story by Steve McCarthy
July 25, 2009
WAREHAM – The Wareham Gatemen (17-13-5) took three points away from Saturday’s double header at home to widen their lead atop the Western Division over the Cotuit Kettleers (15-15-5), who dropped out of a tie for second place with the Bourne Braves.
The Braves beat Chatham 8-2 Saturday and sit three points behind the Gatemen. Cotuit is one point behind Bourne. Wareham and Bourne will meet on Sunday.
Spillane Field was illuminated by lights after the sun set, leaving a repeat of the July 13 pair of ties at Cotuit’s Lowell Park out of the question. A dense fog halted the second game though, resulting in a 1-1 tie after nine innings. Wareham won the early game 4-3.
“We came out, just battled hard, and just wanted to get at least one win in for us,” Wareham second baseman Jake Lemmerman said. “We thought we could have won two tonight, but didn’t come through.”
Both games saw outstanding starting pitching. Three of the four starters struck out nine batters each. The exception was Cotuit’s Game 1 starter Ricky Bowen (Mississippi St.) who walked four of the seven batters he faced and hit one with a pitch. Bowen was pulled by manager Mike Roberts with two outs in the first inning and took the loss (1-1).
Cole Green (1-1, Texas) pitched a complete game in the early contest. He allowed Cotuit runs in the second, third, and seventh innings, but surrendered just one extra base hit.
Wareham’s Josh Mueller (Eastern Illinois) and Cotuit’s Justin Grimm dueled in Game 2, as each of the runs were unearned. Mueller overcame early control problems to finish six innings, and surrendered just three hits. Grimm allowed four hits and walked one, relying on a mid 90’s fastball that Wareham batters could not catch up to. He also hit a batter. “(Grimm) threw the ball the best he’s thrown it this summer,” Roberts said.
Cotuit leadoff hitter Chris Bisson was a headache for Wareham pitchers all afternoon, stealing seven bases in the two games. He reached base seven times in eight at bats and scored twice. His third inning run in Game 2 was the equalizer. “It’s been many years since I’ve seen one player that I enjoyed watching play as much as I enjoyed watching Chris Bisson play today,” Roberts said. “He showed me that he’s grown up a lot in the 45 days that he’s been here.”
Lemmerman (Duke) contributed in a variety of ways in both games for Wareham. Despite starting the day batting .135, Lemmerman drew a walk to score his team’s second run in Game 1, reached on an error to push across the lone run in Game 2, executed a sac-bunt, singled, and beat out a throw to first on a strike three in the dirt. “I changed up a few things with my stance,” Lemmerman said. “Just really tried to focus on the ball and put some good swings on it, and got in a hitter’s count.”
In Game 1, Bowen walked in Shea Vucinich (Washington St.) and Ryan LaMarre (Michigan) to give Wareham the first inning lead. Cotuit’s Zack Cox (Arkansas) doubled to lead off the second inning, and moved over to third on a sac-bunt by Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech). He eventually scored on an RBI broken bat single by Cody Stanley (UNC-Wilmington). Derek Dietrich scored from second on LaMarre’s triple off the center field fence in the home half of the inning. Lemmerman scored Wareham’s final run in the fifth inning on an RBI-single by Tyler Albright (Harvard). Cotuit attempted a seventh inning comeback, with Cory Vaughn (San Diego St.) leading off with a base hit and moving up to second on a Kevin Patterson (Auburn) groundout before scoring on Bisson’s RBI-single. The comeback fell short though, as Green struck out Rico Noel (Coastal Carolina) on three pitches to end the game.
Chris Hannick (Cal. St. Northridge) put Wareham on the scoreboard first in the second inning of Game 2, doubling and scoring on a fielding error by Cotuit shortstop Brian Guinn (Cal Berkeley). Bisson scored from third in the next inning on an RBI-groundout by Cox. Pitching prevailed the rest of the way. Cotuit’s Daniel Tillman (Florida Southern) and Wareham’s Scott Rembisz (Florida International) each allowed one hit through multiple innings of relief. Tillman pitched two innings and struck out three batters. Rembisz went the final three frames and faced one batter over the minimum. “I’m very pleased with the effort,” Roberts said. “I’m very disappointed in the way they scored their one run.”