The Gatemen had a chance to do damage in the first inning but stranded runners on the corners. Braiden Ward (Washington) got on with a walk, Jacob Teter (Florida Southern) hit a single and two fielder’s choices put runners on 1stand 3rd. Dallas Beaver (South Carolina) flew out to end the inning.
Nick Gonzales (New Mexicio State) has been a Gatemen killer this season. He came into the game 6-15 7 RBI against Wareham. Gonzales and Oraj Anu (Kentucky) hit back-to-back singles leading off the bottom half of the first. Luke Veinbergs (Missouri) rough start continued hitting a runner to load the bases with 0 outs.
Joey Loperfido (Duke) hit a sacrifice fly giving the Kettleers a 1-0 lead. A double play led by Ben Sems (Kansas) and Matt Mclain (UCLA) limited the damage to 1 run. Ward got on with an error in the 3rdinning and stole his league leading 23rdbase of the season. Ward was left stranded on 2ndbase.
“It wasn’t an impressive day for me in my opinion but I found a way to find a little offense” Ward said. “I think pitchers are more aware of my speed, feels like they pick-off like 5,000 times now so it’s tougher to steal but at the same time it’s my game so I just have to slow it down and do my thing.”
Gonzales completed his12thmulti-hit game of the season in the 3rdinning roping a double one hopping the wall in right. Loperfido lined a hard single to center field sending home Gonzales. Cotuit kept hitting in the 4thinning as Anu launched a 3-run home run.
The Gatemen offense came alive in the 5thinning. Entering the inning Wareham only had 2 hits but Ward cut the lead to 5-1 on an RBI single ripped up the middle. That run ended what was a great night on the mound for Reid Johnston (NC State). Johnston finished with a line of 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO.
Joey Baran (East Stroudsburg) relieved Veinbergs in the 5thinning. Veinbergs did not have his best night on the mound finishing with a line of 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO. Baran looked good striking out the side.
Christopher Mauloni (Jacksonville) took the mound for the Gatemen in the 6th inning. Mauloni picked up where Baran left out striking 2 of the first 3 batters he faced in a 1-2-3 inning.
Quinn Cleary (Yale) made his Gatemen debut in the 7thinning. Cleary kept the train rolling completing Wareham’s third straight 1-2-3 inning. Ben leeper (Oklahoma State) came in for the Gatemen for the 8thinning and struck out the side.
The Gatemen had a one last chance in the 9thinning to make a huge comeback but struck out twice. The pitching for Cotuit last night was unbelievable. Casey Schmitt (San Diego State) played so we he may have been the player of the game. Schmitt did not allow a hit finishing with a line of 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 3 SO.
The Gatemen combined for only 3 hits. Anu was 2-3 with 3 RBI, Gonzales was 2-4, and Loperfido was 1-3 with 1 RBI. The Cotuit Kettleers have moved into 2ndplace with a record of 18-16-4. Wareham has lost two in a row falling to 3rdplace in the West Division with a record of 19-17-1.
“We hit the ball somewhat well and hit a lot of hard stuff at people. I think we just needed to have better at-bats including myself” Ward said. “We are in the playoffs so I don’t really care about the standings. The only that matters is who wins in the playoffs.”
The Kettleers host the Chatham Anglers tonight a 7:00 p.m. The Gatemen are back in action tonight at 6:45 p.m. hosting the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
Photo by: Kristin Ostrowski