Timely hits help propel Commodores to victory against Firebirds

ORLEANS, Mass. – The Falmouth Commodores won their second consecutive game on Tuesday night, defeating the Orleans Firebirds 6–5 at Eldredge Park. 

The Commodores had a productive night on the offensive side of the ball, scoring six runs on 11 hits. Shortstop Alex Mooney helped lead the way, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Center fielder Travis Chestnut was also a key contributor, as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. The center fielder scored one of these runs by stealing home.

Manager Jeff Trundy said he was impressed with the team’s ability to take advantage of opportunities during the contest, creating scoring chances.

“We had some great at-bats,” Trundy said. “We ran the bases well and had a couple of big key bunts that really made a big difference. … All those little things matter when you’re talking a one-run baseball game.”

Staring pitcher Philip Abner was solid in his first start since being named a Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) All-Star, allowing just two runs in five innings of work. Brayden Matthews was the first reliever out of the bullpen, yielding three runs and two earned runs in 1.2 frames on the mound. Garrett Coe impressed in relief, striking out one batter in a scoreless inning. Joey Ryan closed out the contest by blanking the opposition through the final 1.1 frames.

The Commodores struck first in this one, taking a 4–0 lead in the top of the third inning. Chestnut grounded an RBI single up the middle, scoring Drew Brutcher. Third baseman Colby Halter then hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Chestnut to dive home safely. First baseman Jacob Walsh followed this by lining an RBI single to right field, plating Mooney. Designated hitter Jace Bohrofen then hit an RBI groundout to second base, driving in Peyton Stovall. 

The Firebirds got a couple of these runs back in the bottom of the fourth, making it a 4–2 game in favor of the ’Dores. Designated hitter Jack Bulger hit an RBI groundout to shortstop, bringing home Cam Jones. Catcher Garret Guillemette followed this with an RBI groundout of his own, allowing Isaac Humphrey to cross the dish. 

Falmouth tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, extending its lead to 6–2 against Orleans. Mooney stole second base, allowing Chestnut to steal home safely just ahead of the tag on Orleans’ throw down to second. Chestnut said one of his primary focuses each night is to reach base and generate scoring opportunities for the club. 

“I feel like my key role as a player is to create havoc on the bases,” Chestnut said. “I try to preach to myself to keep the ball out of the air [and] keep the ball on the ground. That way, we can get on base and just run around and create havoc.”

Stovall then hit an RBI groundout to shortstop that deflected off of the glove of the pitcher, scoring Mooney. 

Orleans crossed the plate twice in the bottom of the sixth, trimming its deficit to 6–4. Bulger lined an RBI double to center fielding, driving in Jones. Bulger then stole third and Falmouth catcher Daniel Neri overthrew the base, allowing the designated hitter to come home to score. 

The Firebirds continued to battle back in the bottom of the seventh inning, narrowing the Commodores’ lead to just 6–5. Bulger drew a walk with the bases loaded, forcing home Luke Keaschall.

This would hold as the final score, as neither club would score during the final two innings of the contest. Ryan got into a jam in the ninth, putting runners on second and third base. The CCBL All-Star ultimately secured the win by getting shortstop Austin Knight to fly out to center field.

The victory improves Falmouth’s record to 14–16–3 on the season. The Commodores will return to action at 6:30 p.m. July 20, as the club will travel to take on the Harwich Mariners at Whitehouse Field. 

Note: Featured image by Meghan Murphy.

Click here for Tuesday 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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