WAREHAM – In a game that Wareham looked destined to lose, the Gatemen rallied in the ninth inning scoring four runs to tie the game 6-6 before winning 7-6 on a walk-off wild pitch in the tenth.
The Gatemen had just five hits and two runs scored entering the ninth as the Wareham offense was clearly in a funk. The day before, the Wareham offense was even worse as the they were shut out 3-0 against Falmouth and registered three hits the whole night.
“There were some walks that came up and we just managed to get a clutch hit when we needed it which was great,” Don Sneddon said. “Our pitching got good right at the end and we got a shutdown inning and that was huge for [Pavin] Parks to come in and do that and give us an opportunity.”
Down 6-2 to begin the ninth, The Gatemen got three of their first four hitters on base before Ryan Kreidler drove in a run with an RBI walk, the third walk of the inning. The biggest hit of the night came from Luke Roskam who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh. Roskam took the first pitch he saw and hit a double to clear the bases and tie the game at six all.
Luke Roskam's second double of the season tied the game in the ninth, setting up the win in the tenth (via Caroline O'Connor).
“You have to give Luke some credit. He struck out three times last night and didn’t even come close to hitting a ball,” Sneddon said. “He came out to the cage and worked on a few things for about an hour today and isn’t in the game and comes off the bench to hit a ball like that.”
The Gatemen failed to score the winning run in the inning, so Pavin Parks came back out on the mound behind the Wareham defense in extras.
Parks, who started the night at DH, entered to pitch the ninth in what was a mop up role at the time. Parks pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 inning, but now faced higher stakes with the game tied in the tenth.
Regardless, Parks worked another scoreless inning while striking out two batters, giving him three total on the night.
In the bottom of the tenth, the Gatemen kept their momentum from the late innings going when Isaac Collins began the frame with a leadoff bloop single to left. Then, it became decision time for Sneddon. He elected to have Sahid Valenzuela drop down a bunt to move Collins into scoring position.
“The tough decisions as a coach you know Sahid is up and he can hit, and I take the bat out of his hands to get a runner in scoring position and I knew they had to intentionally walk Shenton,” Sneddon said.
Just as Sneddon predicted, Shenton was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second with one out.
“It is tough as a manager when you have one of the best hitters in the league and they are going to take the bat out of his hands,” Sneddon said. “But I also had the luxury of having [Jeremy] Ydens who is leading our club in RBIs and I trust him in situations like that.”
Sneddon’s faith in Ydens was rewarded when the Gatemen left fielder quickly worked a 5-pitch walk to load the bases which meant the winning run was just 90 feet away.
Jakob Goldfarb, who was a late add to the Gatemen lineup after Lael Lockhart Jr. was scratched, had a chance to be the hero for Wareham and deliver the game winner.
However, Goldfarb never got the opportunity. After taking ball one, the Harwich pitcher, Austin Wood, fired ball two right to the backstop and Collins easily came in to score, giving Wareham their 7-6 walk-off win.
This win is the fourth walk-off of the season for Wareham and second against these Mariners. Back on June 13, the Gatemen won their home opener when Bryant Packard hit a walk-off sac fly in the ninth.
Through the first eight innings of this one, it was all Mariners and most of that credit goes to, Danny Poidomani, the starter for Harwich.
Poidomani allowed just one run over five innings and exited the game with Harwich ahead 6-1. Last night’s appearance for Poidomani was his third appearance of the season against the Gatemen. In his prior two games, he was 0-1 but had allowed just one run in 3.1 innings pitched.
On the mound to start for Wareham was Tyler Keysor. Keysor was making his first start of the summer and what turned out to be a bullpen day for Sneddon and his Gatemen pitching staff. In total, seven different pitchers toed the rubber for Wareham, four of which allowed runs to score.
“I’m concerned. It didn’t do what we wanted it to do. We have to tighten it up because we are going to need every one of those guys if we are going to make a run in the postseason,” Sneddon said. “Hopefully this helps to get some of their kinks out and allows them to improve and know that they can pitch here at this level.”
Keysor’s first start of the summer did not begin according to plan. On the first batter of the game, Keysor gave up a home run to Tanner Morris, putting the Mariners ahead 1-0 before fans had a chance to settle into their seats.
In the third, the Mariners had a chance to break the game open, but only scored one run, making it a 2-0 game. Harwich loaded up the bases with no outs, but Aaron Schunk grounded into a double play top hurt the rally. One run scored on the play, but it would be the only run Harwich would get in the inning.
Two innings later, the same situation presented itself again. With the Mariners ahead 2-0 and the bases loaded with nobody out, Schunk found himself at the plate and again grounded into a double play. The next batter, Andre Lipcius, worked an 11-pitch at bat and roped a single into left field scoring Morris. This put Mariners up 4-0.
Wareham got the run back in the bottom of the fifth when Drew Millas grounded out to knock in Valenzuela.
In the top of the sixth, Jack Ralston entered the game to pitch. The first hitter Ralston faced hit a groundball to Valenzuela at short, but he reached on an error when Valenzuela’s throw was too low and Shenton could not dig it out at first. This error was one of three on the night for Wareham.
From there, Ralston lost the strike zone. He walked the next three hitters on 14 pitches, which included throwing 10 straight balls and a run to score before being pulled for Brendan White.
However, the Mariners failed to record the big hit. White would allow a sacrifice fly making the game 6-1 at this point, but Harwich did not get another run across in the inning.
White would retire two of the next three hitters with his last out being a 3-pitch strikeout of Lipcius to limit the damage.
White would throw another scoreless inning before turning it over to Ryan Stoudemire who also posted a zero in the eighth, setting up the comeback in the ninth.
Final: Gatemen 7, Mariners 6
W- Pavin Parks (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
L- Austin Wood (0-1, 10.00 ERA)
Next up: The Gatemen (18-11-1) will be home Tuesday night following an off day Monday to play the Falmouth Commodores (15-14-1). First pitch at 6:30 p.m. at Spillane Field in Wareham.