It would have been nice to repeat as CCBL champions. It would have been nice to make it past round 1 of the playoffs. But is that really what the CCBL is all about? College baseball players come from all over the country not to win silverware, but to improve on and off the field.
The Wareham Gatemen may be going home earlier than they may have liked, but the growth of this team is evident. Each Gatemen player has grown in their own way and will look back at this summer as a springboard for the rest of their career.
“This group has grown immensely. You know our priority is player development and we had tired guys but we all worked hard and they will be better for it” Weinstein said. “We are not concerned about the scoreboard or what happened today we care about how these players grow.”
Speaking of the scoreboard, the Cotuit Kettleers won game 3 4-1 advancing to the West Division championship to play Falmouth. Weinstein had the upmost respect for what Cotuit was able to do against his team.
“They dominated in all phases of the game. They were goo offensively, played strong defense, and threw strikes” Weinstein said. “They were just flat out good and were better than us.”
Ever since a six run inning in game 1, the Gatemen were outscored 33-4. The pitching was an issue but the bigger problem was as Jacob Teter (Florida Southern) alluded to after game 2 was stranding men on base.
In game 2 the Gatemen only mustered 2 runs off 12 hits, and that carried over to the offensive performance in game 3. The Gatemen had a runner on third base in four innings, but struck out each time stranding the runner.
This, along with Cotuit’s offensive dominance led to a Kettleers game 3 and round 1 victory.
Matt Mervis (Duke) hit his second home run in as many days in the first inning. Defensive miscues plagued the Gatemen in the first inning. Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina) sent home Cotuit’s second run on a blooper double into left.
Wareham answered right back in the bottom half of the inning. Teter roped a double into left and Adrian Del Castillo (Miami) sent him home on a hard hit single to right.
The Gatemen had a chance to tie the game in the third inning with a runner on third and two outs but Del Castillo struck out.
Once again in the fourth inning the Gatemen got a man to third but a Chad Stevens (Portland) strikeout took away any chance at tying the game. Cotuit made Wareham pay for not capitalizing in the fifth inning.
Brandon Pfaadt (Bellarmine) walked in a run making the score 3-1. That ended his evening with Trent Palmer (Jacksonville) taking over. Pfaadt looked great on the mound posting a final line of 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO.
Matt Rudick (San Diego State) quite possibly made the play of the year for the Gatemen robbing an extra base hit to end the fifth inning. It looked as though a hard hit ball by Chavers was destined for extra bases but Rudick made a diving catch near the right field wall. He was stellar on defense throughout the series.
A sacrifice fly in the sixth inning extended the Cotuit lead to 4-1. Wareham didn’t get a hit between the fifth and eighth inning.
Rudick changed that with a single in the eighth extending his hit streak to ten games. Teter followed up with his second double of the night putting runners on second and third with one out. Unfortnatley Dallas Beaver (South Carolina) struck out to end the inning.
Palmer was lights out on the mound as he was all season for the Gatemen. He posted a final line of 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. Palmer was great but Casey Schmitt (San Diego State) stole the show in game 3.
Schmitt held the Gatemen hitless for three inning finishing with a dazzling line of 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO. Schmitt did it all this series for the Kettleers also hitting a home run in game 2.
Schmitt struck out the side in the sixth inning and struck out two of three in the ninth inning to end the Gatemen season. The emotion was written all over Schmitt’s face after the final strikeout and you could tell that this Cotuit team is hungry for a title.
Weinstein will look back on this summer fondly and so should the fans and players. It was a great team to be around and these players are bound to be very successful in the rest of their young baseball careers.
“Looking back on this summer I will remember how everyone bought in and they were 100 percent on board” Weinstein said. “We had no problems and they played hard for 47 games.”
Photo by: Kristin Ostrowski