Colleen Loftus/Web Reporter
The Commodores took their first loss in the last four games. Losing to the Kettleers. Play lasted only seven innings due to darkness, robbing Falmouth the opportunity to achieve a complete comeback after being down early in the game. However, the seven innings that ensued were packed with action from the very first pitch.
Starting on the mound for the Commodores was lefty Matt Hall (Missouri State). Pitching only three innings, Hall struck out four batters. His ERA rose to 2.08. Nick Eicholtz (Alabama Tuscaloos) pitched first for the Kettleers, pitching only two innings and striking out one batter. The Commodores struggled to keep a tight infield in the bottom of the first, as Hall allowed three consecutive singles and one run to put Cotuit ahead 1-0. Falmouth managed to respond at their next at-bat. Jake Madsen (Ohio) hit a sailing double to the center fence to start off the second inning. With bases loaded, Madsen was later brought home by Steven Duggar’s (Clemson) sacrifice groundout to tie the game 1-1.
Falmouth’s agility faded as they entered the bottom of the second. Conor Costello (Oklahoma State) recorded two errors in left field, allowing Cotuit runners to reach home and round bases with ease. Hall allowed four singles, one of which was a bunt meant to advance a runner home. He also hit one batter with a pitch to the knee. The Kettleers ended the inning ahead 6-1, and it appeared Falmouth was in an insurmountable deficit.
The Commodores fought back hard in each subsequent inning, stringing together hits as they had done against Hyannis and Bourne in their previous two games. Conner Hale (Louisiana State) started them off with a lead-off poke to left field in the top of the third. Cameron O’Brien (West Virginia) was walked by Eicholtz, putting Hale in scoring position. Costello stepped to the plate and redeemed himself from his previous two errors, grounding a RBI single up the left field line. Madsen then took the plate and recorded a RBI single to center as O’Brien crossed home. With these two runs, the Commodores demonstrated the game would not end without a deserved fight. Cotuit led 6-3.
A lead-off home run by Kettleers’ center fielder Tres Barrera (Texas Austin) extended the team’s lead to 7-3. The Commodores remained unfazed as they approached the top of the fourth. Shortstop Kevin Newman (Arizona) sent his second single of the night to right field with Duggar on first. The two sprinted around the diamond after a fielding error by Cotuit right fielder Collin Shaw (Texas Austin); Duggar scored and the game tallied 7-4. With Newman on third, Hale sent his third straight single into right field earning a RBI as Newman crossed home. Cotuit remained ahead 7-5, but Falmouth was not finished. After reaching first on a fielder’s choice, O’Brien stole second with a 1-1 count to Falmouth batter Madsen. Madsen knocked his third hit of the evening between left and center field, scoring O’Brien and cutting the Commodores’ deficit to one run. Cotuit led 7-6.
Despite the Kettleers scoring another run in the bottom of the fourth to increase their lead 8-6, the Commodores were not giving up. With two runners in scoring position in the top of the fifth, Hale took the plate and knocked out his fourth straight hit of the night: a double to center that advanced Duggar home from third and made the score 8-7. The Commodores’ comeback became complete in the top of the sixth, as Matt Eureste (San Jacinto) drove a double to deep center. Audie Afenir (Oral Roberts) advanced home from second, and the score was tied 8-8.
Unfortunately, the team would not have a chance to finish the final innings of the game. After a home run by Cotuit second baseman Grant Kay (Louisville), the game was called due to darkness. The Commodores fell to the Kettleers 9-8, moving forward with a 12-10-1 (25 points) record.
Despite the loss, several Falmouth players were worth mentioning. Hale went four for five at the plate, totaling three singles, one double, and two RBIs. Madsen went three for four at the plate, recording two singles and one double. He also earned two RBIs in back-to-back at-bats for the Commodores. In addition Madsen proved, once again, vital at first base, snagging misplaced balls out of the air for Falmouth.
The Commodores will travel to Hyannis tomorrow, July 8, 2014, and face the Harbor Hawks at 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit the Falmouth Commodores website at www.falmouthcommodores.com.