A wild pitch by Y-D reliever Scott Snodgress allowed Wareham's Nico Rosthenhausler to score what proved to be the winning run in the eighth inning, capping a 6-5 Gatemen victory Friday night. Wareham overcame an early 5-1 deficit. Wareham found themselves down by a run just two batters into the game. Gatemen starter Jack Armstrong (Vanderbilt) gave up a single to leadoff batter Caleb Ramsey and Tyler Hanover followed with a double to the base of the fence at the 412' sign. A bunt single by Joe Panik and a sacrifice fly by Jordan Ribera gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. After a walk to Matt Watson, a Danny Muno single plated the third run of the inning.
Wareham scored a run in the bottom of the first when Jonathan Smith doubled and scored on a groundout off the bat of Max Muncy.
Y-D extended their lead to 5-1 in the third when Watson cracked a homerun well over the fence in right. The two-run shot was Watson's second homer of the summer.
A single and an error preceded a basehit by Smith to cut the lead to 5-2 in the home half of the third.
Y-D starter Anthony Desclafani (Florida) seemed to tire in the fifth. Desclafani had only pitched 1.1 innings prior to this start. Desclafani gave up a leadoff single to Adam McClain and walked Smith. Y-D manager Scott Pickler brought in Tanner Poppe who proceeded to walk Zach Wilson before Muncy cleared the bases with a triple to tie the game.
Snodgress came in to start the eighth and got into trouble right away by walking Rosthenhausler and McClain. Anthony Toth bunted both runners into scoring position before Snodgress uncorcked the wild pitch that allowed the winning run to score.
After retiring the first batter in the ninth, Gatemen reliever Kenneth Ferrer issued three consecutive free passes to Red Sox batters. The game ended in controversy when Panik hit a groundball that resulted in a game-ending doubleplay. The throw from second baseman McClain to Muncy clearly pulled the first baseman off the bag but the umpire called Panik out. The people sitting near me had one of two reactions - disbelief, or laughter at the call. It was a bad call - not even close. Pickler, coaching third at the time, followed all three umpires to the gate on the firstbase side, pleading his case to no avail.
GAME NOTES: Wareham improved their record to 8-13-1. The Gatemen travel to Brewster today for a 5:00 game. Wareham lost 3-1 to Y-D last Saturday, but the Gatemen have gone 4-0-1 since then to get back into contention in the West.
In losing their third consecutive game, Y-D falls to 14-9, four points behind first-place Brewster in the East. The Red Sox host Cotuit today at 5:00.
Wareham won in front of the home fans for just the third time in 11 tries.
After the rough start, Armstrong settled in and pitched well. He threw 116 pitches over 8 innings while evening his record at 2-2. Snodgress took the loss in his first decision of the year.
Y-D lost two catchers in this game. Starter Ben McMahan (Florida) was taken out after being struck by a foul ball in the third. His replacement, Beau Taylor (Central Florida) left the game a few innings later when it appeared he hurt his throwing hand when it hit the bat on an attempted steal. Watson finished up the catching duties for Y-D.
Everytime I see Jonathan Smith (Tennessee-Wesleyan) play, he does something to contribute for the Gatemen. Last night, he was 2-3, walked twice, scored two runs and had an RBI. Smith is now batting .281.
Seemed strange that Jake Davies was Wareham's DH last night. Davies batted .200 in only 25 at-bats for Georgia Tech this spring. He came into this game having batted just twice for the Gatemen and finished the night 0-4.
Wareham leads the league in team batting at .250. Y-D is tied for second at .238.
Wally The Green Monster was a big hit before the game when he entertained kids who are participating in the Gatemen Youth Clinic.
NOTES FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE: Cotuit bottomed out at 2-8-1 but the Kettleers have lost only twice in their last ten games and now reside in second place in the West, two points behind Bourne. The Braves are the only team over .500 (12-11) in the division.
On the other hand, Chatham started the season 7-2-1 but the Anglers have gone 4-8 since. Chatham has been shutout 4 times. The lack of timely hitting has wasted many quality outings by their starting pitchers.
Brewster has pitched 5 shutouts and has yet to be blanked this summer. The Whitecaps are 6-0 in one-run games.
Some players left the Cape Wednesday morning and flew out to Omaha, NE. where they competed in the TD AMERITRADE College Homerun Derby at Rosenblatt Stadium that night. Participants included Falmouth's Matt Skole (Georgia Tech), Y-D's Jordan Ribera (Fresno State), Cotuit's Paul Hoilman (East Tennessee State) and Chatham's Rick Oropesa (USC) and Dan Paolini (Siena). The event will be broadcast nationally tomorrow (July 11) on CBS at 1 pm. Eastern time. For anyone who may be interested in watching without knowing who the winner was, I won't mention the winner here. It was a whirlwind visit for the players. Everyone returned to Cape Cod to play for their team Thursday night, with the exception of Skole who got into the lineup for Falmouth last night.
Maybe it is the temperatures of the last week that has fired up some emotions but the umpires have been on the receiving end of some heat lately. In addition to the call in last night's Y-D - Wareham game that lead to Pickler getting into it with the umpires, there was a call in the Cotuit-Bourne game that brought Kettleers manager Mike Roberts out to question the umpires. OK, maybe Roberts has had one or two beefs with umpires before. That incident lead to a lively "discussion" between Roberts and Braves skipper Harvey Shapiro. A week or so ago, a Hyannis coach tweeted about a lack of "professionalism" of Cape League umpires. Umpiring has been a hot topic of discussion off and on over the years and I guess it isn't going away any time soon.
Falmouth's Barrett Barnes (Texas Tech), Big 12 Freshman of the Year, is hitting just .217. The Commodores' returning All Star, B.A. Vollmuth (Southern Mississippi), is batting .205. Another '09 All Star, Taylor Wall (Rice) has not been able to build on last year's success. Wall is 0-2 and has a 22.50 ERA. He has made 3 starts but has only lasted a total of 6 innings. A lot of the players on Falmouth's original roster aren't coming to the Cape this summer, but something tells me there is too much talent on this team for them to not finish strong. They will have to improve on their 3.90 team ERA.
I still think if Harwich gets solid starting pitching, they can be a factor. Guess you could say that about every team, but the Mariners lineup looks strong and they have Matty Ott to close things out when they have a lead late in a game. Ott is 1-0 with 4 saves and a 0.68 ERA.