By: Greg Levinsky
FALMOUTH – There’s no secret that Kyle Stowers’ bat has been one of the Cape League’s finest.
But his baserunning? That was just a minor component of his game until the Falmouth Commodores 5-3 win over Hyannis on Saturday.
The Stanford rising junior displayed another facet of his uncanny offensive prowess, swiping second and third base on back-to-back pitches. He ultimately trotted home for a then go-ahead run at Guv Fuller Field.
“I just got a good jump,” Stowers said. “Once I got to second, my goal was to steal third on the first and second pitch. It was my decision, and the coaches encourage us to take the extra bases.”
Now with five stolen bases on the summer, the 2018 Cape League All-Star collected his 13th multi-hit performance in his last 18 games as the Commodores (18-15-1) downed the West Division leading Harbor Hawks (20-12-2).
Commodores head coach Jeff Trundy complimented his corner outfielder’s wherewithal on the basepaths.
“It’s not only his skills, but it’s his intelligence,” Trundy said. “He’s a smart player.”
Stowers hesitated to describe himself as a speedster.
“I wouldn’t consider myself slow,” Stowers said. “Not necessarily a speed guy, but not slow.”
A multi-time Cape Cod League Player of the Week selection, Stowers earned his second nod prior to the game. He went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .352.
Florida rising junior Tyler Dyson his third start of the summer, all of which have come at home. He entered the game with nine-straight scoreless frames, but four Harbor Hawks reached base to take a 2-0 lead before Dyson recorded his first out.
He escaped the inning without allowing another run, and followed with four scoreless frames. Dyson (5 innings, 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 5 strikeouts) retired 15 of the last 17 batters he faced.
“Dyse didn’t come out of the gate like he wanted to, but then put up four zeros,” Trundy said. “He’s a great competitor. He really is. He wants to win, wants to win for his teammates. We’re glad we have him.”
The Commodores slashed the lead in half in the bottom of the frame on a ground rule double by Davis Sims (Western Kentucky when he laced a 3-2, two-out pitch down the left field line.
A two-out single by Hayden Cantrelle (Louisiana-Lafayette) tied it in the bottom of the fourth.
“He was showing that he wanted to throw his breaking pitches,” Cantrelle said. “The ball happened to be what I was looking for.”
His first RBI since July 1, Cantrelle (1-for-1, walk) has been splitting duties at second base with Edouard Julien (Auburn).
The duo switches on a gamely basis, and Cantrelle said it’s been “difficult,” but learned he needs to improve his daily routine.
“I have to be more strict with my routine every day to be able to play game speed,” Cantrelle said.
Harbor Hawks reliever Riley Self (Mississippi State) pitched nine scoreless to start his summer, but ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings.
Stowers singled with one out, and displayed his speed before coming home on a Sims sacrifice fly in the fifth. The Commodores added two in the bottom of the 6th for a 5-2 lead.
Logan Rinehart (Cal Baptist), Nick Mikolajchak (Sam Houston State) and Jack Little (Stanford) combined for five scoreless innings of one run ball in Dyson’s relief to close it out.
“The bullpen arms have been outstanding,” Trundy said.
Up next: Six Commodores will participate in the 2018 Cape League All-Star game on Sunday July 22 at Whitehouse Field in Harwich at 6:00 p.m.
The Commodores continue the regular season and host Hyannis on Monday June 23 at 6:00 p.m.
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Greg Levinsky can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky