WAREHAM- The bullpen delivered, but costly defensive mistakes caused a winnable game to end in a 4-4 tie for the Wareham Gatemen hosting the Orleans Firebirds.
It was a very strange start to the game for Aaron Davenport (Hawaii). Davenport hit a batter, walked a batter, and gave up an RBI single hit by Raymond Gil (Miami), but ended up retiring the side with 3 strikeouts.
Brooks Gosswein (Bradley) took over for Davenport in the third inning. Davenport allowed the 1 run but had a solid outing after settling down striking out 5 batters. Julio Marcano (NJIT) extended the Firebirds lead to 2-0 on an RBI single in the third inning.
Jack Winkler (San Francisco) had a tough night with 3 errors including misreading a soft hit ball to third that in the third inning that ended with 2 more Orleans runners scoring making it a 4-0 game.
The tides turned in favor of the Gatemen in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded, Winkler made amends for his defensive mistakes delivering a 2 RBI single cutting the deficit to 4-2. Then Tora Otsuka (San Diego) hit an RBI single making it a 4-3 game.
“I just tried to get a pitch over the plate that I could hit” Winkler said. “I knew all I needed was single, so I just kept it simple and got the pitch I wanted.”
A controversial ruling in the fifth inning may have gone on to cost the Gatemen the ballgame. Guangorena hit a ball down the left field foul line that sent home a runner tying the ball game; however, it was ruled the ball dropped foul and the runner at third was stranded.
Justice was served in the seventh inning as Kameron Guangorena (Fullerton) hit an RBI double into deep right tying the ball game 4-4. The Gatemen had a chance to take the lead in the seventh as well, but 2 runners were left stranded.
“We have a very talented lineup and we knew we had what it took to come back” Winkler said. “We just took it one run at a time and kept playing our game.”
The bullpen was electric for the Gatemen. Brandon Pffadt (Bellarmine) relieved Gosswein in the fifth inning and brought some heat throwing 3 hitless innings with 5 strikeouts. William Fleming (Wake Forest) followed suit showing off a fastball in the 90’s only allowing 1 hit in 2 innings of work.
Nine innings were not enough as we received some free baseball. Unfortunately, neither team was able to score in the tenth inning as the game ends in a 4-4 tie. Winkler was 1-5 with 2 RBI, Otsuka was 2-4 with 1 RBI, and Baker was 2-5.
The Wareham Gatemen are back in action tomorrow in Hyannis to play the Harbor hawks at 2:00 p.m.
Photo by: Kristin Ostrowski