Well, Well Wareham

Noah Zavolas struck out nine in Sunday's win
Noah Zavolas struck out nine in Sunday’s win

 

Since the Cape League playoffs expanded to eight teams, the No. 4 seed in the West Division has beaten the No. 1 seed more times than it’s lost. There were bigger upsets in terms of records.

Even still, this one comes as a major surprise.

Wareham lost 10 of its last 12 games in the regular season, the last three by a 37-10 margin. Along the way, significant roster attrition left the Gatemen without their best pitchers, the league batting champ and several other contributors.

But they’re heading to the West Division finals.

After a 10-5 win over Falmouth Saturday, the Gatemen finished off the sweep with a 4-3 triumph Sunday. It’s the sixth time the No. 4 seed has beaten the No. 1 seed in the West division first round over the last eight years.

To close out the sweep, the Gatemen turned to the one dominant pitcher still in the fold. Noah Zavolas (Harvard), who had shined since jumping into the rotation from the bullpen, allowed a first-inning run Sunday but didn’t surrender another over six innings of work. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. The Commodores made a push against the bullpen, but Darrien Raigins (Kaiser University) – a Gateman for all of six days – struck out Trevor Larnach (Oregon State) and Austin Langworthy (Florida) with the tying run on second base to end the game.

Jake Anchia (Nova Southeastern) followed up his two-hit, four RBI performance in game one, with two more hits and three RBI. Willie MacIver (Washington) also drove in a run. Joe Drpich (Siena) scored a pair.

Falmouth out-hit the Gatemen 13-10, but the usual slugging was limited to three doubles. And with that, the league’s most powerful team – which had won four games in a row to end the regular season – was done.

Wareham advances to the West finals for the first time since 2012, when it won the Cape League title.

Bourne 6, Cotuit 3; Bourne 4, Cotuit 2

The Braves also completed an upset sweep, finishing off Saturday’s suspended game with a win and then taking the series in the nightcap. The teams picked up where Saturday’s game left off in the 10th and Bourne grabbed the lead with three runs in the top of the 11th inning. Two of the runs came home on an error and Jared Triolo (Houston) added an RBI single. Jared Skolnicki (Kent State) – making his first Cape League appearance – struck out two in the bottom of the 11th to seal the win. In game two, Cotuit tallied a run in the top of the first, but the Braves answered with three in the bottom half and led the rest of the way. Triolo, Jameson Hannah (Dallas Baptist) and Grant Williams (Kennesaw State) knocked in runs for the Braves. Eli Kraus (Kent State) allowed two runs in 5.1 innings for the win. Sean Leland (Illinois) and Chad Luensmann (Nebraska) finished it off.

Chatham 3, Orleans 1

The upsets were the surprise in the West. In the East, it’s the fact that both series will head to three games. Chatham stayed alive Sunday with a 3-1 win over top-seeded Orleans. Austin Bergner (North Carolina) – certainly an ace in the hole for the Anglers – struck out six and allowed one run in five innings. Adam Wolf (Louisville) then tossed three scoreless innings of relief and Jack DeGroat (Liberty) closed out the win in the ninth. Josh Stowers (Louisville) and Nick Patten (Delaware) drove in one run each for the Anglers, who took the lead in the fifth and held it from there. Orleans had 10 hits but left 10 runners on base.

Brewster 6, Y-D 1

Making just his third start of the summer after spending much of the season in the bullpen, William Tribucher (Michigan) went 7.2 strong innings, striking out six and allowed one run on four hits for the win. Nick Dunn (Maryland) led the Brewster offense with two RBI, while Kyle Datres (North Carolina), Mickey Gasper (Bryant) and AJ Graffanino (Washington) had one each. Y-D was held to four hits on the day.

What to Watch

A pair of game threes are on tap in the East as Brewster visits Y-D at 4 p.m. and Chatham heads to Orleans for a 6 p.m. start.

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One Comment

  1. Orville from Orleans says:

    Yesterday was a perfect example of why I hate the CCBL playoffs. Another day like that and we’ll have all .500 or sub-.500 teams battling for the championship.

    The winner of the East should play the winner of the West and that should be it. If you want more baseball during the height of the tourist season in early August, then just extend the regular season.

    Under the current format, the CCBL playoffs are a meaningless crapshoot,

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