RECAP: Falmouth Falls in Dramatic Finish to the Regular Season

CorbinBOURNE – In one of the most exciting and dramatic games of the 2016 summer Cape Cod baseball League season, the Falmouth Commodores lost to the Bourne Braves in the regular season finale, in walk-off fashion, 7-6.

Falmouth finishes the regular season with the top record in the Cape League at 29-15.

The Braves started the game of with three runs in the bottom of 1st inning including a two run home run by Evan Mendoza (NC State) off of the second pitch of the night by starter Thomas Ponticelli (San Francisco).  They added another in the inning off of an RBI single by Jeremy Eierman (Missouri State) which plated David MacKinnon (Hartford).

After the first of three 1-2-3 innings by the Commodores, the Braves put another run on the board thanks to a RBI ground out to second baseman Deacon Liput from Justin Yurchak (Binghamton) which put the Braves up 4-0 through two innings.

The Braves DH Andrew Shaps (Arizona State) hit an RBI double which scored Jake Mangum to make the game 5-0 in the bottom half of the 5th inning.

In the top of the sixth, powerhouse Tyler Lawrence (Murray State) hit a two-run home run –  his 7th of the season – to cut the Bourne lead to three.

After quality pitching from new Commodore George Capen (Holy Cross) and Bret Gilchrist (Dallas Baptist U), the score held into the top of the 8th.  And, for the second night in a row, center fielder Michael Gigliotti came up to bat with the bases loaded.  This time the pressure was a little more intense but regardless, the All-Star from Lipscomb pulled through and hit a two-run double to trim the lead down to one.

With men on the corners, Florida’s Deacon Liput came up to bat and softly hit a ball in the infield which seemed like a sure out for the Braves, but the hustle by the second baseman proved otherwise and he beat the throw to tie the game at five.

The same situation for Liput arose for Arizona’s JJ Matijevic. Men on the corners, two outs. Matijevic did what he’s done all year and hit a dribbler past the first base bag to plate the go-ahead run for the Commodores and thus, the comeback was complete.  6-5 entering the bottom of the 8th.

Kansas’ Stephen Villines replaced Cole Sands (Florida St) to enter the bottom half of the 8th inning to keep the lead. And he did so like he has all year, in 1-2-3 fashion.  But the ‘Dores couldn’t get on board in the 9th after their 4th 1-2-3 inning of the game.

So the stage was set.

Commodores up by one in the bottom of the ninth, Corbin Martin (Texas A&M) toeing the rubber, the Commodores’ 30th win of the season on the line.  Martin started the inning off with a five-pitch strike out to Evan Mendoza.  Then, two men then reached base.  With one out, Corbin did what Corbin does, and struck out another batter to give the Bourne Braves two outs.

Up stepped Jake Mangum, Who, at that point, had be 3-4 with a run scored.  Martin blazed two fastballs past Mangum but on the third straight fastball, Doran Park exploded when Mangum hit a 2 RBI double into left-center field to give Bourne the 7-6 win in their final home game of the regular season.

This game was what baseball fans wanted and more.  Stellar pitching, great hitting, and heightened drama. Unfortunately, the Western Division Champion Falmouth Commodores could not pick up their 30th win and will look to regain momentum as they make their playoff push.

The Commodores play the first game of the 2016 Playoffs at Guv Fuller Field against Hyannis at 6 pm on Friday

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