WAREHAM – Eight solid innings of great baseball by the Wareham Gatemen was erased after a collapse in the ninth inning. The Gatemen led 3-2 heading into the final inning, but committed two errors and allowed four runs to score as Falmouth came back to win 6-4.
“It’s just one inning of one game. We broke down, no big deal. So what? We just have to get better from it and learn from it,” Sneddon said. “We are going to have 15 more of these games just like this and we will win some and lose some.”
In the ninth, the Commodores sent seven men to the plate. Four of those Commodores reached base and they would all come around to score. Two reached on base hits, one via a walk, and one on an error.
To start the inning, Cody Carroll was summoned out of the bullpen to try and close out the night with Wareham ahead 3-2. Carroll immediately ran into trouble as he gave up a leadoff single and proceeded to walk the next man he faced. Sneddon had a quick hook and called Zach Hart to try and clean up the mess.
In an obvious bunt situation, the Falmouth number nine hitter Will Brennan laid down a bunt that went right back to the pitcher Hart. Hart quickly grabbed the ball, spun around, and threw to third base to attempt to cut down the lead runner. Hart’s throw would have beaten the runner to the bag, but it sailed high. The tying run came into score and runners moved up to second and third with nobody out.
Sneddon confirmed after the game that he thought Hart made the right decision, but just did not execute his throw.
Logan Davidson was up next for Falmouth and he lifted a high fly ball to right field that was caught for the first out, but was plenty deep enough to score the go-ahead run. Falmouth now led 4-3 and the runner on second moved up to third.
Wareham then brought the infield in to try and limit the damage, but it was unsuccessful. Maverick Hundley roped a single past the diving Ryan Kreidler and the Commodores extended their lead by another run.
On the single, Jeremy Ydens’ throw missed the cutoff man at shortstop and it went past the first baseman Lael Lockhart as well so Hundley went all the way to third on the two base error. Just like that, Falmouth had another runner on third with one away.
The next Commodores hitter ground out to first, but Lockhart had no chance to cut down the runner at home. Falmouth led 6-3.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Gatemen would not go down easily. Ydens led off the inning with a single and Sahid Valenzuela hit one as well to put runners on the corners with no outs. Austin Shenton flew out to left field and then Lockhart grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice for the second out of the inning.
Pavin Parks then put a single through the right side of the infield to score a run. With two down, Wareham had runners on the corners and the winning run at bat. Gian Martellini, who in his last game homered and drove in three, worked an eight pitch at bat, but ended up striking out to end the ballgame.
“I was pleased with how our club came back in the ninth inning. It shows character,” Sneddon said. “I was just telling the team that you can roll over and lick your wounds and said ho-hum but you came out against a good pitcher and picked up a run and even had a chance to win.”
The Gatemen got this rally going against Jack Little of Stanford, the man who was the top reliever in the nation this season. Little saved 16 games and posted a 0.60 ERA in 45.1 innings this year. In addition, Little was a member of Team USA and had just completed his stint with the national team.
Prior to the ninth though, Wareham had plenty of opportunities to put the game away. The Gatemen left nine runners on through the first eight innings of play, including leaving a runner on in each of the first six innings.
As for the Gatemen pitching, Wareham got a great start from Will Proctor but it went all for not. Proctor pitched five strong innings as he allowed just two hits, two walks and allowed one run. Proctor displayed excellent command throwing 51 strikes on 76 pitches. With the outing Proctor lowered his ERA to 2.89.
In his 8.2 innings versus Falmouth this year, Proctor has allowed just two runs (via Caroline O'Connor).
“Proctor was great; four pitches for a strike. Best performance of the year for him. I am really happy for him. He’s a great competitor and he did a great job.” Sneddon said.
In relief of Proctor, RHP Jared Horn came in and kept the game in check as he went three innings allowing just one run to preserve the Gatemen lead. Horn gave up his one run on three hits and he struck out three batters.
“He learned to get his curveball over. He struggled with that initially and then got that over and competed for us,” Sneddon said.
Most notably, Horn got his curveball over in a big spot in the eighth. With two on and Wareham ahead one run at the time, Horn ended the inning by striking out Cam Cannon on a 1-2 curveball to preserve the then 3-2 Wareham lead.
Following the loss, Wareham travels to Hyannis today for a matchup with the second place Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
Final: Commodores 6, Gatemen 4