The Falmouth Youth Baseball League’s playoff field was whittled down to four teams on Wednesday night after a pair of 6-4 games saw both the Elks and Chapman eliminated from the postseason.
The league championship will be settled tomorrow at the John Neill Youth Baseball Complex. The finals matchup will not be set in stone until tonight. Game time tomorrow is 4:30 PM. If the team out of the loser’s bracket wins that game, a final game would be held at 7 PM.
Hamilton Tree survived a sixth- inning scare to knock off Chapman, while SML pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset as they knocked out the third-seeded team in the field behind some spectacular defense and strong pitching.
SML’s top pitcher, Danny Messerli, had six innings of postseason innings remaining to his credit and coach Brian Coyne rode them out as Messerli went the distance to earn the win. He was assisted by shortstop Tyler Hersey, who made two huge plays in the field late in the game. He turned a 6-3 double play in the fifth, and made a leaping snare to end the inning, preventing Elks from pulling closer as the 12-year-old all-star robbed Kendall Rose with the tying runs aboard. Second baseman Kevin Coyne also made a huge rally-killing play at second base earlier in the game.
Elks grabbed an early 2-0 lead with a pair of unearned runs in the first, but SML answered back with three in the second. They went on to add three more in the top of the fourth before Elks scored two in the bottom of the frame, thanks in large part to fielding miscues.
In the other game that night, 12-year-old Jake McKenzie came into a nightmare scenario for a relief pitcher and escaped like Houdini to get his team into the next round. Hamilton had led 6-2 to start the sixth inning, but Collin Mastriano and Nico Gagnon both singled and came around to score to cut the lead to two. Max MacDonald singled and Thomas Charrette walked to keep the rally going, chasing reliever Gerald Mahoney from the ballgame.
McKenzie came in and wiggled out of it. Mahoney came up with a spectacular diving grab in shallow right field, from his second base position, to rob Liam Winters of a potential game-tying knock. McKenzie then struck out the next two hitters to put his team into the next round.
At the plate, McKenzie had a single and was on base three times. Jack Larrey had three hits in the game for Hamilton.
On Tuesday, the top two-seeded teams advanced to the winner’s bracket final. New Wave Printing posted a 14-3 victory over Chapman and Kenyon’s bested Elks, 5-1.
New Wave got strong pitching from Owen Filiaut and Kyle Connolly in their win. The team continued to get strong hitting from Connolly and Chris Perito, who smacked a homer over the wall.
Kenyon’s starter Cam Medeiros gave up only four hits over the first three innings and then relievers Sam Griesbauer and Alex Fratantoni slammed the door, allowing no hits over the final half of the game. Griesbauer struck out five in two frames. At the plate, Jack Murphy led the attack, going two for two with a pair of RBI singles. Lucas Johnsen scored two runs.