Momentum can be a tangible thing for a baseball team. When things are going well, they go really well. The bounces seem to carom fluky ways to the teamís benefit. The pitchers are given the corners. Even the hot dogs taste better.
Shelby Ford takes a cut during a game
- Daniel W. Webb/Enterprise
However, when things are going poorly, they really go poorly. Such is the state of being for the Falmouth Commodores after the teamís first seven games of the 2005 season.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Commodores fell to 1-5-1 on the year as they dropped their fifth straight ballgame after having gone 1-0-1 in their first two. Like most of the game before it, the loss on the road to division rival Bourne was a winnable contest, but in the end, the Braves got the best of the Commodores, 7-4.
Falmouth took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, but then the proverbial wheels fell off the wagon. Bourne, which entered the game batting all of .189 as a team, plated four in the bottom of the seventh to regain the lead and then added an insurance run in the eighth.
Falmouth starter Danny Kapala had cruised along through the middle innings after having surrendered single runs in the second and third innings. In the seventh, though, Kapala ran into some trouble after retiring the first batter. The next three men all reached base as Kris Kasarjian singled, Andy Goff was hit by a pitch, and Mike McBryde walked.
With the bases loaded, Falmouth manager Jeff Trundy stayed with Kapala for a couple of reasons. One, the teamís skipper felt like Kapala had been throwing well. Secondly, his pitch count was still relatively low, in the 70s. And, finally, Trundyís bullpen had been taxed of late and he did not have an abundance of other options.
That left Kapala to have to find a way to get out of the jam on his own, and unfortunately the right-hander wasnít able to do that. Justin Henry cleared the bases for the Braves with a share single to right field that easily drove home Kasarjian and Goff. On the play, right fielder Aaron Garzaís throw to the plate got away from catcher Jon Still and that allowed McBryde to scamper in with the go-ahead run for the Braves, giving the home team a 5-4 lead. Bourne would then add another run when Blake Parkerís infield single got Henry in from third base.
Bourne went on to get another run in the eighth as a walk, a groundout, and a single made it a 7-4 ball game.
The late rally by the Braves spoiled what appeared like it could be the type of breakout game that the Commodores need. Down 2-0 early, Falmouth cut the lead in half on an RBI single by Brian Bocock that drove home Still, who had led the inning off with a ringing double to right-center field.
In the sixth, Falmouth exploded for three runs to erase the deficit and take a 4-2 lead. The damage all began with one out when Matt Antonelli laced a double down the left field line and then scored on a single by Chad Huffman. A single, with two down, by Still, drove in another run and then Shelby Ford followed with a hit to make it 4-2 in the Commodores favor.
"Weíre going to be okay, but right now weíre just waiting for some more bodies to arrive," Trundy said. "Once everyone is here, I think things will be fine."
Falmouth also lost on Tuesday night, in the second end of a home-and-home series, to the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, the same club that defeated the Commodores for the Cape Cod Baseball League championship last August. Y-D took that one by a 3-1 score.
Again, Falmouth showed a little bit of life as they attempted to rally from an early deficit. Down 2-0 after three innings, the Commodores got on the board in the fifth when Shelby Ford reached on an error, stole second, and came in on a two-out single to left by center fielder Brandon Bowser.
As has been the case through the majority of the season, missed opportunities loomed large on this evening. The Commodores would load the bases in the sixth but come away empty-handed. Matt Antonelli started the would-be rally with an infield hit and then went to second on a Huffman single. A fielderís choice put men on the corners and then Still walked to load them up.
That put Ford at the plate with a chance to tie the score, but the Falmouth-designated hitter rolled one to third where Y-Dís Chris Errecart came up with it and threw home for the force out. A ground ball to first then ended the inning as Bocock hit the inning-ending bouncer.
Y-D went on to add a run in the third to score some insurance.
Sam Demel got the start against Y-D for the Commodores and threw a strong game despite suffering the tough luck loss. Demel went five and a third innings, allowing two earned runs with no walks and eight strikeouts.
The Commodores look to break out of the doldrums when they return to action this evening at home against Orleans, with the first pitch slated for 7. Tomorrow, at 5:30 PM, the Commodores will host the Brewster Whitecaps. Following the game, all fans are invited down to the field for an autograph session with all of the players.