Commodores: Team Misses Playoff By Two Points

 August 9, 2005


     “I was driving up to the game, listening to the Cotuit game on my phone, and I heard that they’d won,” Falmouth Commodores first baseman Mark Hamilton said in explaining how he had discovered that his two-year stint as one of the premier power hitters in the Cape Cod Baseball League was about to come to an end. “I was hoping we’d make the playoffs because we’d put together a nice run and knowing how exciting it was last year to play in front of those big crowds with all the people that care so much watching. I was hoping to be a part of that again.”

     Unfortunately Hamilton and his teammates won’t be enjoying another trip to the postseason. Falmouth missed out on the playoffs by two points, or one game, in the standings as Cotuit narrowly edged them. Heading into the last weekend, Falmouth needed to be better than the Kettleers by one game. Cotuit went 2-1 over the stretch, but unfortunately Falmouth did, too, as the Commodores won big on Friday, at Hyannis, and won a nailbiter at Yarmouth-Dennis on Sunday, 3-2, but were beaten in a slugfest by division champion Bourne on Saturday, 15-12.

     “As a team, we played hard to the very end,” all-star catcher Jon Still said before saying goodbye to his newfound friends and making his way to his new school, North Carolina State.

     While missing out on the playoffs certainly was tough for the young group of baseball players from across the country, it in no way should sully what they accomplished over the final week or so of the regular season. A three-game slide left Falmouth all but left for dead with a 16-20-1 record, but then the team got hotter than it had been all season down the stretch. One win became two, and so on, and with a 7-1 shellacking of Hyannis on the road Friday, the team had a chance heading into a big showdown with Bourne on Saturday afternoon. With Cotuit losing to Wareham, the door was opened for Falmouth, but the Commodores simply could not come all the way back against the Braves, who hit everything in a 15-12 win. 

     At one point in Falmouth’s tough loss to the Braves, the team found itself down by a 10-2 count, but the Commodores picked themselves off the mat and made a game of it, scoring three times in the bottom of the fourth to make it 10-5. After a two-run rally by Bourne in the top of the fifth put the Braves up by seven, Falmouth plated five runs to make it 12-10 with four innings yet to play. Unfortunately, the team would never get closer than that. Each team scored twice in the seventh, and the Braves added one in the ninth to cap things off.

     Hamilton had a big day, smacking his sixth homer of the season, while driving in six runs in a 3-for-5 afternoon. Still added to his league lead in base hits with two and also hit a homer, his fifth.

     That set up Sunday’s would-be drama, but the Kettleers ended any hopes of Falmouth tying them for a one-game playoff by beating Hyannis early in the day, 2-1. The Commodores would score runs in the fifth, seventh and ninth innings. Y-D scored one in the fifth and one in the ninth and left two men on base in their final trip as Brian Bocock (Stetson), the team’s shortstop, came on to record his first save of the year in his second appearance on the hill.

     Tim Norton (Connecticut) picked up the win against the Red Sox with six innings of work. Norton fanned seven in the game to finish with 77 K’s on the year, which was second to Wareham’s Dan Bard, who had 82. Still would finish sixth in the batting race with a .316 average and was fourth in the league in RBIs with 28. Hamilton was second in the league in both RBIs (33) and homers (six). Shelby Ford was also second in the league in homers with six and finished third in RBIs with 31.


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