Commodores Keep Pace In Tight West Division

Commodores catcher Shaun Chase of the University of Oregon slides back into first base after a pickoff attempt July 30 in Bourne.
RICH MACLONE/ENTERPRISE - Commodores catcher Shaun Chase of the University of Oregon slides back into first base after a pickoff attempt July 30 in Bourne.

With the regular season quickly coming to an end, the Falmouth Commodores kept pace with the Bourne Braves last night, July 31,  and remain just a game behind the first place team in the west division. Both clubs won last night and have three regular season games to play before the start of the playoffs on Tuesday.

Last night, Falmouth put a hurting on visiting Wareham. Behind a six-run outburst in the bottom of the seventh, the Commodores scored an 11-2 victory, improving to 24-16-1.

Falmouth’s bats scored single runs in each of the first three innings and then blew it open in the seventh. Wareham should have survived the frame without any damage done, but an error prevented the 1-2-3 inning before the Commodores strung together six consecutive two-out hits to put the game out of reach.

Commodores hitters proved quite difficult for the Gatemen to retire. The team pounded out a total of 18 hits in the contest, with seven men collecting at least two. Third baseman Conner Hale (LSU) led the way, going 3-for-5 with three runs batted in.

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All-star Alex Young (TCU) worked eight strong innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, with 11 strikeouts and one walk. He improved to 3-0 on the year.

Falmouth traveled to Bourne on Tuesday and picked up a game on the first-place Braves, narrowing the gap to just two points in the standings with a 5-3 road win.

The Commodores jumped out to an early lead, with two runs in the top of the first, and never looked back as they went wire-to-wire for the win. Kevin McCanna (Rice) didn’t have his best stuff, but he battled through five innings to get the win. McCanna scattered six hits, and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, to secure his league-leading sixth victory of the season. He is now 6-2 overall on the season, after striking out four and walking three.

McCanna got out of his worst jam, in the third, thanks to a superb defensive play. Second baseman Trever Morrison (Oklahoma State) dove to his left to take away an RBI hit from Harrison Bader, and keep Falmouth on top, 2-0.

Falmouth added to the lead with two more in the fourth. Shaun Chase opened the inning up by homering to right center field. Later in the inning, Kevin Newman (Arizona) singled to score Morrison.

Bourne scored two runs in the eighth, cutting the Falmouth lead in half. Each team scored one run in the ninth.

A late rally on Monday night, July 28,  wasn’t enough for the Commodores to dig out of a big hole that they had dug for themselves at McKeon Park. All-star Matt Hall (Missouri State) was touched up for three runs over the first five innings and then reliever Chandler Eden (Oregon State) fared worse, giving up four over an inning, as the Commodores found themselves down by a 7-0 score after seven.

The Commodores’ bats came alive over the last two, but it wasn’t enough as they were upended, 7-4, by the team that they are most likely to face in the first round of the Cape Cod Baseball League playoffs.

Hall, who worked a great inning in Sunday’s all-star game, was touched up for a single run in the second and two in the fourth.
Marc Brakeman (Stanford) was superb for the Mets. The right-handed pitcher twirled his second game in a row without allowing an earned run. He scattered six hits, walked one and struck out nine Falmouth batters over six innings. Brakeman and Hall are now tied for the league lead in strikeouts. Both have fanned 47 batters on the season.

Brakeman also shut down Wareham a week earlier, with an even better six-inning effort that saw him work six scoreless frames, with four hits allowed and 11 Ks.

Once the Commodores got a break from Brakeman, the bats came alive, but it was too little, too late. In the eighth, Steven Duggar (Clemson) singled and scored on a hit by Conner Hale. In the ninth, Falmouth got back-to-back hits from Jake Madsen and Austin Afenir to start the inning. With one down, pinch-hitter Trevor Morrison walked to load the bases and then Duggar drove in a run with a single.

Reliever Ian Gibaut came in for Chris Mourelle and quickly got Newman to strike out for the second out. Things got a little interesting when Hale connected on a two-run single to right, making it 7-4, but that was the end of the Falmouth surge. Gibaut escaped the jam by fanning Cam O’Brien (West Virginia) to end the game.

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