Back to the Ball Field

by Colleen Loftus

Leon Byrd (Rice)- batted .258 in Falmouth, MA- It’s that time of year again: the sun is shining bright, the smell of fresh-cut green grass fills the air, crisp white chalk lines are rolled onto the dirt, and home plate is finally dusted clean. It’s time for Cape Cod League Baseball. This Wednesday, June 11, will mark the beginning of the 2014 season, with all teams squaring off in what is sure to be an exhilarating summer. From across the nation. ball players come to Cape Cod to put their own skills to the true test, playing wooden-bat baseball for professional scouts. The teams as a whole then strive for the coveted Arnold Mycock trophy and the chance to be named league champions at the season’s end.

The Falmouth Commodores are no different. Ending the 2013 season 26-18, the Commodores were seeded second in the West Division and shared the division title with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. With 11 players from the 2013 Falmouth team selected in the Major League draft, it goes without saying that these players were nothing less than extraordinary. Unfortunately, their winning streak came to an end as they lost to the eventual league champions, the Cotuit Kettleers, in the first round of league playoffs.

This season, the Commodores have many newcomers making their way to the Cape drawing from renown college baseball programs such as Oregon, Clemson, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Arizona, and more. Manager Jeff Trundy enters his 16th year as head coach of the Commodores. Coaches Brad Stoll, Mike Landry, and Kellen Mitts remain onboard to bring the Commodores another winning season. Eight players will be returning from the 2013 season to play for the team after successful seasons at school.
1. 45 games
2. Garrett Cleavinger (Oregon) – left-handed pitcher, 49 strikeouts in 32.1 innings
3. Sam Gillikin (Auburn)- batted .214 in 24 games
4. Kevin McCanna (Rice)- right-handed pitcher, 65 strikeouts in 93.2 innings
5. Kevin Mooney (University of Maryland)- right-handed pitcher, 45 strikeouts, in 35.1 innings
6. Donny Murray (Holy Cross)- right-handed pitcher, 33 strikeouts in 44 innings
7. Kevin Newman (Arizona)- All-Star Shortstop for the Western Division; winner of the Thurman Munson Award batting title with an average of .375 in the 2013 Cape League season
8. Jared Price (- right-handed pitcher, 31 strikeouts in 29 innings

Of the new players coming to Falmouth, several certainly stand out as ones to watch. The first is outfielder Steve Duggar from Clemson University. This rising junior hit .294 in his spring of 2014 season, notably bringing in a total of 36 RBIs. With 79 hits and 29 stolen bases, Duggar proves to be both a solid offensive player and a great asset to the outfield. He comes to the Commodores after the previous summer with Cotuit where he was named the 54th prospect in the league by Perfect Game.

Another Clemson name that has worked its way to the Commodores is shortstop and infielder Tyler Krieger. Batting .338 with 219 at bats in his spring season, Krieger led Clemson with the highest batting average, while also leading in hits. He poked 70 hits, with 10 doubles and four triples. He also totaled 32 RBIs for Clemson. In 2012, Krieger was a 35th round pick by the Seattle Mariners and is set to be one of the first hitters for Falmouth.

Contributing to the Falmouth outfield is Tate Matheny from Missouri State University. This rising junior was the only player for Missouri State to bat over .300 in the 2014 spring season, batting 330. He also led his team in homeruns (42), RBIs (37), and hits (72). Matheny was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. With only one error in his spring season, Matheny is sure to be a leader in centerfield for the Commodores.

Finally, a leading pitcher for the Commodores is Colin Poche. This rising junior from the University of Arkansas dominated his spring season with an ERA of 3.00 in 39 innings pitched. Allowing only one homerun, Poche roped in 28 total strikeouts. This left-handed pitcher was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 5th round of the 2012 MLB draft and is sure to bring an exciting season for the Commodores.

The Commodores open at Brewster on today, June 11 at 5:00 pm. Their first home opener is Friday, June 13, versus the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox at 6:30 pm. For more information, visit the Falmouth Commodores webpage at

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