WAREHAM – Down to their last strike, the Falmouth Commodores rallied from a two-run hole in the ninth to force extras where they pushed ahead in the 11th for a stunning 8-4 win over Wareham.
Marty Bechina and the Falmouth offense along with stellar pitching from starting pitching have now propelled the Commodores to a 7-3 record in the last 10 games and atop the Western Division early in the season.
“There was a never say die attitude there,” head coach Jeff Trundy said following the win. “Tonight was very satisfying to see the kids compete the way they did.”
On Wednesday, the Commodores entered the confines of Spilane Field to face their division foe, Wareham Gatemen. The teams had split the series of two so far this season, Wareham winning the first at Spilane Field in walk-off fashion to a final score of 4-3. Commodores won the second at Guv Fuller Field to a tune of a 5-3 all-around performance.
James McArthur (Ole Miss) got the start for the ‘Dores and looked to bounce back after a slow start to the season through 4.2 IP with a 13.50 ERA coming into the matchup. The Gatemen sent Wake Forest’s Griffin Roberts to the mound to take on a surging Falmouth offense.
Wareham got on the board first with a Tristen Pompey (U of Kentucky) RBI base-hit to score Jurren Duran (Long Beach St.) in the bottom of the 3rd. Falmouth answered back in the next half inning when Willie Burger (Penn St.) doubled home Marty Bechina (Michigan St) to tie the ball game at one. Burger’s 7th RBI of the season.
The pitching was stellar up through the middle innings. James McArthur hurled 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 K’s, BB. Robbins, Wake Forest’s closer during the regular season, also pitched a stellar game. His line read: 5 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K. Both offenses were stifled through 6 as both starters locked it down.
Wareham’s bats came alive in the bottom of the 7th inning with U of Washington’s Ben Baird’s two out single to score one. Then Tanner Dodson (Cal Berkley)’s 2 RBI triple put the Gatemen up 4-1 entering the 8th. The Commodores scored one in the 8thon back-to-back doubles from Logan Davidson (Clemson) and Burger, to trim the deficit to just two.
The Commodores kept the score the same with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 8th, with Derrick Adams (Jacksonville St. U) retiring nine straight, as Falmouth was down to their final three outs entering the 9th.
After two quick outs in that frame, up-stepped Adams’ college teammate Clayton Daniel. Who, after a three hit game the night before, was 0-4 up to that point. Daniel fisted a two-strike single into right/center and was quickly followed by a Hunter Steinmetz (Missouri St.) base hit to push Clayton to third. Steinmetz stole second and, after an errant-throw, Daniel scored from third to cut the lead to one. With the Missouri St. centerfielder at third, Alec Bohm tied the game on a single into shallow right/center and scored Steinmetz.
“Clayton got it started. Then Hunter had a big hit and then it was Alec coming through,” Trundy said. “There was a lot of good things that happened in that ninth inning.
Some quick, effective bullpen innings followed as the game was still tied entering the 11th inning. The first Commodores extra inning game of the 2017 Summer.
The top of the order was due up for Falmouth entering the frame. Clayton Daniel’s lead off walk got the speedster on base with Hunter Steinmetz stepping in. Daniel advanced to second after a bunt down the first base line. Clayton would reach third on a ensuing wild pitch, this would allow the Gatemen to intentionally walk Alec Bohm to bring up the Co-Player of the Week, (Michigan St.) RF Marty Bechina, who was stepping in with an opportunity to extend his league lead in RBI’s with a base hit.
Marty would do just that and give the Commodores on a double into left field. Bechina’s totals now up to 19 in 15 games.
The Commodores would load the bases when Wareham intentionally walked Logan Davidson to get to Lee Solomon. He proceeded to bear the brunt of a 2-0 fastball to bring home another run, putting the Commodores ontop 6-4. Newcomer, George Janca (Texas A&M), in his fifth at-bat, laced a groundball past the glove of MacIver (U of Washington) at first base, scoring Bechina and Davidson, Falmouth now up to 8-4.
“It was good to finally get back on the field,” Janca said.
Ryan Zeferjahn (Kansas) entered the bottom of the 11th to face the top of the line-up and he did what he does best and slammed the door, earning his 3rd save of the season.
The bullpen played a role in more ways than one as after giving shutdown innings to keep the Gatemen at bay and not allowing them to score, Falmouth’s bullpen would then use silly antics and movements to get into the heads of the opposing team’s pitcher. The Commodores’ combination of Adams, Ponticelli (U of San Fran) and Zeferjahn (Kansas) were lights out. Falmouth’s bullpen has been on fire and an integral part in the hot streak the team has been on.
“There was great pitching really throughout the game,” Trundy said.
Commodores have an off day tomorrow, but are back in action in Chatham on Friday, the 30th at 6:30 pm. Follow along on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.