WAREHAM-A crucial substitution and great pitching played a key role for the Gatemen in 4-2 win over the Braves
JP Gates did not get off to the start he would have wanted. Gates struck out the first batter but hit a batter and a Zavier Warren (Central Michigan) double sent home a run making it 1-0. Jackson Greer (East Tennessee State) made it 2-0 on an RBI blooper single. Both runs were unearned due to sloppy defense.
The Gatemen offense got rolling in the bottom half of the inning. Darren Baker (Cal Berkeley) got on with a bunt and Jacob Teter (Florida Southern) sent him to 3rdon a double. Matt McLain (UCLA) tied up the ball game on a 2 RBI single.
Nick Dombkowski (Hartford) struggled in the 1stinning. Dombkowski couldn’t find a way to record the last out walking 2 straight batters to load the bases. The game remained tied as Chad Stevens (Portland) popped up to end the innings.
Gates was a benefactor of 2 double plays and that helped what could have been a shaky performance. Levi Prater (Oklahoma) relieved Gates in the 5thinning. Gates final line was 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 SO.
Prater came out firing on the mound striking out 3 of the first 7 batters he saw in 2 scoreless innings. Joshua Culliver (Minnesota) took the mound for the Braves in the 6thinning. The last time Culliver played the Gatemen he allowed 7 runs on 6 hits in 2 innings.
Prater kept dealing in the 7thsending down the Braves in order. Wareham manager Jerry Weinstein made a crucial call in the 7thinning. Adrian Del Castillo (Miami) got on base on a fielder’s choice and Antico was put in as a pinch runner with 2 outs. It worked as Antico stole 2ndbase and he was sent home by Dallas Beaver (South Carolina) on an RBI single.
“If Antico wasn’t there we probably don’t score that run so to me that decision was a no brainer” Weinstein said. “We have been getting timely hits lately and drew some key double plays tonight.”
Prater’s strong performance carried over into the 8thinning as he struck out the side making it 4 strikeouts in a row. Jacob Teter (Florida Southern) hit an RBI single adding some insurance making the score 4-2.
Ben Leeper (Oklahoma State) relieved Prater in the 9thinning. Prater’s final line was amazing 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 7 SO. Leeper earned the save, Prater got the win, and Culliver got the loss. Teter was 3-4 with 1 RBI, Beaver was 2-3 with 1 RBI and McLain was 1-3 with 2 RBI.
“It starts with pitching and we have been pitching really well” Weinstein said. “Prater pounded the strike zone changed speeds and threw a lot of quality pitches.”
The Gatemen improved to 15-11-1 on the season while the Bourne Braves fell to 10-15. Bourne travels to Falmouth to play the red hot Commodores at 6:00 p.m and Wareham hosts the Brewster White Caps at 6:45 p.m.
Photo by: Kristin Ostrowski