WAREHAM- The Wareham Gatemen split the doubleheader with the Orleans Firebirds, winning game one 4-3 and losing game two 10-4.
In game one, 3B Austin Shenton did his best to steal the spotlight away from the dads on Father’s Day.
For the second time this season, the Wareham Gatemen won on a walk-off. Shenton, who did not start Saturday night, was back in the lineup today and hit a walk-off three run homer as the Gatemen won game one 4-3.
In the Cape Cod League, games only last seven innings when doubleheaders are played. The Gatemen entered the last of the seventh trailing 3-1. It was do or die time.
Up until that point, the Gatemen offense had only registered four hits and one run. In the seventh, the quick strike Gatemen offense rose to the occasion.
SS Bryson Stott led off the seventh with his second hit of the day. Catcher Drew Millas followed it up with his second hit of the day as he scorched a ball that just got under the reach of the first baseman.
With runners on the corner, Shenton worked the count to 3-1 and got his pitch. Shenton smoked a 3-run walk-off homer over the right field fence. At the conclusion of game one, Shenton was hitting an outstanding .526 with 5 runs driven in on the year.
“I was just looking for a fastball and I got a 3-1 count and I got around on it,” Shenton said in the Gatemen Postgame Show.
The homer by Shenton was the first Gatemen extra base hit in 17 innings. They had not recorded one since the Andrew Vaughn homer in the seventh against Falmouth on Friday night.
Drew Millas started in game one going 2-3 with two singles. Photo by Caroline O'Connor.
Through the first six innings of play though, it was all Orleans.
RHP Riley Ornido shut the Gatemen down through his four innings of work. Ornido struck out five, allowed no runs, and walked two batters. He looked extremely comfortable changing speeds and throwing strikes, the key to success for any pitcher.
On the other side, Joey Matulovich (1-0) looked sharp, but was not as dominant as he was in his Opening Day start. However, Matulovich only allowed two runs, one earned and allowed five hits.
“I felt good. It was nice and warm today, so it was easy to get loose,” Matulovich said. “It was nice to get the cobwebs out after my first outing.”
Matulovich did not walk any batters unlike his first start when he walked four batters.
“I made a point to go out there and pound the strike zone. I wanted them to try and get themselves out,” Matulovich said.
The Firebirds offense got things going in the third inning when they took advantage of a Gatemen error. With one down in the inning, 2B Quincy McAfee hit a bullet to Gatemen 3B Austin Shenton but he couldn’t handle it. The ball rolled into left field and McAfee reached on an error.
Two batters later, CF Pat DeMarco hit a single into right field to score the first run of the afternoon.
In the fifth, the Firebirds were back at it as 3B Spencer Steer hit a leadoff double and would score on a DeMarco RBI fielder’s choice to push the Orleans’ lead to 2-0.
The Gatemen got one back in the bottom of the frame when Shenton singled to right but was able to reach third when RF Matt Fraizer misplayed the single as it rolled to the wall. Wareham RF Dominic Clementi grounded out to second, bringing in Shenton from third.
The Firebirds would then get that run back in the top of the sixth when DH Phillip Clarke grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that brought in a run. Orleans then led 3-1 and that score would hold until the Gatemen rally in the seventh.
Final: Gatemen 4, Firebirds 3
In game two, the Firebirds offense exploded for 10 runs on 16 hits to defeat the Gatemen 10-4.
LHP Josh Hendrickson recorded the win for the Firebirds as he went four innings allowing 3 runs, zero earned.
The Firebirds pitching staff wound up striking out 11 Gatemen in game two.
On the mound for Wareham, things did not go nearly as smoothly. RHP McKinley Moore lasted only 1.2 innings allowing two runs on three hits.
RHP Jared Horn relieved Moore and was tagged for even more runs. Horn allowed four runs on seven hits in his 2.1 innings pitched and took the loss. Right handers Cade Cavalli, Ryan Stoudemire, and Brendan White would follow in relief and would allow runs.
All five Gatemen pitchers in game two allowed runs.
“The Wareham pitchers got ahead on a lot of guys, but then lost them late in at bats,” Gatemen broadcaster J.D. Raucci said. “They need to work on consistency with attacking hitters.”
On the offensive side for Wareham, the team once again relied on Shenton. He had a two-run double in the second, bringing his RBI total to five for the afternoon.
Other than that, the Gatemen offense was held in check yet again. Andrew Vaughn broke out of an 0-9 slump with a fifth inning homer, but the Gatemen could not get any significant rallies going.
“It comes down to seven games in six days. That’s a tough stretch to go through as a hitter,” Raucci said.
Final: Firebirds 10, Gatemen 4
Next up: The Gatemen (5-2) will play at home Tuesday night following an off day on Monday. They will play against the Chatham Anglers (4-2) at Clem Spillane Field in Wareham. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.