Gatemen plan for community involvement
The Wareham Gatemen are preparing for a new season with hopes to be more involved in the community than ever.
That community involvement will start even before the season begins, with a Kick-Off Fan Fest from 4 to 8 p.m. on June 9 at Stone Path Malt. In previous years, the team always had a dinner to start the season, but this is the first time fans are invited.
Through the event, which is inspired by the Red Sox, the Gatemen hope to invite the community in and connect with new people in town. The Fan Fest will feature food, entertainment, opportunities to meet the players, ping pong, cornhole, and the team’s sponsors.
“We hope that everybody will come down and support the Gatemen,” said Andrew Lang, the team’s General Manager. Lang said that the team is hoping to continue and build off of the energy from last year’s championship win.
Opening night will be June 10, with a 6:45 p.m. home game at Spillane Field against the Brewster Whitecaps.
On June 12, the Gatemen will head to Boston for a 6:30 p.m. game against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox at Boston College High School’s Monan Park. Lang said that this game, and one on July 23 at Dunkin Donuts Park, are opportunities to bring Cape League Baseball to communities who might not otherwise get to see it.
Lang said there are a number of new players to be excited about this year.
Matt McLain, a first round draft pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks after high school, chose instead to attend UCLA. As a Gateman, he will mostly play middle infield.
Lang described Adrian Del Castillo, a freshman at the University of Miami, as an “outstanding hitter” who has played every inning of every game so far for Miami, which is very unusual. For the Gatemen, he will primarily play as a catcher.
Justin Foscue is a student at Mississippi State, which Lang says is one of the top five teams in the country. Foscue will play 3rd base for the Gatemen.
“He’s good in the field and he’s an extremely good hitter,” said Lang.
One of the pitchers for the team will be Brendan Beck, who Lang described as a strike thrower who often pitches to soft contact, leading to easy outs.
“He’s having a terrific year at Stanford,” Lang said. Beck’s older brother, Tristan, pitched at Stanford before being drafted by the Atlanta Braves.
Levi Prater, a left-handed pitcher, is a sophomore at Oklahoma University. Prater was set to play for the Gatemen last year but was injured. Lang said Prater is throwing really well for Oklahoma, with a lot of strike-outs.
Tanner Bibee, a freshman at Cal State Fullerton, is a pitcher who Lang described as having a similar style to Beck. Lang said Bibee played really well last year and over the summer.
Jerry Weinstein, who previously managed the Gatemen during a successful 2016 season, is returning to the team this year.
For a complete schedule of games and more information about the Gatemen, go to www.gatemen.org.