All-Star Game Preview: Gatemen Set to Host Second Cape League All-Star Game in Three Years

By Wareham Gatemen | Jul 18, 2017
Photo by: Claudia Chakamian

Each June, as spring turns summer and the days get longer and warmer, Spillane Field transforms into where nightly, the top collegiate players showcase their skills as members of the Wareham Gatemen.

On Saturday, July 22nd, however, the home of the Gatemen will play host to something far greater as it will field the most premiere talent in the Cape Cod Baseball League. For the second time in three years and the sixth time in its history, Spillane Field will be the home of the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. The contest features the Western Division All-Stars versus the Eastern Division All-Stars voted on by the coaches from each team.

During the school year, the field is used as Wareham High School’s football and baseball-playing surface before turning into where coaches, scouts, and fans go to watch the best that college baseball has to offer over the summer. Gatemen Assistant General Manager Darryl Maxwell was the coach of the Wareham Vikings for six years and is now on staff alongside head coach Don Sneddon.

Back in 2015 when the Gatemen last hosted the contest, it was one of Wareham’s own who put on one of the finest showcases of the evening. Logan Sowers out of Indiana claimed the Home Run Derby crown, belting four home runs in the opening round including three when down to his final out. In the finals, Sowers used one majestic blast to claim the title knocking off Orleans’ Willie Abreu.

The game saw the East squeak past the West squad, 1-0, behind the East Most Valuable Player in Donnie Walton (Oaklahome State). Walton received the honor due to the fact that he drove in the game’s only run. The Gatemen’s own Ian Hamilton (Washinton), meanwhile, and Hyannis’ Devin Smeltzer (Florida Gulf Coast) received Co-MVP honors in representing the West. Hamilton and Smeltzer each tossed one inning of shutout baseball to help keep the Western Division All-Stars within striking distance.

Last season, the Gatemen followed up their impressive showing in the 2015 All-Star Game festivities by having three more of their players selected. Cole Freeman, who led the Cape Cod Baseball League in hitting while a member of the Gatemen, was the Western Division’s starting second baseman. Left-handed pitcher Gunner Leger and infielder Robbie Metz were also named to the squad, helping lead the West to an 8-0 victory over the East squad.

This year’s All-Star Game promises to bring even more memorable moments. The Gatemen will have six representatives in this year’s classic, including four starters. Right-handed pitcher Justin Montgomery, who is 3-1 with the Gatemen, is the expected starting pitcher for Western Division while Tanner Dodson and Willie MacIver are in line to be the starting left fielder and catcher, respectively.

Griffin Roberts, who has been the Wareham number two starter all season long, will be available out of the bullpen while Oregon’s Kyle Kasser and University of Connecticut’s John Toppa will be reserves. Collegiate Home Run Derby participant Tristan Pompey will be Wareham’s lone representative in the Home Run Hitting Contest.

Back in 2015, Spillane Field saw 5,163 fans attend for the Cape League’s mid summer classic and even more can be expected this year. Gates open at 2pm, when fans have the opportunity to purchase merchandise from team’s throughout league, receive autographs from the All-Star Game participants, watch batting practice, buy concessions, and finally settle in for the evenings events. The Home Run Hitting Contest will commence at 5pm, with the All-Star Game scheduled to get underway at 6:05pm.

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