By: Greg Levinsky
ORLEANS – Do-overs in baseball are nearly non-existent, but the Falmouth Commodores took advantage of a second chance of sorts in their 10-3 win over the Orleans Firebirds at Eldredge Park.
Leading 3-0 yesterday in a game that was ultimately washed out, the Commodores allowed three runs to tie it before rain stopped the contest. With a 3-0 lead after the opening frame once again on Wednesday, the Commodores (16-14-1) continued to pour it on. Davis Sims (Western Kentucky) played a big part, clobbering a pair of two-run home runs in the rout.
“We come ready to go every day,” Sims said “Everybody’s energized. Whatever guy it may be that can bring some juice, I think we can do that. One through nine, anyone can get this team going.”
Usually a starter, Spencer Strider (Clemson) came out of the bullpen in relief of Commodores starter Matt Canterino (Rice). Strider struck out a summer-high nine in 3.2 innings, allowing just one earned run in his final appearance of the summer as he’s reached his innings limit.
“We both just kind of decided to split the game,” Strider said. “I treated it like a start. It was a little different not knowing when I was coming in, but it was the same mentality.”
In his last appearance before returning to Clemson for fall workouts, Strider battled. He succeeded in a pivotal spot when Firebirds (12-19-1) loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. After falling behind 2-0 and 3-1 to Nick Osborne, who homered earlier in the game, Strider forced a fly out to halt the threat.
“We just had to go inside and execute some fastballs,” Strider said.
Strider allowed four hits and five walks. Commodores head coach Jeff Trundy said Strider didn’t have his best command, but executed when needed.
“He really competed and gave us everything he had,” Trundy said. “He pitched with a lot of heart tonight and a lot of spirit.”
The Commodores got going in the opening frame, working a 3-0 lead.
After seeing his home run last night go to waste, Stanford rising junior Kyle Stowers doubled home Will Brennan (Kansas State). Brennan began the game with a single, advancing to second base on a misfielded ball.
Sims added his fourth home run of the summer later in the frame, a two-run, two-out shot off Firebirds starter Corey Gaconi (Southeastern Louisiana) to make it 3-0.
“I feel great,” Sims said. “I’m seeing it really well.”
The Commodores added a run the top of the second on an RBI double by Herbert Iser (Dallas Baptist).
“Once you get a lead you want to extend,” Trundy said. “We did that tonight, kept having good at-bats.”
A 4-0 lead was cut in half when Osborne (Tennessee Tech) launched his seventh home run of the summer the bottom of the frame. Those were the only two runs allowed by Canterino in four innings.
Commodores slugger Matt Wallner (Southern Miss) followed with his second home run of the year, and Edouard Julien (Auburn) added a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2 in the top of the fourth.
Sims launched another two-run shot as part of a three-run ninth, putting the final touches on the victory.
“I think he’s really coming around,” Trundy said. “He’s really done well.”
It was an opposite field shot, a welcome site for Sims who said he’s been working on hitting the ball across the diamond.
“Over the spring team’s would start shifting me to the pull side,” Sims said. “One of the things I wanted to work on coming into the summer was hitting the ball to all fields.
Up next: Commodores host Orleans for a 6:00 p.m. game on Thursday July 19 at Guv Fuller Field.
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Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky