Gatemen open a summer of baseball in Wareham

Jun 16, 2024

A 40-game slate of Cape Cod League baseball is now underway in Wareham.

The Wareham Gatemen fell 11-1 in seven innings against the visiting Chatham Anglers on opening day June 15. Despite the result, a summer of high-level, spirited ball yet remains at Spillane Field.

And for Gatemen manager Ryan Smyth, it’s not always about the win in the developmental Cape League.

“You learn a lot when you lose,” Smyth said just days prior to the first game of the season. “It’s hard to take away the bad things in wins. They get overshadowed.”

Leominster native A.J. Colarusso started the summer for Wareham. A left-hander from Boston College, he pitched three innings and allowed five runs.

Out in the bullpen in left field, young fans interacted with Gatemen pitchers during the early innings.

One got the attention of Gavin Black by calling his jersey number.

“44, rocks, paper, scissors for a ball?” the kid asked the right-hander out of Mississippi State.

The opening contest of the season unraveled for Wareham in the top of the sixth, an inning that featured four walks, two hit batters, two wild pitches and a balk.

“You gotta be kidding me,” a particularly incredulous Gatemen fan said from the first base bleachers as another run walked in.

Chatham batted around the inning, scoring six runs.

“Let’s get out of this right here,” that same fan said seconds before an Angler shattered his bat on a groundout that at last ended the inning.

Michael Lippe, a right fielder out of Louisville, drove in the first run of the season in the seventh for Wareham, one of his two hits on opening day.

University of South Carolina Upstate left fielder Jace Rinehart also had two hits.

“I’m looking forward to the competition level and just facing the best of the best in the country and just pitting myself against that,” Rinehart said days before the season’s start. “It’s going to be super fun.”

After the game, members of the Church in the Pines provided a meal to players behind the third base dugout.

The Wareham church has fed Gatemen for 24 years, according to member Lorri Lowe.

“We just enjoy it,” Lowe said.

Meals have also previously been held at the church. One year, a Gatemen player paid for air conditioning in the church, according to Lowe.

“It’s so awesome,” she said. “We just love it.”

After a visit Sunday to the Falmouth Commodores, Wareham returns to Spillane Field to host the Cotuit Kettleers on Monday, June 17.