Going into last night's game at Spillane Field, Harwich and Wareham both had team batting averages below .200. It didn't seem likely that these two teams would account for 16 runs and 22 hits, but that's exactly what happened. Trailing 6-2 through six innings, the Mariners scored 7 runs over the final three innings and went on to defeat the Gatemen, 9-7. Harwich jumped in front in the second inning when Connor Powers hit a rocket into the bleachers, well beyond the left-centerfield fence. The Mariners added to their lead in the third when Anthony Sosnoskie led off with a single and scored on a two-out basehit by Keenan Wiley.
Wareham came right back with three runs in the home half of the inning to take the lead. Derek Dietrich doubled following a lead-off single by Jake Lemmerman. Both runners came home on Ryan Pineda's double. After Zach Wilson struck out, Brett Eibner lined a ball to leftfield that took a crazy bounce and went over the head of Leon Landry, scoring Pineda.
The Gatemen padded their lead, scoring three more in the fifth. Dietrich, Pineda and Wilson started things with consecutive singles, scoring one run and knocking Harwich starter Rob Gariano out of the game. After inducing a strikeout and a ground out, it looked like reliever Chase Reid might escape further damage but a wild pitch and an infield single plated two more runs for the Gatemen.
Wareham led 6-2 heading into the seventh inning when starter Josh Mueller ran into trouble. A lead-off infield single (on a very liberal official scoring ruling) and a walk brought in Keith Bilodeau from the bullpen. Stuart Tapley greeted Bilodeau with a booming double to close the gap to 6-4. Sosnoskie hit a ground ball that went through the legs of second baseman Shea Vucinich who had just entered the game. That scored Tapley and narrowed the deficit to one. Zach Brewster relieved Bilodeau and his error and a passed ball put runners on second and third. The Mariners erased the lead on a fly ball to center by pinchhitter Marcus Nidiffer that scored Sosnoskie.
Justin Wright took over on the mound for Harwich in the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff single by Eibner and a run-scoring double by Ryan LaMarre put the Gatemen back in front, 7-6.
Wareham's bullpen couldn't stand prosperity. Brewster hit Daniel Grovatt with a pitch to start the eighth. Brewster was relieved by David Fischer who threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt, allowing Grovatt to scamper to third. Powers tied the game again with a double to right. Phil Gosselin singled and Tapley walked to load the bases. That was the end of the night for Fischer. Dean Kiekhefer inherited a bases loaded, no out situation. He struck out Sosnoskie but number nine batter, David Herbek flied out to center to score Powers with what proved to be the winning run.
Glenn Troyanowski entered for Harwich in the eighth and he struck out the side. With Troyanowski showing a good mix of fastballs and curves, George Springer, Lemmerman and Dietrich all went down swinging.
The Mariners added an insurance run in the ninth. With two out, Grovatt hit a ball to right and he came all the way around when Springer's wild throw escaped two Gatemen infielders. Grovatt's hit was generously scored a double even though Springer bobbled the ball allowing Grovatt to reach second, before the errant throw allowed him to score.
Wareham made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth when Troyanowski walked Vucinich and a bad hop single brought the potential winning run to the plate. Troyanowski struck out LaMarre to end the game.
NOTES: Wright picked up the win and moved to 1-1 on the season. Fischer took the loss and dropped to 0-2... Until Powers' shot, Trent Mummey had Harwich's only two homers this year... Harwich entered the game with a .199 team batting average. Wareham was right behind at .197... Powers hit 5 homeruns while playing for Brewster last year... Powers and Eibner each had 3 hits... Very sloppy game for Wareham. They commited 4 errors (officially), had a passed ball, and hit a batter... The small crowd for a Saturday evening was very quiet. Not a lot of noise from the home fans in this one... This was the second start for Gariano in six days. He has lasted a total of 5 innings and has given up 16 hits and 11 earned runs in those two starts. He has looked completely overmatched. After earning Pitcher of the Week honors in week two, Gariano has seen his ERA rise to 6.23... Grovatt is batting .365 and leads the league in OBP at .492... The Gatemen and Mariners are scheduled to play a doubleheader at Whitehouse Field on Wednesday... Last night's game began a stretch of seven games in five days for Wareham... Harwich hosts Hyannis today at 5:30... Wareham travels to Y-D for a 5:00 game this afternoon.