FALMOUTH, Mass. – The Falmouth Commodores’ ninth inning rally came up just short on Tuesday night, as the club dropped the contest 4–3 to the Bourne Braves at Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field.
The Commodores’ bats were held to three runs on nine hits, leaving seven runners on base. The team had the bases loaded with a chance to tie the contest in the bottom of the ninth but ultimately dropped a one-run game. Despite the team searching for timely hitting, second baseman Colby Halter had a solid evening at the plate by leaving the yard during a 2-for-3 performance. Shortstop Alex Mooney also extended his hitting streak to seven games, going 1-for-5 with a solo home run.
Falmouth’s pitching staff kept the team in the ballgame, yielding four runs on six hits. Starting pitcher Grayson Hitt had a solid outing, allowing three runs while striking out four batters during four frames on the mound. Philip Abner then recorded an impressive relief outing, allowing just one unearned run and fanning six batters during the final five frames. The club also made two errors during the game, which proved to be costly.
Manager Jeff Trundy said that despite making some key defensive miscues, he was pleased with how the team battled back during the contest.
“I thought we certainly competed well at the end of the game, we gave ourselves a chance,” Trundy said. “Philip [Abner] threw well, especially, he gave us five quality innings. And, we just weren’t careful enough with the baseball. … You can’t make mistakes in this league, every game is usually going to be close.”
The Braves opened the scoring in the top of the second inning, taking a 2–0 lead over the ’Dores. Catcher Alan Espinal blooped an RBI single to right field just over the leaping try of Halter, plating Wyatt Henseler. Second baseman Bryce Eblin then hit an RBI single to right field, driving in John Peck.
Falmouth got on the board in the bottom of the third, trimming its deficit 2–1. Halter lined a solo homer that bounced off the top of the right-center field wall, leaving the yard for the fifth time this summer.
Bourne got this run back in the top of the fourth, as Espinal powered a solo blast over the left-center field fence. The home run gave the club a 3–1 advantage against the Commodores.
The Braves crossed the plate again in the top of the fifth inning, extending their lead to 4–1. Right fielder Carson Jones lined a single to right field, but Drew Brutcher made an error when attempting to throw out Evan Sleight at third base. The miscue allowed Sleight to score.
The ’Dores narrowed their deficit in the bottom of the sixth, making it a 4–2 ballgame. Mooney crushed a solo home run beyond the left field wall, hitting a long ball for the third time this season.
The clubs would then trade zeros until the bottom of the ninth inning. Abner was dominant in relief, keeping the opposition scoreless from the sixth through the ninth inning. The southpaw said his approach to the outing was simply to keep the club in the game, as it trailed by two runs entering the final inning of play.
“I was just trying to go out there and give my team a chance to win,” Abner said. “I was just trying to throw strikes [and] put the ball over the plate, I didn’t want [to give up] any free passes. That was pretty much all I was trying to do.”
The Commodores didn’t go down quietly in the bottom of the ninth inning, trimming their deficit to 4–3 against the Braves. Third baseman Anthony Mackenzie hit an RBI single into shallow center field, bringing home Andrew Pinckney. This would be the final score, as Mooney would fly out to center field with the bases loaded to end the game. Trundy said he was impressed with the way the team rallied in the ninth.
“I’m proud of the way the guys compete and never give up,” Trundy said. “That’s what you want to see from a group of people. And I was, like I said, very proud of the way they didn’t give in.”
The loss drops Falmouth’s record to 10–15–2 on the season. The Commodores will return to action at 6 p.m. July 13, as the club will host the Brewster Whitecaps at Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field.
Note: Featured image by Meghan Murphy.
Click here for Tuesday night’s box score.
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Tommy Mumau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @tommymumau13.