Following two lackluster starts after arriving on Cape Cod a few weeks back, Dallas Buck (Oregon State) was his old imposing self on Wednesday evening at the Arnie Allen Diamond. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Commodores dropped a 4-0 ballgame to Cotuit.
Buck was downright dominant as he retired 21 of the 22 batters he faced, which included setting down the final 18 batters in a row that stepped into the box.
In fact, Buck made just one mistake all night long, but that one mistake cost him as Bryan Harris (Cal State-Fullerton) led off the second with a home run to left field. The shot just barely left the yard as outfielder Warren McFadden (Tulane) leapt and just missed stealing the homer away as the ball sailed inches over his outstretched glove and became a souvenir.
From that point on, Buck dominated the Kettleers. He struck out 10 and did not allow any other balls to leave the infield.
Unfortunately for Falmouth, the Kettleers also had an ace righty on the hill and he was even more effective. Jeff Manship (Notre Dame) kept Falmouth off-balance all night, despite rarely throwing harder than 85 miles per hour as he used his off-speed and breaking pitches very effectively. The Commodores managed just three infield hits against Manship and never cashed in any of their few opportunities that arose.
The Commodores had a chance in the first after Manship walked Matt Antonelli (Wake Forest) to lead the game off. Antonelli then went to second on a groundout and took third on a passed ball. Then, Mark Hamilton (Tulane) walked, putting men on the corner with two down. That brought up Jon Still (Texas Christian), one of the top hitters in the league, but Still could not come through as Manship evoked a fly ball to right that ended the frame.
In the third, down 1-0, the Commodores threatened again. With one down, Still reached on an infield single and then went to third on a throwing error by Harris at third, which gave Falmouth men on the corners, with one out, as Sean Morgan (Tulane) reached on the E5. Desperately needing some offense, Falmouth came up empty as Manship, who was more like a man-child on this night, came back to fan both McFadden and Brian Bocock (Stetson) to escape the jam.
Manship would work six strong before turning the game over to the bullpen, who held the fort. Falmouth did put together a small rally in the eighth, but once again the club came up empty with two down and a chance to make something happen.
Down 2-0 now, after Cotuit had plated a run in the top of the eighth on an RBI double by Roberto Lopez (USC), Falmouth got another infield single off of Antonelli’s bat with one away. After a pop-up for the second out, Shelby Ford (Texas Christian) was hit by a pitch to put men on first and second and bring the Commodores’ biggest threat to the plate in Hamilton. Derik Olvey (Notre Dame), who relieved Manship, made a big pitch when it counted as he got Hamilton to hit a pop-up to second that ended the threat, and Falmouth’s chances.
Cotuit rallied for two more runs against the Commodores in the fourth and put the lights out on the ballgame.
One night earlier, against Harwich, Falmouth dropped a 5-2 contest on the road as they fell behind early and couldn’t climb back in.
Harwich plated a run in the second inning thanks to a hit batter, a stolen base, a single and an RBI fielder’s choice. In the third, they added two more on a home run and then a couple of hits and a Falmouth error to make it 3-0 Harwich. The M’s then got their fourth run in the fourth on a homer.
The Commodores’ lone rally of the day came in the sixth inning when they were able to plate a pair. Brandon Bowser (New Orleans) reached on a fielding error to lead things off and then Antonelli singled up the middle to put men on first and second. A walk to Chad Huffman loaded the bases for Mark Hamilton, who drove in a pair with a fielder’s choice.
That would be it for the Commodores, though. Falmouth left two on in the seventh inning after the first two batters reached on a walk and then a fielding error. Harwich then summoned Tim Lincecum from the pen, and the pitcher they call "mini Pedro" dominated the rest of the way. Lincecum fanned five of the seven Commodores he faced as he earned his first save of the year in relief of Harold Mozingo.
The Commodores were in Brewster last night and will be playing at Orleans tonight at 7 PM and in Chatham tomorrow at 7 PM. They return home on Sunday afternoon for 5:30 PM contest against Wareham.