By: Greg Levinsky
HARWICH – Not often is there a cheer of genuine jubilation from a dugout full of collegiate baseball players on a ground ball single. For a Falmouth Commodores team struggling mightily at the plate, a single baserunner provided a source of positivity.
The mood shifted nearly immediately, as a lackluster fifth inning brought the Falmouth Commodores to their fifth straight loss, 4-1 to the Harwich Mariners on Thursday night at Whitehouse Field.
“There’s times where as a team you feel a little stuck,” said Commodores left fielder Kyle Stowers, who went 1-for-4 with a triple and scored the team’s lone run. “Where the hitters aren’t getting anything going so there’s not a ton of energy in the dugout, but there’s not a ton of energy because we’re not doing anything on the field worth cheering about.”
Falmouth starting pitcher Mitchell Stone cruised through the first five-plus frames on Thursday night, but ran into trouble in the fifth. Not so much Stone, but instead the offense and defense behind him as the Commodores fell to a 2-7-0 record.
“We have so many times throughout the years started out slowly and finished strong, so we’ll see what happens, ” said Commodores head coach Jeff Trundy.
Logan Davidson (Clemson) led off the frame with a single and advanced to third on a one-out single by Maverick Handley (Stanford). Both were stranded after consecutive strikeouts to end the frame
Stone began his start with 4.2 scoreless innings, but a ball lined to left field by Harwich’s Logan Driscoll (George Mason) was misplayed by Stowers (Stanford), allowing Driscoll to take second. Matt Gorski (Indiana) drove in Driscoll with an RBI single, and Ben Norman (Virginia) followed with a double to score Gorski to take a 2-0 lead in the fifth.
Harwich added a pair insurance runs in the eighth off Commodore reliever Mitch Miller.
Despite taking the loss his second start of the summer, Stone did have a quality start on Thursday. He finished with six innings pitched, scattering five hits and three walks and allowed two earned runs. He struck out five and threw 76 pitches (52 strikes).
“This is a tough league, and you’re going to have your struggles,” Trundy said. “I think the adversity of this league makes you a better player in the long run.”
East Carolina’s Jake Agnos (1-0) pitched six scoreless frames and struck out 10 in his summer debut for the Mariners, including escaping the early fifth inning jam. After getting swept by the Mariners in a twin bill at home on Sunday June 17, the Commodores play Harwich once more this summer on Friday July 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Harwich.
Stowers tripled in the top of the ninth and came in to score on a wild pitch before the game’s end.
The Commodores travel to Hyannis to face the Harbor Hawks at 6:00 p.m. at McKeon Park in Hyannis tomorrow (Friday June 28) looking to get turn it around.
“We just need one swing, one something to get us going offensively and the rest will take care of itself,” Stowers said.