10 August 2004
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
Cape League Intern TJ Lasita
almouth pulls away from Hyannis, takes Game One
Despite four Hyannis home runs, the Falmouth Commodores outlasted the Mets, 8-6, and took home game one of the West Division series on Tuesday at Guv Fuller Field.
Falmouth had an answer for every Hyannis attempt at a comeback, and now they will look to sweep the best of three series on the road Wednesday and move into the Cape League championship series.
“It’s always nice to win the first game because it gives you a little margin of error,” said Commodore skipper Jeff Trundy. “But, if we go out and play lousy tomorrow, then we’re back to square one. We have to play good baseball tomorrow against a very good team, and if we don’t, we lose the advantage that we’ve gained.”
After coming up empty in the second inning with the bases loaded and nobody out, Falmouth finally did touch up the scoreboard, taking an early lead. In the third, first baseman Mark Hamilton (Tulane) hit a sharp groundball to second with the bases loaded. The ball was thrown away, however, allowing a pair of Commodores to cross the plate. One batter later, designated hitter Paul Christian (Brown) hit a shot through the left side, scoring another run and bringing the Falmouth lead to three.
That cushion wouldn’t last long, though. In the top half of the fourth, Hyannis’ Pat Reilly (Arizona) hit a two run shot over the fence in right to bring the Mets to within one.
Like a heavyweight title bout, the two teams continued to trade blows. In the bottom half of the fifth, Cape League MVP Daniel Carte (Winthrop) hit a screaming line drive out of the park, taking the Commodores back up two runs.
Falmouth added one more in the sixth, via a sacrifice fly by Matt Antonelli (Wake Forest), to take a 5-2 advantage.
That advantage would shrink, however, as Hyannis’ Chris Robinson (Illinois) homered to center to lead off the seventh and brought the Mets back to within striking distance.
But again, the Commodores fought back. Falmouth posted two runs in the bottom half of the inning and took a seemingly comfortable 7-3 lead. Comfortable until it was Hyannis’ turn to play long ball again, that is.
The Mets connected for two home runs in the eighth, a solo shot from Joe Holland (Tulane) and a two-run blast from Shane Robinson (Florida State) to pull to within one, 7-6.
With the Mets threatening again, Falmouth continued to add on to its lead. In the bottom of the inning, a Cliff Pennington single drove in a run and added all the insurance the Commodores would need on the evening.
Chris Leroux (Winthrop) shut the door in the ninth, striking out one and earning the save.
Falmouth starter Jensen Lewis (Vanderbilt) took the win, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out nine in 6.2 innings of work.
“Jensen’s a pitcher. I think he’s the epitome of a pitcher,” Trundy said. “I think he goes out and really uses his head.”
While Lewis’ performance kept the Commodores in the game, it was Falmouth’s ability to answer every Hyannis scoring surge that won the ballgame.
“It was huge,” Trundy said. “I think it showed determination on both clubs’ part. Hyannis had great determination to keep coming back on us and I thought we had great determination to try to keep padding our lead--which never seemed quite big enough tonight in this place.”
The series rolls on with a 3 p.m. matchup Thursday at Hyannis’ McKeon Field. Falmouth will send Dallas Buck (Oregon State) to the hill, while the Mets will counter with Ryan Kennedy (Virginia Tech). --By T.J. Lasita, CCBL Intern, TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
John Garner, Jr.
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Bruce hack, League Historian