BOURNE – A three-run homer in the eighth inning by Tyler Fitzgerald off Brendan White turned a 6-4 Bourne deficit into a 7-6 lead as the Braves went on the win by that score.
In the final day of the regular season, the Gatemen once again turned to their bullpen as six different pitchers took the ball today.
“The game did exactly what we wanted to do. We used all of our pitchers and kept the in there. We made a mistake at the end and it is what it is, but that is exactly what we wanted except we would have liked to have won,” Don Sneddon said.
For most of the night, it looked like the Gatemen would be victorious as Wareham used a five-run fifth inning to take a 6-1 lead and were ahead until Fitzgerald’s homer in the eighth.
The fifth inning offensive outburst began with Oliver Dunn’s second hit of the evening with one away. Isaac Collins followed it up with a single on a hit-and-run through the left side of the infield.
Normally, Collins ball would have been a picture-perfect double play ball, but the shortstop was heading over to the bag to cover the base and the ball sneaked through into left field.
Jakob Goldfarb then hit into a weird fielder’s choice as everyone would up safe on the play, loading the bases. Goldfarb crushed a ball right back up the middle that drilled the Bourne starter Justin Lasko on the foot and left him in pain, but he remained in the game.
Austin Shenton then grounded out into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded, but a run came in to score to give Wareham a 2-1 lead. The RBI was the second on the day for Shenton who previously tied the game in the third inning with an RBI sac fly. Jeremy Ydens hit a three-run homer to extend the Gatemen lead.
Ydens would finish the night 3-for-4 with a homer, a double, and three RBIs. Ydens’ RBIs total for the season ended at 34 which ended up leading the league.
Jeremy Ydens (7) led the Cape League with 34 RBIs this season, four more than his teammate Austin Shenton, who had the second most (via Caroline O'Connor).
“Yeah it’s pretty cool. Obviously, the guys in front of me did a great job of getting on base or else I would not be able to be in that spot. It’s something I definitely wanted to work on this summer, hitting guys in,” Ydens said.
Following the Ydens homer, Lasko would leave the game ending his Cape season. Lasko’s final line would read 4.2 IP, four strikeouts, eight hits, and five runs allowed.
Entering the game, Lasko’s 3.00 ERA was one of four pitchers in the Cape league to qualify for the ERA title (a minimum of 0.8 innings must be pitched per game). Exiting the game, his ERA sat at 3.76.
Previously, Lasko had faced the Gatemen once this summer and had much more success. Back on June 21, the righty out of UMass allowed just one run in six innings versus Wareham in a game his team won 4-3. Yesterday, Ydens and his teammates had his number.
“Lasko is a great pitcher,” Ydens said. “We saw him earlier in the year and we knew what he was trying to do to us. We were able to take advantage of a couple of mistakes he made,” Ydens said on the Gatemen Postgame Show.
With Wareham now ahead 5-1, Lael Lockhart Jr. worked a two out walk to prolong the inning. Drew Millas then drove a ball deep into the left field gap to score Lockhart from first and extend the Gatemen lead to five.
After that, things went south for Wareham.
Alex Stiegler, a new roster addition, entered the game in the fifth and he allowed three unearned runs to score, trimming the Wareham lead to two.
With the score now 6-4 in the eighth, Bourne had runners on the corners with one out. White recorded a huge strikeout to keep the lead intact for the moment as he got Thad Phillips to go down on strikes. Then on a 2-1 count, Fitzgerald crushed the next pitch he saw to left field and the Braves moved ahead by a run.
In the top of the ninth, Wareham had a chance to tie the game as Dunn doubled off Jacob Wallace to begin the inning. The top of the Wareham order was due up next, but they went down without much fanfare. Isaac Collins, Jakob Goldfarb, and Austin Shenton all struck out as the tying run was left on second base.
“We appreciate them [Bourne] playing the game like it means a lot to them. They started their number one pitcher. I wanted to play a game like we are going to be seeing in the tournament. Unfortunately, we made one bad pitch,” Sneddon said.
Despite the loss, Wareham still managed to win the West Division as they edged out the Hyannis Harbor Hawks by one point for the division crown.
“That’s your goal,” Sneddon said about winning the division. “It wasn’t a make or break goal since we are still in the playoffs, but it’s a goal for sure. I am excited we can bring this back to the Gatemen and bring them some kudo there. These kids have worked hard all season long. Forty-four games and we ended up on top.”
Final: Braves 7, Gatemen 6
Next up: The Gatemen (25-17-2) are now set up to face the Cotuit Kettleers (22-18-4) in the West Division Series which begins Saturday Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m. from Spillane Field in Wareham.