Recap: Hogan's Closing Act A Masterpiece

By Wareham Gatemen | Jul 16, 2017

 

Miller Hogan’s fist pump as he walked off the mound for the final time said it all – he had saved his best for last.
In his final outing as member of the Gatemen, Hogan went seven shutout innings allowing just one hit while striking out six as Wareham defeated Cotuit, 4-1, to sweep the home-and-home series with the Kettleers on Sunday evening at Spillane Field.
Hogan finished his summer tossing 22 consecutive scoreless innings spanning three starts.
As the sixth inning came to a close, the box score for the Kettleers read “0” not only for the amount of runs on the scoreboard, but in the hit column as well.
The chance at history convinced Gatemen head coach Don Sneddon, through communication with his college coach at St. Louis, to let Hogan return to the mound for the seventh inning.
“(Hogan’s) throwing a no-hitter and he didn’t obviously want to come out, so I called his head coach and his pitching coach,” said Sneddon. “I told them the situation and gave them the situation and they said ‘yes’.”
After going the first six innings without a allowing hit, Grayson Jenista grounded one up the middle to end Hogan’s no-hit bit, but by then the opportunity to be in the record books had become a moot point.
One way or another, the St. Louis right-hander was putting on a clinic, dismantling the Kettleer’s lineup not by just throwing, but pitching as a craftsman.
“After going back out there (Cotuit) got their first hit but Hogan went right back at them and got the next three guys and that’s is what makes him the competitor he is,” praised Sneddon.
Using his fastball that hovers between 86-90 miles per hour, Hogan consistently got ahead of the opposing hitter before putting them away with his notorious splitter.
Moving away from the left-hander’s and downward to righties, Hogan used the splitter to induce four groundball outs and just one hard hit baseball.
Pitching coach Jim Lawler said Hogan simply knows what pitching is all about.
“That is how you are supposed to pitch,” said Lawler. “(Hogan) actually throws harder later in the game and he does it on purpose. He goes off-speed, off-speed and then throws the fastball harder late. That’s what pitching is all about.”
The loss of Hogan, who is departing due to an innings limit, will certainly leave a temporary hole in the Gatemen rotation. On Sunday, however, all 1,200 spectators in attendance at Spillane were left simply admiring Hogan’s masterful performance.
The closest Cotuit came to scratching a run off Hogan came in the top of the fifth. To lead off the inning, Brendan Kinneman belted a ball to deep right field. Gatemen right-fielder Tristan Pompey drifted back, felt for the wall, leaped up, and reeled in the baseball to take away an extra base hit.
The catch was Pompey’s second of the kind since his transition to the outfield from the designated hitter’s spot earlier in the week.
Pompey said its great to finally be able to participate in both sides of the action.
“It’s way more exciting because you’re involved in every play,” said Pompey. “On that play (Steven) Kwan was telling me where the fence was, I decided to go for it, reached back, and realized I had it.”
Unlike yesterday when the Gatemen waited until the eighth inning to break the scoreless tie, Wareham jumped on top in the bottom of the third.
Jarren Duran laced a double off the wall in left with one out and came around to score on a wild pitch giving the Gatemen a 1-0 lead.
With two outs and nobody out, Steven Kwan restarted the Gatemen rally with a base hit up the middle. Kwan used his speed to swipe second, and Tanner Dodson followed up by coming through with a clutch two-out, RBI single back through the box to put Wareham on top 2-0.
“We changed (Kwan’s) grip a little bit because his bottom hand wasn’t working well,” said Sneddon. “I don’t know if it made a difference or not, but that’s not what matters. We came through when he had to.”
After Hogan kept the Kettleers off the board in the top of the fourth, the Wareham offense went back to work in the bottom half of the frame.
John Toppa reached on a fielding error, and Pompey rocketed a double off the wall in right to hand the Gatemen a three run cushion.
Wareham carried a 4-0 lead into the top of the eighth, but Cotuit’s leading hitter Griffin Conine launched a hanging changeup from Gatemen reliever Tanner Dodson into the bullpen in right for a solo home run to put the Kettleers on the board.
Dodson remained composed, however, and struck out a pair in the ninth inning – the final one via his sharp slider – to secure the Gatemen’s second consecutive victory.
Next Up: After an off day on Monday the Gatemen will be back in action on Tuesday in Hyannis. First pitch is scheduled for 6pm and Joey Matulovich is the probable pitcher
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