom of the seventh inning thanks to a solo shot from McLain, but it wasn’t enough of a spark to put the charge in a comeback.

“It was a tough loss,” Sherrod said. “I think we were in it for a long time, just didn’t hit in situations where we needed to hit and defend in situations where we needed to defend.”

With the loss, Wareham drops down to last place in the West Division with a record of 10-14-2. The Gatemen have an off day to regroup before heading to Lowell Park to take on Cotuit Thursday and kick off a nine-game stretch.