The Braves took all the hardware, but the Gatemen took the game and now move on to face the winner of the Hyannis-Falmouth series. Wareham 12 - Bourne 3:
Prior to the game, Travis Jankowski (Most Valuable Player), Patrick Cantwell (Sportsmanship) and Ryan Eades (Outstanding Pitcher) were presented with their awards.
The starting pitchers were Kevin Brandt (East Carolina) for Bourne and Brent Suter (Harvard) for Wareham.
Wareham wasted little time getting on the board. John Andreoli singled and Max Muncy walked ahead of an RBI single to right by Johnny Field. Bourne responded right away with a walk to Jankowski and a basehit by Cantwell to start the inning. Kyle Farmer drove a ball to right to score Jankowski and Cantwell scored when Colin Moran hit a grounder to third and William Carmona threw wide of first. The afternoon quickly went downhill for Bourne after that.
The Gatemen broke the game open and knocked Brandt out of the game with a 5-run fourth inning. Daniel Palka singled and scored on a Carmona double to the leftfield corner. Tyler Ross singled and Mott Hyde doubled to score Carmona and drive Brandt from the game. With Ryan Connolly pitching, two more runs scored on a LJ Mazzilli single and a groundout by Andreoli.
In the fifth, Palka doubled and Carmona singled. With one out, Braves manager Harvey Shapiro took Connolly out of the game and brought in R.J. Alvarez. Alvarez struckout the first batter he faced but Mazzilli put the game out of reach when he lined a 2-0 pitch over the fence in left-centerfield, pushing the Gatemen lead to 9-2.
Wareham tacked on two more in the sixth with the runs scoring on a wild pitch and a sac fly by Palka. Robert Refsnyder drove in Wareham's final run with a seventh inning triple. A Blake Crohan sac fly scored Moran with the Braves last run in the ninth.
Despite Wareham's offensive production, Suter was the story of the game. He threw 108 pitches in the complete-game effort. From the end of the first into the sixth inning, he retired 14 of 16 batters. One of the two Braves who reached base during that stretch did so on a dropped third strike. Suter allowed just 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8.
NOTES: The reported attendance was 1,280... After giving up an early four run lead and losing, 6-5, in game one of the series, Bourne looked like a team that had little left in the tank on Saturday. More importantly, Braves pitchers didn't have many innings left in their arms... Wareham now awaits the winner of the Hyannis-Falmouth series (see below). If Hyannis wins, the Gatemen will play game 1 in Hyannis. Wareham will host game 2 with a third game (if necessary) to be played at McKeon Park. If Falmouth upsets the Harbor Hawks, Wareham will host game 1 and game 3 (if necessary). No dates are being mentioned here because it looks like Mother Nature may have some say as to when the Hyannis-Falmouth series will resume.
Falmouth 6 - Hyannis 2: The second game of the day brought me down Route 28 to Fuller Field where first-place Hyannis looked to close out Falmouth. The Harbor Hawks overcame an early 4-0 deficit on Friday to take the first game, 6-4.
Clemson's Scott Firth, the Cape's ERA-leader at 1.15, got the start for Hyannis. He was opposed by Tyler Duffey (Rice) for the Commodores.
Firth gave up a single to Jake Rodriguez and a double to Jared King in the second. He worked his way out of the one-out jam by striking out Max White and getting his college batterymate, Spencer Kieboom, to pop to short. Firth walked the leadoff batter, Eric Garcia, to start the third. Garcia scored the first run of the game one out later when Reid Redman doubled him home.
Barrett Barnes walked to start the fourth. With Max White up, Firth threw over to first four times in an attempt to keep Barnes close. Firth's fifth toss over sailed past the firstbaseman, allowing Barnes to motor to third. White brought Barnes home with a grounder to short.
In the meantime, Duffey was mowing down Harbor Hawks batters. He retired the first nine hitters he faced, striking out 5. Eric Stamets reached on an error to start the Hyannis fourth. Later that inning Chadd Krist reached on an infield single for Hyannis' first hit. Duffey recorded his sixth strikeout when he threw a fastball past Kevin Plawecki to end the inning.
Falmouth gave Duffey some breathing room when they scored three in the fifth inning. Garcia started the inning by walking. A single by Billy Ferriter and an intentional walk to Jeremy Baltz loaded the bases with one out. Harbor Hawks skipper Chad Gassman went to his bullpen and brought in Dietrich Enns. Enns promptly walked Rodriguez, the first batter he faced, to force in a run. After Barnes struckout, King doubled to score Ferriter and Baltz. All the runs were charged to Firth and Falmouth lead, 5-0.
Hyannis looked to get back in the game the next inning when Justin Gonzalez took the second pitch he saw over the fence in left to start the inning. Jamodrick McGruder followed with a single and scored on a basehit to left by Krist. Krist was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double, but the Harbor Hawks had cut the Falmouth lead to 5-2.
Falmouth added another run in the seventh when Redman singled and moved to third on a single by Barnes. Redman continued home on the same play when the throw from the outfield wasn't cleanly handled by Stamets.
Nate Koneski relieved Duffey to begin the seventh. Before the game, Koneski was presented with the Top New England Prospect award. Koneski is from Dighton, MA. and attends Holy Cross. He showed why he was deserving of the honor by tossing a perfect three innings. He struckout 3 and only allowed one ball to be hit to the outfield.
NOTES: The announced attendance was 2,320... Firth walked the leadoff batter in three consecutive innings and all three scored...Firth was not happy when Gassman came out to take him out of the game. He took a walk toward second base, then handed the ball to Gassman but did not wait for Enns to reach the mound. On his way to the dugout, he shared few choice words... Koneski ended the regular season with no decisions but he had a 1.03 ERA over 26.1 innings. He struckout 24 while walking 6. Fourth-seeded Falmouth should be feeling pretty confident. The Commodores are expected to send Joe Bircher to the mound whenever game 3 is played. Bircher, a lefty from Bradley, posted a record of 2-2 with a 1.44 ERA and a WHIP of 1.02. He lead the league in strikeouts with 48. Dean McArdle (Stanford) is expected to get the ball for Hyannis. McArdle was 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA in the 31.2 innings that he worked... Duffey was very impressive. He seemed to have a bulldog mentality and went right at the Hyannis hitters... The game was played in a crisp 2:02... Wondering if it is high or low tide in rightfield at McKeon Park?? It was a pleasure to meet and chat with Gerritt and Courtney. If you aren't already familiar with it, check out Gerritt's blog at www.capeleaguetourist.com and follow him on twitter @CCLeagueTourist