The Gatemen struck first in the bottom half of the first inning. Matt McLain (UCLA) got on with a walk, Jacob Teter (Florida Southern) advanced McLain to 2ndon a bunt and Adrian Del Castillo (Miami) sent McLain home on a hard hit single up the middle.
Back to back singles in the 2ndinning put Matt Rudick (San Diego State) at 3rdand Benjamin Sems at 1st. Rudick got caught in no mans’ land at 3rdbase getting thrown out by the catcher. The Gatemen squandered a good chance to score.
Wyatt Young got on with a single in the 3rdinning and stole 2ndbase. Brad Beasley sent Young home on a single knotting the game at 1. Young was very close to being thrown out at home but slid around the tag of Dallas Beaver (South Carolina).
Wyatt Young (Pepperdine) launched a home run into right field in the 5thgiving the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. Back to back singles put Beaver and Sems on base with no outs. Rudick stole 2ndbase to put two runners in scoring position. Chad Stevens (Portland) hit a 2 RBI single into left giving the Gatemen a 3-2 lead.
“That at-bat was a battle and with 2 strikes he left a breaking ball up and I took advantage of it” Stevens said. “It was a lot of fun coming out to this ball park to play. Especially after 2 off-days we had plenty of energy and enjoyed playing in front of this loud crowd.”
JP Gates (Miami) had a nice outing for the Gatemen. The final line for Gates was 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. Tevin Murray (Rutgers) relieved Gates in the 6thinning making his Wareham debut. Murray earned the win finishing with a line of 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 SO.
The 7thinning was almost a disaster for the Gatemen. Cole Larsen (Kansas) forced 2 straight put outs but after allowing 2 consecutive singles was pulled for Ben Leeper (Oklahoma) Leeper hit the first batter he faced loading the bases. Leeper recorded a strikeout to end the inning. This was the story of the game for the Red Sox as they stranded 10 men on base.
Trey Dillard (Missouri) took the mound for the Gatemen in the 8thinning. Dillard was fantastic and came out throwing heat reaching 95 mph on his fastball. Coming off an injury Dillard has mentioned how he was throwing near 100 last summer. The Y-D offense had no answer for Dillard unable to muster a hit in his 2 innings of action. Dillard earned a save for his efforts.
It was a strange turn of events for the Gatemen as the top of the lineup struggled and the bottom half thrived. Stevens was 2-3 with 2 RBI, Rudick was 2-4, and Beaver in the middle of the lineup was 2-3.
“It’s really cool we clinched a playoff spot. We have worked hard all season and have earned the position we are in” Stevens said. “We don’t have a home game for a couple of days so this next stretch on the road is very important for our team.”
The opposite could be said about the Red Sox. The top of the lineup was great and bottom of the lineup was non-existent. Young was 2-5 with 1 RBI, Brad Beesley (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) was 3-5 with 1 RBI, and Austing Wells (Arizona) was 2-5.
With the win the Gatemen improve to 19-15-1 on the season and officially have clinched a position in the playoffs. The Red Sox fall to 20-14-2 and still hold on to 2ndplace in the East Division. The Gatemen are in 2ndplace in the West Division just 1 point ahead of the Cotuit Kettleers.
The Red Sox have a huge game next time out hosting the league leading Chatham Anglers tonight at 5:00 p.m. The narrative is similar for the Gatemen going up against the West Division leading Falmouth Commodores on the road at 6:00 p.m.
Photography: Kristin Ostrowski