Wareham swept both games of yesterday's doubleheader against Harwich; winning the first game 5-1 in 8 innings before nipping the Mariners in the nightcap, 2-1. Cape League doubleheaders are scheduled for 7 innings. The Gatemen received complete game performances from Texas' Brandon Workman and Arkansas' Brett Eibner.
In the opener, a scoreless pitchers duel between Workman and Harwich's Aaron Meade (Missouri State) carried into the sixth inning before Connor Rowe (Texas) led off the frame with a homerun to left to put Wareham on the board.
Workman retired nine in a row before walking Levi Michael (UNC) to start the seventh. A sacrifice bunt and wild pitch moved Michael to third before Marcus Nidiffer (Kentucky) lofted a fly ball to center, scoring Michael and sending the game to extra innings.
It didn't take long for Wareham to put the game out of reach. Meade was replaced by Glen Troyanowski (FAU) who earned the save in Harwich's win over Wareham on Saturday. That night, Troyanowski had some pop on his fastball and showed an impressive curveball that buckled the knees of a few Gatemen batters. Yesterday, the Gatemen had no trouble solving Troyanowski. He gave up a single to Jordan Swagerty (Arizona State) to lead off the inning. Rowe then hit a fly ball to shallow centerfield. Mariners secondbaseman Phil Gosselin (Virginia) went back for the ball and nearly made a tough, over the shoulder catch. Instead, the ball kicked off his glove and rolled just far enough away to allow Swagerty to beat the throw to second. After walking Shea Vucinich (Washington State), Troyanowski faced a bases loaded, no out situation. Ryan LaMarre (Michigan) struck out but UConn's George Springer hit a shallow fly to rightfield. Daniel Grovatt (Virginia) made a nice diving catch, got up and made a strong throw to the plate, but Nidiffer couldn't hold onto the ball and Swagerty scored to give Wareham the lead. Indiana's Alex Dickerson put the game out of reach when he hit his first homerun of the summer; a three run shot well over the fence in right-centerfield.
In the bottom half of the inning, Gosselin doubled with one out and moved to third on a fly ball. Grovatt smashed a one-hopper to the left of Wareham secondbaseman Ryan Pineda (Cal. St. - Northridge). Pineda made a great pick and threw to first, putting Wareham in the win column.
NOTES: It was a matchup of recent College World Series championship-round participants when LSU's Leon Landry stepped into the box to face Workman... Through the early innings, Workman relied heavily on a 92-93 mph fastball... Workman gave up 6 hits and walked only one, while striking out 9... Meade matched Workman's numbers over his 7 innings of work... Early in the game, Workman relied on his 92-93 mph fastball to strike out 4 Mariners in the first 3 innings... As the game progressed, Workman seemed to gain confidence in his curveball. In the fourth inning, after he issued his only walk, Workman caught Stuart Tapley and Nidiffer looking at strike three as he broke sharp curves over the plate... Harwich nearly got on the board first. In the fifth, Gosselin ripped the ball over LaMarre's head in centerfield. LaMarre almost made a great play with his back to the plate, but he stumbled and the ball rolled to the fence near the 400' sign. As Gosselin reached third, he was waved home and the Gatemen executed a perfect LaMarre to shortstop Jake Lemmerman (Duke) to catcher Tyler Albright (Harvard) relay to nail Gosselin at the plate... I was surprised Workman pitched a complete game. He arrived in Wareham last week and had only pitched 1.2 innings coming into yesterday's game. I don't know what his pitch count was, but with 9 K's over 8 innings, it had to be up there. Even so, he was still hitting 90-91 on the gun in the eighth inning and seemingly working without much effort... I did not stay for the second game, but with Brett Eibner also throwing a complete game, he and Workman helped save what must have been a tired bullpen... Harwich's Eric Jokisch (Northwestern) also went the distance in game 2... Yesterday ended Wareham's stretch of 7 games in 5 days. Over those games, the Gatemen compiled a very strange looking 2-2-3 record... Harwich has now lost 3 in a row and they are last in the East with 22 pts... It was a good day all around for Wareham. Their sweep, coupled with Bourne dropping their fifth in a row, allows the Gatemen to move into a tie with the Braves for first place in the West. Both teams have 28 pts., although Bourne has played one less game... Wareham won 3 of the 4 games against Harwich this year.
After a short drive over to Chatham, I arrived at Veterans Field just in time to hear Alex Schlosberg, the Anglers bullpen catcher, perform a fine rendition of the National Anthem.
On the strength of a fourth inning grandslam by Dean Green (Oklahoma State), the Anglers defeated Falmouth, 6-4. Green's blast erased a 2-0 Commodore lead after Matt Skole (Georgia Tech) hit a two run homer in the top half of the inning.
