WAREHAM – A night after the Gatemen allowed nine runs to score and 22 men to reach base, the Wareham pitching staff dazzled in a 4-1 win.
Connor Lunn started for the Gatemen tonight and he picked up the win to improve his record to 3-1. Lunn went five scoreless innings and dominated the Whitecaps lineup. Lunn allowed just two hits and walked one batter on 70 pitches thrown. At his best, Lunn set down 10 straight Whitecaps between the second and fifth innings.
Connor Lunn (right) and Drew Millas (left) celebrate a job well done (via Caroline O'Connor).
“Like he did last time, Lunn got his fastball over with a breaking ball. It kept them off balance. He was spotting it up, in and out. He overcame a leg cramp to give us five good innings,” Don Sneddon said.
“I was going mainly with my fastball today, mixing in my slider and changeup as best I could. In my last start of the summer, I wanted to get my changeup a little dialed in and keep going with what I’ve been doing,” Lunn said in the Gatemen Postgame Show.
Tonight’s start was Lunn’s final appearance for the Gatemen this summer. Few pitchers, especially starters, make it through the whole Cape League season as they usually hit innings limits or college coaches ask them to shut down for the summer.
On the other side, Brewster starter Ben Dragani kept the Gatemen in check through the first six innings, as Wareham was only ahead 1-0 entering the seventh. The only run in the first six innings came when Ryan Kreidler socked a solo shot to left field for his first of the season.
In the seventh, the Gatemen got themselves a little breathing room.
Drew Millas led off the inning with a walk and Kreidler singled for his second hit of the day to put runners on first and second with nobody out.
Jakob Goldfarb was the next Wareham batter and he tried to move up the runners into scoring position by laying down a sacrifice bunt. However, Goldfarb fouled off both his attempts and was unsuccessful.
Instead, Goldfarb ripped a ball to the left center field gap and both runners came around to score and Wareham was ahead 3-0.
“A lot of times that puts a hitter in the tank when he can’t get two bunts down,” Sneddon said. “It took the pressure off us, allowed us to swing a little bit easier.”
The double for Goldfarb was just his second hit of the Cape League season and his first as a Gatemen. Prior to that at bat, Goldfarb was 1-24 overall (.041) including 0-5 with Wareham.
“It was definitely nice to get that off my chest, especially since earlier in the at bat I didn’t get the bunt down, so I wanted to come through with some production,” Goldfarb said.
Skyler Hunter reached next on a walk and he and Goldfarb moved up a base on a wild pitch. Following an Isaac Collins strikeout, Wareham got their fourth run of the night when Sahid Valenzuela grounded out to short.
After Lunn exited, Nathan Florence and Ryan Stoudemire worked in relief to close out the game. The two relivers combined to throw four innings, allowing just one run off two hits and two walked batters.
In total, Gatemen pitchers only had four strikeouts, but their defense came ready to play and made excellent plays to back them up.
To start off the game, Kreidler made an acrobatic play to range up the middle and retire the leadoff man. In addition, Collins and Hunter each made diving catches to rob the Whitecaps of hits while Lael Lockhart displayed great reflexes to turn an unassisted double play to end the game.
“These guys can make great plays. They can make them look easy just like in the end right there with Lockhart to put that away,” Sneddon said.
Final: Gatemen 4, Whitecaps 1
Next up: The Gatemen (15-10) go on the road to complete the home-and-home with the Brewster Whitecaps (4-18-3). First pitch at 5:00 p.m. at Stony Brook in Brewster.