Falmouth Sweeps Chatham; Notes on Bourne-Wareham

by Dave B. in

Falmouth entered yesterday's action with the fewest points in the league but the host Commodores got game-winning homeruns from Conner Mach and B.A. Vollmuth to take both ends of a doubleheader from Chatham by scores of 7-6 and 5-2. After Falmouth starter Tommy Collier (San Jacinto CC) struckout the side in the first, the Commodores plated three runs with the help of two Chatham errors. Todd Cunningham singled and moved to second on a balk by Chatham starter Logan Verrett (Baylor). Scott Lawson  singled home Cunningham and Falmouth had an early lead. Things went downhill for Chatham as the inning progressed. Lawson stole second and advanced to third on catcher Mike Murray's throwing error. After a strikeout, Hunter Morris lined a ball to first baseman Dean Green. Green caught the ball but threw wildly across the diamond in an attempt to catch Lawson off of third, allowing Lawson to score. The inning continued when Chris O'Brien doubled and his Wichita State teammate, Ryan Jones, drove him in for the Commodores third run of the inning.

The score remained 3-0 into the fourth when Chatham broke through. Collier struckout the side in the first and third innings, but suddenly ran into control problems. Two walks sandwiched around a single loaded the bases with one out. Another walk, to Tom Belza, forced in the first run. Collier was close to getting out of the inning after striking out Brian Harris but Whit Merrifield stepped up and shot a double to the fence in left to clear the bases. Mitch Morman relieved Collier and forced a ground ball to second to end the inning.

Falmouth came right back in the home half of the inning when Matt Skole led off with a single and Verrett walked the next two batters. Kevin Scanlan relieved Verrett at this point and the Commodores tied the game when Lawson hit into a 4-6-3 doubleplay. Scanlan did a good job to limit the damage to that one run when Brian Fletcher flied out to end the threat.

In the fifth, Morris and Jones singled putting runners on the corners with one out. Mach stepped up to the plate and delivered the game-winning blow when he hit a ball toward the fence in left. Leftfielder Steven Brooks kept drifting back and arrived at the fence at the same time the ball did. Brooks jumped and had the ball in his glove for a split second before the ball fell over the fence. Brooks injured his right knee on the play and was removed from the game.

Chatham refused to go quietly against Falmouth closer Cecil Tanner who was brought in to start the seventh. After giving up a single and walk to the first two batters, Tanner looked like he would get out of the inning unscathed after inducing a doubleplay ground ball. The inning continued though when he walked Green and Addison Johnson who had come into the game for Brooks. Belza kept the Anglers hopes alive when he drove a single to right scoring two and moving Johnson to third. Falmouth made another call to the bullpen and brought in Chad Sheppard. Harris popped up to secondbaseman Mach and Falmouth had held on for the 7-6 victory.

A sunny and warm afternoon gave way to a beautiful evening as the teams readied for game 2. Texas Christian's Kyle Winkler started for Falmouth, opposed by Baylor's Shawn Tolleson for Chatham.

Chatham jumped out to the early lead in this one when Green hit a laser over the rightfield fence in the second inning. Falmouth played some "small-ball" to tie the game in the next inning. Jones singled and was bunted to second by Jason Esposito. Jones stole third as Tolleson threw ball four to number nine batter Josh Adams; setting the Commodores up with runners on first and third with one out. Cunningham was able to get another bunt down on a safety squeeze to score Jones and the game was tied, 1-1. 

In the fourth, Chatham was set up to have a big inning when Johnson and Matt Perry singled, preceding a walk to Green. