HYANNIS- Believe it or not it looked as though Wareham may lose this game trailing 5-3 up until the 8thinning. This was all until literally every Gatemen players besides one had a hit in a 10 hit, 9 run 8thinning that sealed a 12-5 victory.
Wareham took an early lead in the 2ndinning as Chad Stevens (Portland) delivered an RBI double hitting a perfectly placed double into right field giving the Gatemen a 1-0 lead. The Gatemen threatened multiple times early on getting a man to second each 3 innings.
Nick Richmond (Pfeiffer) got himself into a jam in the 2ndinning with two runners on and no outs, however 3 flyouts helped him escape. Unfortunately for Richmond he got into the exact same situation in the 3rdinning, but this time the Harbor Hawks did not squander the opportunity as Trevor Hauver (ASU) ripped an RBI single, Hunter Goodman (Memphis) hit a sac-fly, and Brooks Carlson (Samford) hit an RBI double making the score 3-1.
The Gatemen did not let the 3 run inning phase them immediately loading the bases with no outs in the 4th. From there, Nathan Lavender (Illinois Champaign) tried to stop the bleeding but only made it worse walking in 2 runners making the score 4-3.
Hyannis created some cushion in the bottom half of the 4thas Nick Loftin (Baylor) led off the inning with a double and Mitch Mcintyre sent him home on a groundout extending the lead to 4-3. Then in the 6thinning Rigsby Mosley (Troy) who has one of the best baseball names lived up to his name blasting a solo-home run extending the Harbor Hawk lead to 5-3.
5-3 proved to be not a big enough lead as the flood gates opened for Wareham in the 8thinning. It all started with Kameron Guangorena (Fullerton) chasing a ball on 3-0 count hitting it right to the short stop Loftin, but he fumbled the ball and this was indicative of how the 8thinning went for Hyannis.
With 2 men on Mike Antico (St. Johns) roped a 2 RBI double tying the game 5-5 but was tagged out trying to extend the double to a triple. 2 more runners got on base and Kyle Whitten (Virginia) took the mound looking preserve the tie.
Just as Lavender failed to earlier in the game, Whitten failed to slow down the Gatemen offense as Matthew Rudick (San Diego State) laid down a perfect bunt sending a man home making the score 6-5. From there things went from bad to worse as Darren Baker (Cal Berkeley) hit an RBI single, Andy Thomas (Baylor) hit an RBI single, Antico hit his second double of the inning sending home a run, and for the cherry on top Adrian Del Castillo (Miami) hit a 3-run home run.
The air was truly taken out of the stadium when Del Castillo hit the home run and it proved to be the backbreaker for the Harbor Hawks.
“I was fighting off pitches and was not struggling but couldn’t find the pitch I wanted” Del Castillo said. “I finally got the pitch I wanted, and the ball hit my barrel just right and next thing you know it’s a three-run home run and that’s awesome.”
What makes the Del Castillo home run so impressive is this was only his second ever game in the CCBL. The power should come as no surprise however, as this season with the Hurricanes Del Castillo had a batting average of .331 and had 12 HR.
“Hitting with a wood bat is hard and I am still going through an adjustment period” Del Castillo said. “It is all about getting the barrel on the ball and that goes for a wood or metal bat.”
Besides Del Castillo Darren Baker had a standout game going 3-5 with 1 RBI, Antico was 3-5 with 3 RBI, and Guangorena was 2-4. Baker in particular has gotten off to a real hot start to the season with a hit in all 4 Gatemen games.
“I changed my batting grip in the regionals and played well there” baker said. “And from there it seems as though my performances have carried over to here.”
The Gatemen improve to 2-1-1 on the season while the Harbor Hawks have still failed to get their first win of the season dropping to an 0-3-1 record. The Gatemen will have to once again bring their A-game tomorrow in a 2018 championship series rematch against the Chatham Anglers in a double-header with game 1 scheduled for a 4 p.m. start and game 2 immediately following.
“In order to win tomorrow we just have to go out and do exactly what we did today” baker said. “You saw what this team can do and how resilient this group is.”
Photo by: Kristin Ostrowski