Recap: Metz's Magic, Zavolas' Shutdown Start Make it Five Straight

By Wareham Gatemen | Jul 20, 2017
Photo by: Claudia Chakamian

In the game’s most crucial moment, Gatemen coach Don Sneddon turned to the man he knew most.

 

With the score tied at zero in the bottom of the tenth inning, pinch-hitter Robbie Metz grounded a walk-off RBI single over the first base bag to score Jarren Duran as the Gatemen won their fifth straight game defeating Chatham, 1-0, on a sticky Thursday night at Spillane Field.

 

Metz, one of two Gatemen who is back for their second consecutive summer, has become a reliable bat off the bench for Sneddon coming up with three pinch hits in the ninth inning or later so far this season.

 

Sneddon said having someone like Metz on the bench is a luxury not many teams have.

 

“Metz is a veteran bat,” said Sneddon. “It’s nice to have that on the bench. It was a tough decision Ben Baird had been hitting the ball real well tonight. Metz, though, clutched up fouled a double tough ones off and came through for us.”

 

Jarren Duran lead off the scoreless tie in the bottom of the tenth by drawing a walk.

 

Duran instantly moved into scoring position as Home Run Hitting Contest contestant Jake Anchia sacrificed him to second, setting the stage for Metz’s heroics.

 

“Sacrificing with Anchia was an easy decision,” said Sneddon. “He is a great athlete and a good bunter. I don’t need two runs there I need one.”

 

As has become almost ordinary, the Gatemen received a terrific outing from their starting pitcher.

 

Noah Zavolas (Harvard University), making his first start of the season, went six shutout innings allowing just five singles. Zavolas, who has been nearly spotless out of the bullpen for the Gatemen, struck out eight Anglers on the night and did not issue a walk.

 

Chatham’s most notable opportunities against Zavolas came in the third and fourth innings when in each situation they pushed a man into scoring position.

 

Zavolas wiggled out of both jams, however, inducing a groundball back to the mound in the third and a groundball to second in the fourth to end the threat. The right-hander out of Harvard has yet to allow a base hit with runners in scoring position so far this season.

 

“To hold (Chatham) no runs is just terrific,” said Sneddon. “We are just getting great pitching all around. I’m not getting bored with it at all I just hope we can continue to go through with that going forward.

Jordan Britton and Brett Conine relieved Zavolas and picked up right where the Gatmen starter left off.

 

Britton, facing Chatham for the second time this season, fired home two scoreless innings while walking one and striking out three.

 

The Cal State Fullerton closer in Conine, meanwhile, impressed in his one inning of work. Pitching the top of the ninth, Conine struck out a pair, but the key play of the inning came via his defense.

 

To lead off the frame, Anglers’ power bat Nick Patten drove a first pitch fastball into the gap in left centerfield.

 

Gatemen centerfielder Steven Kwan got a beautiful jump on the ball, reached out, and made a lunging grab to take away an extra base hit.

 

It was the closest Chatham would come to scoring in the late innings, as Dalton Roach came on and pitched a 1-2-3 top of the tenth to give Wareham a chance to walk-it off in the bottom half of the inning.

 

Next Up: The Gatemen travel to Yarmouth-Dennis to take on the Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 5pm and Fitz Stadler is the probable starting pitcher.

 

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