ORLEANS – The Wareham Gatemen (22-16-1) travel to Orleans to play the Firebirds (13-24-1) for the final time of the 2018 Cape Cod Baseball League regular season tonight at 7 p.m. at Eldridge Park.
The Gatemen enter play today just 5-5 in their last 10 but are coming off a huge series win over the Falmouth Commodores. Wareham took two of three from Falmouth including a 5-1 win last night at Spillane Field. Derek West was the Wareham starter and he was dealing. He took a no-hitter into the sixth before giving up a solo homer, the only hit he allowed on the night.
Austin Shenton hits third in the Gatemen lineup and again plays third base (via Caroline O'Connor).
MacGregor Hines and Joey Baran pitched in relief of West and combined to just allow one more hit on the night. The two hits allowed were the fewest allowed by the Gatemen staff in a game this season.
The Wareham offense only produced five hits, but they got them when it counted as two of the base hits drove in runs. Drew Millas had an RBI single in the first and Isaac Collins drove in two of his own in the seventh on a single.
The Firebirds come into today’s game having lost their last two and are just 3-7 over their last 10. Orleans lost last night to Cotuit 6-5 as their rally in the ninth came up short. Trailing 6-1 entering the inning, Orleans scored four runs to cut the Cotuit lead to 6-5. With one away, the Firebirds had the tying run on second and the winning run on second, but Matt Frazier lined out into a double play to end the game.
Tonight’s game has very big playoff implications for both sides. For the Gatemen, a playoff spot is all but inevitable at this point. If they win or tie tonight, Wareham will be the first team in the West Division to clinch a playoff spot. The Gatemen can also clinch a spot if the Bourne Braves lose or tie.
The Orleans Firebirds have their own playoff implications in this game and their needs are much more desperate. The Firebirds currently are fourth in the East Division and are just one point ahead of Brewster for the final playoff spot in the division. A loss tonight and a win for Brewster would flip the standings, meaning the Whitecaps would currently in possession of the final playoff spot.
RHP Tyler Keysor (1-2, 5.40 ERA) gets just his second start of the summer for Wareham and will be making his 11th appearance overall. In his last outing, Keysor turned in his best appearance of the summer. He picked up a win on July 19 over the Harwich Mariners tossing three innings of scoreless relief. Keysor allowed just two hits and struck out six in that game. Tonight’s start will be the second time Keysor has faced Orleans as he allowed one run in 0.2 IP back on June 22.
LHP Mitchell Senger (2-1, 6.23 ERA) will oppose Keysor and get the nod for Orleans. Tonight’s start will be the fourth for Senger on the summer as he was a late add first pitching on July 9. In his first two outings, Senger was 2-0 and had only allowed four runs in 13 IP. He was also the starting pitcher for the Firebirds when the team threw a joint no-hitter back on July 15 against the Brewster Whitecaps. Senger went eight innings in that game fanned eight while allowing two runs off one walk and no hits.
In his last time out, Senger was not nearly as effective. He took the loss against the Mariners allowing eight runs on seven hits in 4.1 IP.
Here are today’s lineups:
Isaac Collins, RF - Creighton
Oliver Dunn, 2B – Utah
Austin Shenton, 3B - FIU
Jeremy Ydens, LF – UCLA
Gian Martellini, C – Boston College
Lael Lockhart Jr., 1B - Houston
Drew Millas, DH – Missouri State
Ryan Kreidler, SS - UCLA
Skyler Hunter, CF - Purdue
SP- Tyler Keysor, RHP - Miami
Pat DeMarco, CF - Vanderbilt
JJ Bleday, RF - Vanderbilt
Spencer Steer, 2B - Oregon
Logan Wyatt, 1B - Louisville
Jaxx Groshans, DH - Kansas
Phil Clarke, C – Vanderbilt
Carter Aldrete, LF - ASU
Justin Lavey, 3B - Louisville
Sal Gozzo, SS - Tulane
SP- Mitchell Senger, LHP - Stetson