Wareham and Y-D square off in battle of the first-place teams


The last time the Wareham Gatemen and the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox met, thunder and heavy rain cut the contest short after five and a half innings. Antonio Jimenez’s first Cape Cod Baseball League home run set the tone for the game, as the Gatemen took a 5-3 victory. Following the game, at the time, both teams were 4-2 and second place in their respective divisions.

Now, as they face off for a second time, it will be the battle of the first-place teams. The Gatemen and the Red Sox have been the two winningest teams so far this summer, as the Red Sox hold a record of 13-5 to Wareham’s 12-4-1. Both teams have seen copious amounts of success in many facets of the game, and Sunday could prove to be a clash between the hottest offense and the most dominant pitching staff on the Cape.

As a team, the Gatemen are hitting .266, slugging .435 — the only Cape League team above .400 — and lead the league with 37 doubles and 156 hits. They average almost nine hits per game, and have had 13 different players — 11 of whom are still active on the team — hit at least one home run in the first 18 games of the summer.

Yarmouth-Dennis boasts arguably the best pitching staff in the league, with an ERA of 3.50 across a league-high 157 innings of work. Their 184 strikeouts lead every other staff by double digits, and opponents are hitting an average of .210 against them.

Starting pitchers

Griffin O’Connor (Assumption) is scheduled to make his first start for the Gatemen after arriving in Wareham just a couple days prior. In his senior season, the right-hander posted an ERA of 3.72 across 48 1/3 innings of work, striking out 38 batters and walking 15. Last summer, O’Connor had a very brief stint with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, appearing in just one game and pitching 3 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and two runs.

Carson Ballard (Georgia Tech) will start for the Red Sox in his second appearance in the Cape League this summer. Ballard’s first appearance came in relief against the Harbor Hawks, where he faced three batters and recorded one strikeout. In the 2024 season with Georgia Tech, Ballard tossed 34 2/3 innings and posted a 4.41 ERA. He totaled 26 strikeouts to just nine walks.

Players to watch

The no-doubt player of the game in Wareham’s win over Brewster on Saturday night was Murf Gray (Fresno State), but Bobby Boser (transfer portal) was a key role player in the victory as well. Boser came around to score three of Wareham’s eight runs, going 3-for-4 with a walk on the night. He leads the active roster in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, slashing .339/.464/.544 and also boasts a 1.018 OPS.

Wehiwa Aloy (Arkansas) has been a force in the Red Sox lineup throughout the summer, slashing .309/.360/.691 across 68 at-bats, with an OPS of 1.051. The shortstop leads his team with 21 hits, 21 RBI and eight home runs. Aloy also enters Sunday’s game on a six-game hitting streak.

First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. from Red Wilson Field. The game will be broadcast on Cape League TV.

Top photo credit: Bobby Boser hits during Wareham's 8-5 win over the Brewster Whitecaps, July 7, 2024, at Spillane Field. Photo by Kyler Armstrong.