Commodores sink Orleans early

By: Greg Levinsky

ORLEANS – Kyle Stowers as a source of power is becoming the norm for the Falmouth Commodores, and that was the case once again as the Stanford rising junior slugged a two-run home run as part of a 6-1 Falmouth Commodores victory over the Orleans Firebirds on Tuesday.

The Commodores (8-10-1) struck for the game’s first four runs, giving Spencer Strider and Nick Mikolajchak all the support they needed against the Firebirds (6-12-1) at Eldredge Park.

“I’ve been in pretty much every situation imaginable,” said Mikolajchak, who earned a nine-out save. “Whatever they ask me to do to help the team win, I’m going to do it.”

Mikolajchak (Sam Houston State) struck out three of the first four Firebirds he faced, and tied a season-high with four as the only arm needed out of the Commodores’ bullpen. He matched a season-best three innings, limiting the Firebirds to just two baserunners.

Commodores pitching coach Mike Landry said leaving Mikolajchak in was a “feel” situation.

“We kinda just decided to let him go with it,” said Commodores pitching coach Mike Landry. “I think we’re a little thin in the bullpen right now so anything we can do to save guys a little bit.”

“First two innings I was rolling,” Mikolajchak said. “I got a little gassed, but I wanted to finish the game out.

“As long as they didn’t score any runs, fine with me.”

Strider (Clemson) made his fourth start of the summer, pitching a season-best six innings. He allowed one earned run on three hits, four walks, striking out five. Strider picked up the win to even his record at 1-1 and lower his ERA to 2.24.

“The side sessions that we’ve worked on have been very productive,” Landry said. “I think its showing.”

The Commodores’ offense scored a pair in the top of the second to take a 2-0 lead.

Edouard Julien (Auburn) picked up an RBI for the fourth time in five games with a sacrifice fly after the Commodores loaded the bases with no outs.

A double steal moved runners into scoring position, and a walk issued to Davis Sims (Murray State) reloaded the bags. Will Brennan (Kansas State) brought home another run with an RBI ground out. The Commodores forced Orleans starting pitcher Isaiah Kearns (West Virginia) to throw 34 pitches in the second inning, knocking him out after the frame.

Steven Williams reached base four times. Photo by Haylee Blitch.

Stowers became the first Commodores player with multiple home runs, belting a 2-1 pitch in the top of the third off Orleans reliever Josh Hendrickson (Barton) to deep left-center field for a 4-0 lead.


“He’s starting to hit with a lot of confidence,” said Commodores head coach Jeff Trundy. “When his front side stays in and he doesn’t try to pull the ball and just lets that happen, he’s going to have really good at-bats.”

It’s been a lethal week for Stowers at the plate. Despite going 0-for-5 last night, Stowers raised his average from .194 to .291 after going 10-for-24 (.417) with two doubles, the home run and scored nine runs over the last five games.

Sims slugged a two-run double in the top of the eighth to finalize the 6-1 victory.

Trundy was was pleased with the effort of his team in all aspects.

“We want to have that identity of being grinders and fighters,” Trundy said. “We got a couple kids that are really doing that and hopefully it becomes a bit more contagious and we all do it.

Up next: Commodores travel to Cotuit on Thursday July 5 with a 5:00 p.m. start against the Kettleers.

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Greg Levinsky can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky

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