WAREHAM – The Wareham Gatemen entered play last night as the best defense in the entire Cape League with just 11 errors committed. Uncharacteristically, the Gatemen made a season-high four errors in a game they ultimately lost 6-5 to the Red Sox.
Catcher Drew Millas accounted for two of the Wareham errors, one fielding in the fourth and a throw in the eighth. 2B Sahid Valenzuela made his error in the fourth on what could have been a double play ball and SS Ryan Kreidler committed an error in the ninth.
“In tight ballgames, everything is magnified. When you make an error, that’s magnified. When you win 17-4, nobody remembers that error,” Don Sneddon said.
The Gatemen actually jumped out to a lead in this one as Austin Shenton plated one with an RBI single in the third. The Wareham base runners in the inning were Jeremy Ydens, who walked, and Sahid Valenzuela, who reached on a swinging bunt.
After throwing three scoreless innings, Cavalli ran into trouble in the fourth. Cavalli hit the leadoff man Andrew Daschbach and then gave up a single to Quin Cotton. On the next batter, Cavalli got Reese Albert to hit a chopper to second base, setting up a double play for the Gatemen middle infield.
Valenzuela mishandled the ball as he tried to field it on an in between hop and Daschbach came around to score thanks to some heads up base running. Everyone was safe and the Red Sox had runners on first and second.
Jonathan Delucca was the next Red Sox hitter and he tried to move up the runners into scoring position. On the third pitch of the at bat, Delucca dropped down a bunt and the ball rolled barely in front of home plate. Millas attempted to pick up the ball barehanded and throw it third to cut down the lead runner.
Instead, Millas fumbled the ball and everyone was safe. It was the second Gatemen error in as many plays.
Nick Quintana proceeded to hit a sacrifice fly on the first pitch to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. From there, Cavalli educed two groundouts to end the threat without allowing anymore runs.
“I thought Cavalli did a good job getting out of it. That’s why we left him in the game. He pitched well after that,” Sneddon said.
In the bottom of the inning, the Gatemen stormed back with three runs to take a 4-2 lead. Lael Lockhart lead off the inning with a frozen rope to left field for a single. Pavin Parks drew a walk with brought up Ryan Kreidler.
Kreidler attempted to bunt the runners over, but fouled off his first two attempts. Instead of moving the runners over, Kreidler drove one in. Kreidler hit the two-strike pitch into left field for a single to cut the YD lead to just one.
The Kreidler single ended the day for YD starter Tommy Henry who lasted just three plus innings and was still on the hook for Parks on second and Kreidler on first.
Trenton Denholm entered the game in relief of Henry and promptly hit the first batter he faced, Isaac Collins, to load the bases.
From there, Denholm battled and got Skyler Hunter and Jeremy Ydens on back-to-back swinging strikeouts.
With two outs, Valenzuela came to the plate looking to salvage the inning for the Gatemen.
On a 2-1 count, Valenzuela lined a single into center field scoring two runs, giving Wareham, a 4-2 lead. Despite the off night in the field, Valenzuela had a fantastic night at the plate going 4-5 with three RBI.
The Gatemen would not score again in the inning, but took a 4-2 lead entering the fifth. Tyler Ahearn was the first man out of the Gatemen bullpen and he did not provide the shutdown inning Wareham needed.
Tyler Ahearn took the loss allowing three runs over three innings (via Caroline O'Connor).
Ahearn allowed the first five men of the inning to reach base safely. Ahearn walked the first hitter before allowing four straight singles. Within minutes of taking the lead, Wareham found themselves down again, this time 5-4.
The Gatemen had one final rally in the sixth when the bases were loaded with two outs and Drew Millas at the plate. To get to Millas, the Red Sox intentionally walked Austin Shenton for the second time of the game.
Normally, Bryant Packard hits fourth in the Gatemen lineup but he was out due to “general soreness” according to Sneddon and was in need of an off day.
Until that point, Millas was 0-3 and had already left three men on base in addition to grounding into an inning ending double play. LHP Chandler Fidel entered the game for the right hander Denholm as the new pitcher to face Millas.
In a limited sample, Millas was hitting under .200 against lefties and was hitting over .290 against righties prior to this at bat.
YD got the matchup they wanted and executed as Millas took a breaking ball over the outside corner for strike three to end the Gatemen threat.
In the eighth, the two teams would trade runs and the final score went on to be 6-5 in favor of the Red Sox.
With the loss, the Gatemen now hold a slim one point lead in the West Division while YD increased their lead in the East Division to three points.
“We made four errors, uncharacteristic of us. Good teams take advantage of that and they got enough good pitching to hold us down,” Sneddon said.
Final: Red Sox 6, Gatemen 5
Next up: The Gatemen (12-7) have another home game tonight as they play the Bourne Braves (9-8-1). First pitch at 6:30 p.m. at Spillane Field in Wareham.