Robert Pehl had two hits, including a solo home run, in the Red Sox 5-4 loss to Wareham on Wednesday.
By: Andrew Constant / @andrew_constant
Wareham scored single runs in the final three innings, including the tie-breaking tally on a Ty Ross home run in the top of the ninth, to stun the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox 5-4 in Game 1 of the Cape League?s Championship Series Wednesday night at Red Wilson Field. Game 2 is Thursday evening in Wareham.
Y-D starter Andrew Thurman, who didn?t allow a hit until the third inning and ended up with 12 strikeouts, worked seven innings and left the game leading 4-3. But Wareham got their comeback started in the seventh against Thurman when Mott Hyde drew a leadoff walk. With Ross at the plate, Hyde stole second base, putting himself in scoring position with nobody out, and Ross came through, lining a single to left field, bringing Hyde in to make the score 4-3.
In the eighth, Y-D manager Scott Pickler called on relief ace Joey DeNato to get the final six outs and send the Red Sox to their fifth consecutive postseason victory, but the southpaw from Indiana struggled out of the gate. Cole Sturgeon led off the penuimlate frame with a single to center and got to second when Ryan Sullivan beat out a bunt single up the first base line. After Kyle Schwarber sacrificed both runners up a base, DeNato intentionally walked Tyler Horan to load the bases and set up a force at every base.
All DeNato needed was a groundball, which he got, but the ball wasn?t hit hard at all off the bat of Daniel Palka and first baseman Sam Travis only had one play, to first, which allowed Wareham to score the tying run. Hyde grounded out to end the threat, but the damage was done.
In the bottom of the eighth, Zak Blair got to third on a two-base error by Wareham?s first baseman, but Y-D stranded him there.
DeNato went back out for the ninth and on a 1-1 pitch, Ross hammered a solo home run over the left-center field wall, giving Wareham their first lead of the game. Over 33.1 innings before Wednesday, DeNato hadn?t allowed a single long ball.
The Red Sox got all of their runs in the first three innings, jumping on top 3-0 in the second. Alex Blandino, who hit two home runs to help Y-D eliminate Orleans Tuesday night, doubled down the left field line, bringing Robert Pehl in from second to get the home team on the board first. Justin Shafer followed with an RBI single of his own, chasing Blair in from third and later in the frame, Carlos Asuaje walked with the bases loaded to push the advantage to 3-0.
In the third, Pehl clobbered a solo home run over the left field fence, his eighth of the summer, but that would be all the offense that the Red Sox would score on the night.
Kendall Graveman pitched seven strong innings for Wareham, allowing seven hits and those four runs, with four strikeouts sprinkled in. Jonathan Holder and Colby Suggs each pitched a scoreless frame out of the Gatemen bullpen, with Suggs striking out the side in the ninth.
Y-D will send ace Aaron Blair to the mound in Game 2 to try to extend their season one more day. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Spillane Field in Wareham.