HARTFORD – The Gatemen bats did not come out of the All-Star break hot as Wareham fell to the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox 5-0 Tuesday afternoon.
Instead of playing this scheduled home game at Spillane Field in Wareham, the Gatemen traveled to Dunkin’ Donuts Park to play at the home of the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.
“We would have liked to have won. That would have been a nice thing and made it a great day, but we didn’t,” Gatemen manager Don Sneddon said.
“It’s still fun. It’s an experience which is what we are about with these guys. It gives them a chance to experience what it’s like to play at the next level and play where there are travel days.”
On the day, the Gatemen offense registered just four hits all game and only had multiple base runners on once throughout the course of the afternoon. In addition, none of the Gatemen hits went for extra bases. Over their last five games now, Wareham only has three extra base hits.
“Their guy [Tommy Mace] did a great job. One of the better jobs against us so far. We didn’t hit a ball hard all day,” Sneddon said. “Looking back at it, it could have been one of those 1-0 ballgames. That’s the frustration of this game. He set the tone and they threw enough pitchers in there to keep us off balance.”
The shutout loss was the third time the Gatemen have been shut out all year. The previous two shutouts came at the hands of the Harwich Mariners back on June 16 and most recently on July 14 against the Falmouth Commodores.
Mace held the Gatemen to just two hits with five strike outs over his five innings pitched in a winning effort. He commanded the strike zone very well as only one Gatemen hitter recorded a walk.
The lack of offense wasted a solid start from RHP Nathan Florence. Florence, a University of Hartford student, made his first start (sixth appearance) of the summer for Wareham.
Nathan Florence was the hard luck loser today going four innings and allowing one run (via Caroline O'Connor).
“Initially he got his fastball over and that’s what got him through the first inning. Then he got his curveball over and he kept his walks down,” Sneddon said. “It’s not a great hitter’s park so you just have to make them hit it.”
Florence went four innings and took the loss despite only allowing one run. His only blemish was a solo homer by Nick Quintana to begin the third which put YD up 1-0.
“I left a curveball up a little bit,” Florence said after the start. “I didn’t think it was a bad pitch, but we played against Quintana before, so I know he’s a good hitter.”
On the day, Florence retired six Red Sox by way of the k and only put three men on base (one hit and two walks).
“I’d like for it to kickstart towards better outings,” Florence said.
“I was as a starter at Hartford so it was more comfortable coming out in a starting role and definitely coming back home was comfortable. It was a lot of fun.”
Pitching at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, and doing so effectively, is nothing new for Florence. In his last start at this park for the Hartford during his college season, he pitched seven scoreless innings against Central Connecticut State University in a win. Overall, Florence has struck out 18 batters in 11 IP in his last two times combined in this ballpark.
“It’s got to be my favorite mound to pitch on. I don’t know what about it but it’s a really nice mound. I love the environment here. I get pretty excited every time I get to throw out here,” Florence said.
With the outing, Florence lowers his Cape League ERA by over two runs down from 9.34 to 7.10.
After Florence’s day was over, the Gatemen turned to Tyler Ahearn and this is where the game slipped away from Wareham.
Ahearn worked a scoreless fifth before running into trouble in the sixth. Adam Kerner grounded out to short to begin the inning then YD got their next six hitters on base.
Zach Ashford began the rally by singling and Johnny Deluca followed suit and singled as well. On the play, runners moved into score position following a throwing error by Isaac Collins.
The Gatemen would intentionally walk Andrew Daschbach to load the bases. Reese Albert made Wareham pay as he singled to plate the second YD run of the day. Ahearn then walked Brad Beesley to score another run for the Red Sox.
A throwing error by Austin Shenton on a grounder would then allow YD to score their fourth run of the afternoon and third of the inning. Wareham turned a double play on the next batter, but the damage was done as the Red Sox led 4-0 entering the bottom of the sixth.
The Wareham offense would go down quietly as the final 11 Gatemen hitters were set down to end the afternoon. In the process, YD tacked on one more run in the ninth to make it a 5-0 final.
“I am hoping everyone shows up tomorrow. We have three tough games with Falmouth,” Sneddon said “We don’t have that many players to make wholesale changes so it’s these guys. We will go with what we’ve got and hopefully will make some adjustments.”
Final: Red Sox 5, Gatemen 0
W- Tommy Mace (5 IP, 5 K, 1 BB, 2 H)
L- Nathan Florence (4 IP, 6 K, 2 BB, 1 H, 1 R)
Next up: The Gatemen (20-16-1) go on the road tomorrow night to take on the Falmouth Commodores (19-15-1) at Guv Fuller Field located on Arnie Allen Diamond. First pitch at 6 p.m. from Falmouth.