By: Brian Melanson
Down 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth with runners on second and third, Wareham’s Grant Hussy uncorked a three-run homer over the right field wall to give the Gatemen their first lead of the game, 8-6. That proved to be the difference in the contest as the Red Sox went down without a fight in the ninth.
Sitting at first in the East coming into Tuesday night’s game against the Wareham Gatemen, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox failed to eclipse their tenth win following their loss on the road at Spillane Field.
Coming off their sound 11-5 win against the Chatham Anglers on Monday night, the Red Sox offense came out of the gates swinging to start the first. After an RJ Austin single, both he and Zander Darby reached third and second, respectfully, after an error at first. The pair scored thanks to a Max Viera sac-fly and a Hunter Hines groundout RBI.
The stellar first half of the inning was capped off by a Will King home run, his first of the season, as the Red Sox extended their early lead, 3-0. King was also phenomenal behind the plate, throwing out two runners attempting to steal second.
After holding the Gatemen scoreless, Y-D added another in the second on an Austin sac-fly to increase their lead, 4-0.
Finnegan Wall was on the mound for his third start for the Red Sox and worked with ease in the early innings. He allowed just one hit through three innings while striking out three. Despite allowing three walks, the Gatemen never threatened through the opening third.
After giving up a single and a walk to start the bottom of the fifth, Wall’s day was done. He finished with a solid four innings of work, allowing three hits, no runs and dishing out four strikeouts. Jason Doktorczyk came in to relieve him.
With runners on first and second, Doktorczyk produced two pop-outs to start his outing. However, the two runners crossed home on a sac-fly and a passed ball as Wareham cut into the lead, 4-2. Both runs were charged to Wall.
Y-D struck back two innings late in the seventh. With Dub Gleed on third and Enzo Apodaca on second, a Darber sac-fly deep to left field scored Gleed to give the Red Sox another run, 5-2.
Not wanting to let the game slip away, Wareham fought back in the bottom half of the inning. With runners on first and second, Hussy ripped a double deep into the left-center field gap that scored two as the Gatemen cut into the lead, 5-4.
With just one out and Hussy now on third following a passed ball, Doktorczyk walked Bobby Boser as his outing began to fall apart. It was at this point Pickler turned to Blake Aita to try and finish the game.
Aita hit the first batter he saw to load the bases but struck out the next. He induced a pop-out to end the innings as the Gatemen stranded three.
With the bases loaded, this time for the Red Sox, Wareham called Will Koger to try and work out of the jam as Aita did the inning prior. After a long at-bat, Dub Gleed sent a towering fly ball to left field. The third baseman and left fielder collided as the ball dropped safely, scoring King from third to make it 6-4.
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they would leave runners stranded, a common sight in this contest. “We had the right people at the plate and they just didn’t perform today,” said Pickler. “We left too many runners on and gave them too many.”
Aita started the bottom of the eighth by hitting Josh Jackson and walking David Glancy. At this point, Pickler decided to pull Aita for Jackson Roberts. Roberts quickly gave up an RBI double to Nick McLain to bring the score to 6-5. Hussy’s home run put the Red Sox away as they fell to 9-6-1 on the season.
“The bullpen’s been very good all year, but it wasn’t good tonight,” said Pickler of Wareham taking six runs off Y-D pitchers in the last four innings. “Didn’t throw enough strikes and were missing spots.”
Y-D will be back at home on Thursday, June 28th to take on the Bourne Braves.