WAREHAM – Walk, single, single, walk, single, double. That’s how the Gatemen began their third inning, an inning in which they scored six of their eight runs on the night in an 8-6 victory over the Bourne Braves.
“It obviously sets the tone, some clutch hits. It gains confidence back in the players. It’s amazing what one hit can do for a player,” Don Sneddon said.
“Drew Millas was struggling, and he comes up and gets a key single and it helps your mental psyche and everything else. It’s probably the best thing you can have when you are in a slump to drive the ball like that.”
Millas’ single came after Ryan Kreidler began the inning with a single of his own. Kreidler moved up to third on the hit, putting runners on the corners for Isaac Collins.
Collins, who went 0-5 with four strikeouts in his last game on Wednesday, singled to drive home Kreidler and put Wareham ahead 1-0.
Sahid Valenzuela kept the line moving by working a walk which loaded the bases for Austin Shenton.
Shenton delivered and drove in two runs with the fourth Gatemen single of the inning. Just like that, Wareham was ahead 3-0.
Jeremy Ydens then took the first pitch he saw and roped it into left field for a double, which scored Valenzuela.
Jakob Goldfarb was the seventh Gatemen hitter of the inning and was the first to make an out of the inning. However, Goldfarb’s at bat was productive as he grounded out to second base while Shenton came in the back door to score the fifth Wareham run.
With Lael Lockhart Jr up, Ydens came in from third to score on a wild pitch to extend the Gatemen lead to 6-0. Lockhart and Pavin Parks were both set down to retire the side, but not before the Gatemen tagged Bryan Hoeing for six runs on 38 pitches.
In the top of the fourth, Bourne threatened but Gatemen starter Will Proctor limited the damage to one run.
The Braves loaded the bases with one away when Lyle Lin singled to get Bourne on the scoreboard to make it 6-1 in favor of Wareham. Just like he has done all season long, Proctor found a way to get out of the inning.
In the biggest at bat of the night to that point, Proctor got Ashton Bardzell to strikeout on three straight pitches before getting David Langer to pop out to second and end the threat.
This would be Proctor’s final inning of work as he finished the day going four innings, one unearned run allowed, one hit, two walks, and four strike outs.
The Gatemen added another run in the fifth and the sixth to bring their run total to eight on the night. Valenzuela led off the fifth with a double and came around to score when Ydens hit a sac fly. An inning later, Millas recorded his second hit of the night when he drove in Lockhart to extend the Wareham lead to a comfortable 8-1.
However, the Gatemen did not make things easy on themselves. After Jared Horn had gone two scoreless in relief of Proctor, he got into trouble in the seventh.
Shenton made an error to kick off the inning when a grounder that took a tough hop went into left field. Back-to-back singles for Bourne drove in one run and put runners on the corners. Horn battled back and struck out the next two hitters he faced and almost had three in a row.
On a 3-2 pitch to Tyler Fitzgerald, Horn barely missed the outside corner. Fitzgerald walked on the pitch instead, which loaded the bases with two away.
Anthony Prato then served a ball into right field that sent Collins back towards the warning track. Collins had a beat on it, but the ball went in and out of his glove. The error kept the inning alive and two runs came in to score making it an 8-4 game.
“For an infielder going to the outfielder, he’s been great. That’s the first time he’s screwed up all year. He just got his feet tangled on that,” Sneddon said.
“Stuff happens that’s why there’s an E in the score box and you don’t like to see them as managers, but it does happen.”
Jared Triolo capitalized on the Gatemen misfortune and he scalded a ball deep to the left center field gap which drove in two more runs, ending the night for Horn.
With the lefty Spencer Brickhouse up next, Sneddon called upon Joey Baran who would be making just his second Cape League appearance with the tying run at bat.
Joey Baran pitched a scoreless 1.1 to record the win for Wareham (via Caroline O'Connor).
Baran did his job and got Brickhouse to pop out to second base to end the inning and keep Wareham ahead. The final out of the inning closed the book on Horn who pitched 2.2 innings and gave up five runs, but none were earned. In fact, of the six runs Wareham gave up all night, none were earned.
“You can’t normally take a hit like that. Missing a routine fly ball, it was at least a four-run switch right there. It’s hard to take those hits. We got some good pitching at the end right there. We held them off and that’s good,” Sneddon said.
In the eighth, the Braves went down without much ado as Baran retired the side in order. He wound up recording the win in relief for his 1.1 IP of scoreless baseball.
“That was my second time on the mound facing hitters, so it feels good competing against guys and especially the bets guys in the country,” Baran said. “It feels good to be back on the mound.”
For the ninth, the Gatemen turned to their DH Pavin Parks who had been on a hot streak on the mound. In his 5.1 IP entering the inning, parks had yet to allow a run to score and nothing changed in this inning.
Parks set the Braves down 1-2-3 giving Wareham their sixth 1-2-3 inning on the night and giving himself his first save of the summer.
“Parks is a competitor. He’s a guy you want out on the mound. He just keeps comes after you,” Sneddon. “You like that as a coach, especially with a two-run lead.”
Final: Gatemen 8, Braves 6
W- Joey Baran (1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 K)
L- Bryan Hoeing (3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 BB)
S- Pavin Parks (1 IP, 1 K)
Next up: The Gatemen (12-13-1) will be home again Saturday night to play the Cotuit Kettleers (14-16-3). First pitch at 6:30 p.m. at Spillane Field in Wareham.