Falmouth drops season opener to Harwich

FALMOUTH, Mass. – The Falmouth Commodores struggled on the defensive side of the ball on Opening Night, leading to the club’s 9–2 loss against the Harwich Mariners on Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field.

Falmouth’s defense committed five errors on Sunday night, leading to three of Harwich’s nine runs being unearned by the Commodores’ pitching staff. Left-handed hurler Antoine Jean picked up the loss in the contest, allowing four runs in 3.1 innings of work. The Alabama product got off to a solid start by holding the opposition hitless through two frames, but ran into some trouble in the third. 

On the offensive side of the ball, the ’Dores picked up seven hits but struggled to get timely hitting. The club left a total of nine runners on base and struck out 12 times in the ballgame. Left fielder Justin Jordan was the only Commodore to drive in a run on Opening Night, going 1-for-3 with a walk. 

Manager Jeff Trundy said that despite dropping the first game of the summer, he enjoyed returning to the dugout and watching the team compete in its newly-renovated ballpark.

“It was great, it’s good to be out here again,” Trundy said. “It was fun just looking around tonight before the game got going, and appreciating all the work that’s gone into this facility to make it really a first class place. So, there [were] a lot of positives tonight.”

The Commodores opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second inning, as Jordan dropped a bloop RBI single into shallow left field. The left fielder’s first knock of the summer plated designated hitter Anthony Mackenzie, giving Falmouth a 1–0 lead. Jordan said he was was happy to produce in his season debut, and has enjoyed the atmosphere of playing on Cape Cod. 

“I think it’s awesome,” Jordan said. “I’ve been looking forward to this since I was a little kid and to finally make it up here, it’s been a blast the last few days.”

The Mariners wasted no time responding, crossing the plate three times in the top of the third inning to take a 3–1 lead. Kenny Levari led off the frame by lining a solo home run over the wall in right field. Later in the inning, Nick Goodwin launched a two-run blast down the left field line, scoring Cole Harting. 

Harwich tacked on another run in the top of the fourth inning, extending its lead to 4–1 over Falmouth. Designated hitter Ryan McCarty dunked a single into shallow right field, and a throwing error by right fielder Drew Brutcher allowed Joe Vetrano to come home. 

Commodores relievers Cole Cressend and Joey Ryan then silenced the Mariners until the top of the seventh inning, when Vetrano scorched an RBI single to right to score Goodwin. The first baseman’s second hit of the night advanced the score to 5–1 in favor of Harwich. 

The Mariners didn’t let up in the eighth inning, extending their lead to 8–1 with a three run frame. McCarty manufactured a scoring opportunity by stealing third base and coming home to score on Commodores’ catcher Jacob Cozart’s errant throw to the bag. 

Trundy said he believes the team’s defensive struggles can be attributed to the fact that it was the club’s first game playing together, and that the team will look to improve moving forward. 

“[We’ve] got to get used to playing with all your different teammates and doing things that you’re comfortable with,” Trundy said. “It’s so easy in this league for the game to speed up a little bit on you, and that’s when you start making mistakes. … [You’ve] got to look at each each and every situation as a player and as a coach, and see what you can do to correct it the next time around.”

Goodwin then drove home Chase Engelhard with an RBI double into the left-center field gap. Vetrano capped off the scoring in the eighth inning by walking with the bases loaded, forcing home Goodwin. 

The ’Dores plated their second run of the night in the bottom half of the frame, as shortstop Alex Mooney came home to score on a wild pitch. This cut Falmouth’s deficit to 8–2 against Harwich. 

The Mariners put another run on the board in the top of the ninth inning, giving the club a 9–2 advantage. Engelhard singled up the middle and reached third on a ball that hopped over the head of center fielder Cross Factor, allowing Jonathan Luders to score all the way from first base. The play was ruled a single and a two-base error. 

This would end up being the final score, as the Commodores were held scoreless in the bottom half of the frame. The loss gives the club an 0-1-0 record to start the 2022 season. The Falmouth Commodores will return to action at 6 p.m. on June 13, as they are set to take on the Cotuit Kettleers from Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller field. 

Note: Featured image by Meghan Murphy.

Click here for Sunday night’s box score.

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Click here for the 2022 Falmouth Commodores schedule
Tommy Mumau can be reached at tmumau@ithaca.edu. Follow him on Twitter @tommymumau13.

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