For the Gatemen, the end of the regular season did not come fast enough.
On Thursday, Wareham fell for the third consecutive game as despite home runs from newcomers Joe Drpich and Giovanni Dingcong the Gatemen lost to Bourne, 12-5, on a warm evening at Spillane Field.
The win gives the Braves a sweep of the home-and-home series and also gives them a win of the season series, 4-2.
Wareham will take on Falmouth in the first round of the Cape Cod Baseball League Title looking to win their first playoff series since 2012.
On the year the Gatemen went 1-4-1 against the Commodores, but if last year is any indication there no stock should be put in to such a statistic. Heading into last year’s first round postseason matchup with the Braves, Bourne was 0-5-1 versus the Gatemen only to knock them out in two games.
Wareham coach Don Sneddon said being the underdog should benefit his team.
“No one is betting on us in Vegas right now I’ll tell you that much,” joked Sneddon. “There is no pressure on us and hopefully that plays to our advantage to just be relaxed. No one is picking us to win this series.”
Aaron Hernandez, who fired five innings of two run ball against Orleans on Sunday, will get the game one start on Saturday. Jordan Britton and Brett Conine will follow in relief.
The error bug plagued Wareham for the second straight game as they made five fielding blunders en route to five unearned runs. Two of those errors occurred in the second, one in the third, one in the fourth, and another in the eighth.
In all three losses that the Gatemen suffered to finish the season they saw the opponent score consistently in the middle innings. Bourne scored two runs in the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth innings to make any potential Gatemen surge improbable.
One noticeable bright spot for Wareham was the play of Drpich. Drpich, out of Siena, went 3-for-4 with a two run shot, a double, and a base hit.
The initial blast from Drpich gave the Gatemen a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but from that point forward it was all Braves.
Bourne scored a pair in the top of the second as a single, an error, and an RBI double off the bat of Andy Atwood evened up the game at two.
Over the course of the next two innings the Braves grabbed a 6-2 advantage as a fielder’s choice RBI groundout off the bat of Jameson Hannah put the Braves up 3-2, and consecutive RBI hits in the fourth inning by Grant Williams and Richard Palacious gave Bourne a four run edge.
“You know you have to line up your pitching for the postseason and you hope that the other guys are able to do the job,” said Sneddon. “We certainly thought they were capable of it but unfortunately it has not worked out that way.”
Within the blink of an eye, Dingcong brought the Gatemen faithful back to life.
The right-handed power threat showcased his opposite field strength, as he launched a three run, majestic blast to right centerfield to cut the Bourne lead to 6-5.
Dingcong’s blast felt as though it had the ability to lift Wareham to a comeback win, but one half inning later Jared Triolo belted a two run shot of his own to push the Braves lead back up to 8-5.
Next Up: The Gatemen take on Falmouth in the first round of the Cape Cod Baseball League playoffs. First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 6pm at Guv Fuller Field.