CHATHAM- It looked as though the Wareham Gatemen were on pace for an easy win after scoring 7 runs in the first 3 innings but a 3 run 9thinning almost resulted in disaster for the Gatemen.
If you were late getting to the ball park you missed out on a wild first inning. Braiden Ward (Washington) led off the ball game with a rocket home run into right field giving the Gatemen a 1-0 lead. Matt McLain (UCLA) hit an RBI single, Dallas Beaver (UCF) hit an RBI sac-fly and after an error just like that it was already 4-0.
Adrian Del Castillo (Miami) hit his 2ndhome run of the summer in the 3rdinning launching one effortlessly over the right field fence. JP Gates, Del Castillo’s teammate at Miami, got his first RBI of the summer on a groundout making it 6-0. Chad Stevens (Portland) Registered his 7thRBI of the summer on an RBI single making it 7-0.
After the first 7 runs were scored the narrative of the game shifted from high powered offense to lights out pitching. The Wareham Gatemen came into the game with fewest number of strikeouts in the CCBl but struck out 12 times in the ball game.
6 of those strikeouts came from Mason Hazelwood (Kentucky). Hazelwood came into the game in the 6thand was electric not allowing a hit in 3 innings of work. As for the Gatemen, Landen Roupp (UNCW) took over for the Gatemen in the 5thinning and was in the zone. Roupp retired 7 out of the first 9 batters he faced and only allowed 3 hits and a run in 4 innings of action.
Things almost fell apart for the Gatemen in the 9thinning. Coy Cobb (Texas) came in to close out the game for the Gatemen in the 9thinning. Unfortunately, Cobb did not record an out allowing 2 hits, 2 runs, and walked a batter leaving the bases loaded for Ben Leeper (Oklahoma State) with no outs. The Chatham faithful were very loud as Leeper entered the game anticipating a huge comeback.
“I was down there just sitting around, and I was told if he Coy got in any trouble go warm up” Leeper said. “It is awesome having that kind of fan support and on the mound, I try my best to block it out and just focus on me and the catcher but it’s incredible Chatham gets this kind of support.”
Leeper faced two of his Oklahoma State teammates Hueston Morrill, and Kaden Polcovich. Leeper struck out Morrill but Polcovich won his battle of the Cowboys cutting the lead to 7-4 on an RBI single. From there Leeper forced a fly-out and struck out the final batter earning himself a save.
“I had to get warmed up faster than usual, but it was fun coming in and facing 2 of my teammates it really got my adrenaline going” Leeper said. “We are really relaxed right now at the plat and we are putting together some great at-bats and 1-9 guys are driving the ball into the gap and the pitching has been throwing up zeros so if we do that for 9 innings, we will end up victorious.
Levi Prater (Oklahoma) earned a win in his CCBl debut while Jake Owen (Auburn) earned the loss. The Gatemen have now won 3 games in a row improving to 8-5-1 while the Chatham Anglers slip to 7-6-1. Wareham is back in action tomorrow night on the road against Cotuit at 5 p.m.