A chance at a perfect regular season went by the wayside for the Post 188 American Legion baseball team on Monday, July 12, against their rivals from Wareham Post 220.
Using a combination of three pitchers, Post 188 saw a tie game get away from them late as they took their first loss of the year in the regular season finale. Despite dropping the game, Post 188 finished as the No.1 seed for the Zone 10 playoffs. The team will be off until Saturday, July 17, when it will host a game against a yet to be determined opponent. Plymouth Post 40, which is the No. 2 seed, also earned a bye until Saturday while the third- and fourth-seeded teams, Whitman and Bridgewater, respectively, will play their first games Friday, July 16.
A two-run bottom of the fifth inning propelled the home team past Sandwich on Monday to end hopes of a perfect year. The first batter of the fifth singled and then back-to-back walks loaded the bases. A single plated two runs to make it 7-5 in Wareham’s favor.
Post 188 threatened to tie the score in the seventh, but could not get the crucial two-out hit they needed. With two away, Jared Lopes kept the game going with a single and then Brady Campbell walked to put the tying runs aboard for 188. Willie Baker looked to keep the game alive, but his ground ball to short ended the game.
Sandwich had led early on. Two in the top of the first, off a two-run, two-out single from Alex Marancik put the visitors ahead. Wareham got one back in the bottom of the inning, but then Sandwich went up 3-1 with another run in the third. Marancik drove in Sam Cavossa with a sacrifice fly in that spot.
Wareham exploded for four in the bottom of the third to take the lead, 5-3. Two critical errors were costly for 188 during that surge by the home team.
Single runs in the fourth and fifth tied the game back up at 5-5. In the fourth, Lopes reached on an error and came around to score on a sac fly from Baker. In the fifth Johnny Nunes led off with a single and came around to score on a hit by Colin Norkevicius. Sandwich left two runs on base in that frame that proved costly.
On Sunday, Post 188 played a doubleheader. The team beat Bridgewater, 5-1, in the second game. Mike Matta threw six excellent innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run with four strikeouts. Lopes picked up the save with a strong seventh inning.
Johnny Nunes was 2-for-2 with an RBI, two runs scored and a walk. Keaton Aliberti had a triple and an RBI and Richie Marchand was 2-for-3.
Earlier in the day the squad took down Rockland, 2-0. Liam Howell went the distance and shut down Rockland with seven innings of three-hit ball. He struck out seven in the game. Baker was 2-for-2 with two runs scored, a double and two walks. Marancik was 2-for-4 with a double. Max McDonald and Nico Gagnon each drove in runs.
Junior Legion Still Perfect
The Post 188 Sandwich junior Legion team snagged a late lead and defeated Rockland 7-4 on Saturday. Post 188 Sandwich trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Owen Beaton tripled on a 2-1 count, scoring two runs.
Rockland got things started in the second inning. Patrick Cummings grounded out, scoring one run. Post 188 knotted the game up at one in the bottom of the third inning, when Sean O’Donoghue’s wild pitch allowed one run to score for Sandwich.
Silas Abrams led things off on the pitcher’s mound for Post 188 Sandwich Jr Legion 17U. The right-hander allowed two hits and one run over three innings, striking out two. O’Donoghue led things off on the mound for Rockland. O’Donoghue surrendered six runs on six hits over four and a third innings, striking out three. John Murrill threw one and two-thirds innings out of the bullpen.
Josh Turcotte, Finn Lewis, Chris Klueber, Mike Matta, Ben Conlon, Sean Fancher, and Beaton each collected one hit to lead Post 188.