Both teams had opportunities to score in the early innings. Chatham starter Logan Verrett (Baylor) walked two in the second before striking out Skole to get out of the jam. Chatham had a chance to jump out front in the home half of the inning when Steven Brooks (Wake Forest) doubled. Brooks picked up right where he left off Tuesday night when he had three doubles in the win over Hyannis. Green was next up and he lined a basehit to rightfield. Ryan Jones charged the ball and threw a strike to the plate where his Wichita State teammate Chris O'Brien applied the tag to Brooks.
Falmouth wasted a golden opportunity in the third when Conner Mach (Missouri) led off with a single and moved up on a passed ball. Scott Lawson (Miami) followed with a hit to put runners on the corners with no outs. This is where things got interesting on the basepaths for the Commodores. Josh Adams (Florida) bunted the ball to the right of the mound. Mach hesitated, then retreated to third, while Lawson advanced to second on the sacrifice. Number three batter, Todd Cunningham (Jacksonville State) stepped to the plate and hit a smash toward Green, the Anglers firstbaseman. Green deftly fielded the hot shot and fired to the plate to nail Mach for the second out. With Adams already on third, Cunningham stole second to give the always dangerous Hunter Morris (Auburn) a chance to inflict damage with runners in scoring position, but Verrett bore down and struck out Morris to keep the game scoreless. Despite two hits, a sacrifice, a stolen base and a passed ball in the inning, Falmouth had nothing to show for their effort.
Skole's homerun in the fourth gave the Commodores a short-lived lead. Falmouth wasted another opportunity when O'Brien walked to open the inning, then was promptly picked off by Verrett. The next batter, B.A. Vollmuth (Southern Miss.), was hit by a pitch preceding Skole's homerun.
Falmouth starter Kyle Winkler (TCU) opened the home half of the fourth by walking Jeff Schaus (Clemson) and Rick Oropesa (USC) before Brooks bunted for a basehit while trying to sacrifice, loading the bases. Green stepped up and smoked an offering from Winkler over the centerfield fence to the right of the flagpole.
The teams traded runs in the fifth. Falmouth scored when Lawson singled, stole second, and came home on a sharply hit ball through the right side by Morris. Chatham came right back when Whit Merrifield (South Carolina) almost single-handedly manufactured a run. Merrifield led off with a single and proceeded to steal second and third. With one out, Schaus hit a ball to Morris at first. Morris checked Merrifield and ran to first, beating Schaus to the bag while Merrifield broke for home. Morris wheeled and fired to O'Brien but Merrifield slid under the tag to push the Anglers lead back to two.
Verrett and Winkler both came out of the game after 5 innings of work and the game moved to the eighth with Chatham holding a 5-3 lead. Maine's Kevin Scanlan relieved Verrett at the start of the sixth and pitched very well into the eighth. Scanlan retired the first seven batters he faced, three by strikeout. With one out in the eighth, Morris singled again. After Scanlan got O'Brien to fly to center for the second out of the inning, Chatham went to the bullpen and brought in South Carolina's Parker Bangs. Bangs made things interesting when he walked Vollmuth and gave up a hit to Jones that scored Morris and closed the gap to one. With two runners on, Skole took a called third strike and the Anglers escaped further damage.
Chatham bumped the lead back to two in the bottom of the eighth when Oropesa walked and pinchrunner Tom Belza (Oklahoma State) moved to second on an errant pickoff throw. After two walks - one intentional - Matt Duffy (Tennessee) hit a fly ball to center that was deep enough to score Belza.
With a 6-4 lead heading into the ninth, Chatham brought in Russell Brewer (Vanderbilt) to try to close things out. Pinchhitter Brian Fletcher (Auburn) gave Falmouth hope when he doubled to start things off. After a groundball moved Fletcher to third, Brewer stranded him there when he struck out Adams and Cunningham to end the game.
NOTES: Green's grand slam was hit second homerun of the summer. He now has 14 RBI... Skole came into the game batting just .170. The homer was his first of the year... Chatham played errorless ball for the third game in a row and has now gone 30 innings since their last miscue... Scanlan's effort can not be overlooked. He pitched 2.2 innings and only allowed one hit while striking out three... I was anxious to see Verrett pitch and he didn't disappoint. He is a hard thrower, although he did struggle with control at times, issuing three walks and hitting a batter. Verrett struck out eight while picking up his second win... Brewer picked up his seventh save which ties him with Y-D's Tyler Burgoon (Michigan) in that category... Falmouth's Cecil Tanner (Georgia) was impressive in his one inning of work. He struck out two and got a groundball out... Chatham is 2-0 against Falmouth. The two teams meet next Wednesday for a doubleheader in Falmouth... With the win, Chatham moves back on top of the standings in the East with 32 pts. They have a one point lead on Y-D and Orleans. The Anglers have played one less game than the Red Sox; one more than the Firebirds... Just want to give a shout-out to Anglers President Peter Troy and Thomas Bednark of the Barnstable Bat Company. It was a pleasure meeting and talking to both of you!