Commodores' Playoff Hopes Slipping Away

 July 26, 2005


Mathematically speaking, the Falmouth Commodores playoff chances are still alive. Realistically speaking, though, that may not be the case.

Having ended a two-game losing streak on Sunday, the Commodores wasted a chance to get back to the .500 mark as they headed to Brewster and allowed the Whitecaps to end their own five-game slide with a 9-4 win over the visiting team from Falmouth.

The Commodores are now 16-18-1 overall on the year. They have nine games remaining to play, and it is looking less and less likely that they will be playing when the post-season begins.

Dallas Buck (Oregon State) got the nod yesterday for the Commodores, and it appears that perhaps the toll of pitching more innings than he ever has before in one year has caught up with the All-American right-hander. Buck, who threw nearly 130 innings at Oregon State this year, was rocked by the Whitecaps yesterday afternoon as they scored seven times against the pitcher who was arguably the best starter on Cape Cod last year.

The Commodores staked Buck to leads of 3-0 and 4-2, but Brewster kept coming back and got the job done against Buck as they eventually scored seven times against the Falmouth starter.

The decisive inning was the seventh for Brewster. After the Commodores stranded a pair on base in the top of the frame, the Whitecaps came out hitting in the seventh as they sent nine men to the plate. Heath Rollins (Winthrop) led things off with a single to center, and then Aaron Bates (NC State) was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Then the biggest play of the inning came on a ball that didn’t travel far, as Dan Dorn (Cal State-Fullerton) laid down a perfect bunt, which was intended to go as a sacrifice. However Matt Antonelli (Wake Forest) had no play at third base, and the bases were juiced for the home club.

The Commodores brought the infield in to cut off a run at the plate, but it was a fruitless move as the next batter, Brian LeClerc (Florida) drove a single to left field, driving in Rollins and Bates with the go-ahead runs. That was it for Buck, who lasted six-plus innings, and Travis Risser (James Madison) entered the game to try to put out the fire, but that was not what initially happened. Risser got the first man out, but then a fielder’s choice by Tommy Lentz (Winthrop) drove in the seventh run of the day for the Whitecaps. 

Falmouth would threaten to make things close in their half of the eighth, but came up short. After a leadoff hit by Brian Bocock (Stetson), Brandon Bowser (New Orleans) hit into a fielder’s choice, erasing the lead man. A single by Antonelli put men on first and second, but then Falmouth failed to come up with the big hit as Greg Alexander (William Carey) grounded out to the pitcher, and Chad Huffman (Texas Christian), who was making his final appearance in a Falmouth uniform before leaving for fall football practice, just missed a big hit as he lined a screamer right at the center fielder that was caught.

That proved to be the team’s last best chance. Brewster added two more in the ninth on a two-run jack by Bates over the center field fence. That made it 9-4.

With Brewster having had so much recent trouble it appeared that the Commodores would add to that early in the game as they scored three in the second inning to take control early. It all started when Shelby Ford (Oklahoma State) was hit by a pitch, and then Warren McFadden singeld to left, driving in Ford, who had stolen second. Bocock then reached on an infield single to give Falmouth two runners before Bowser reached on a fielder’s choice that loaded the bases up. Antonelli then delivered a solid shot to left that scored two to make it 3-0.

Brewster came back to score two in the bottom of the inning against Buck to make it 3-2. Falmouth would then give the starter a two-run lead when Huffman singled to score Antonelli in the fourth.

Brewster would get two to tie it in the fifth on a Dorn RBI hit and a ground rule double by Ryne Malone (Florida State).

On Sunday night, the Commodores rallied to end a two-game slide with their first win over Yarmouth-Dennis in more than a year, beating the team that defeated them in the Cape League finals last year, 5-4. Brian Bocock was the star of the day as he drove in four of Falmouth’s five runs and blasted his second homer of the year.

After coughing up a 3-1 lead late in the ballgame, to fall behind 4-3, Falmouth regained the lead with two in the eighth. Mark Hamilton (Tulane) led the inning off by being hit by a pitch. Still then singled, starting a run of three consecutive hits by Falmouth. McFadden followed with a hit that tied the game, driving in Hamilton to tie it at 4-4. Brian Friday followed with a hit to reload the bases before Bocock, the day’s hero, came up and drove in the winner with a slow roller to short that was hit just soft enough to allow the Red Sox to just record one out, a force at second. Still scored on the play, giving Falmouth the lead.

In the ninth Chris Krawczyk (Southwest Missouri) walked the tightrope to get the save for reliever Sam Demel (Texas Christian). Krawczyk walked the leadoff man but then retired the next three in a row on groundouts to record his team-leading fourth save of the year.

Falmouth is off tonight. They travel to Harwich tomorrow for a 7 PM game and host Chatham, also at 7 PM, Thursday. The league’s all-stars will be voted on today and announced tomorrow.


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