WAREHAM- As quickly as the Wareham Gatemen took the lead, the Newport Gulls took it right back.
Trailing 4-2 in the seventh inning, the Gatemen rallied to score four times and took a 6-4 lead entering the eighth. Right fielder Dante Baldelli tied the game with a two out, two-run RBI double. The next batter, first baseman Luke Roskam, hit a two-run homer over the right center field fence to put the Gatemen ahead.
Austin Shenton (21) slides home safely to tie the game 4-4.
The Gatemen rally almost did not happen as the inning nearly ended after three batters. Gulls shortstop Jack Gethings made a costly error with two outs.
On a routine ground ball, Gethings fielded cleanly with his backhand, but his throw sailed, pulling the first baseman off the bag. The inning was kept alive, and the aforementioned rally occurred.
“This is a game of momentum. It just takes one guy getting on base to disrupt the pitcher’s timing and all of a sudden he starts pressing,” said Manager Don Sneddon.
However, in the top of the eighth, the Gulls responded. Newport tagged Gatemen reliever Logan Maitland for three runs on three hits, including a two-run home run by center fielder Zach Hogueisson to tie the game 6-6.
“He [Maitland] didn’t come in with his good stuff and did not hit locations. This game is all about locations,” Sneddon said. “They’re mature hitters. These guys are juniors and seniors in college and they took advantage of that.”
The game was not tied for very long as trouble ensued on the next three batters.
Gulls first baseman Logan Harvey walked, and Gethings doubled to put runners on second and third. Catcher John Mazza then hit a line drive to left field which was plenty deep enough to be a sacrifice fly. Harvey scored easily and the Gulls took a 7-6 lead.
In the bottom half of the eighth, Gulls left fielder, Dylan Cloonan, moved from the outfield to the mound and shut the door throwing two scoreless innings in relief to end the ballgame.
For the Gatemen, second baseman Oliver Dunn and designated hitter Isaac Collins helped to pace the Gatemen offensive attack.
Dunn had two singles out of the leadoff spot and Collins had two hits as well, including a two-run home run in the first inning.
Despite the loss, Sneddon acknowledged, without hesitation, that the importance of tonight’s game was about viewing the players, not about the result.
“We are just trying to see players and pitchers. That’s why we threw so many guys. It gives us a look in game conditions. It’s hard to evaluate without putting them in the spotlight,” Sneddon said.
Final: Gulls 7, Gatemen 6
Next up: The Gatemen will play another preseason game against the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks at 5:30 p.m. on June 9.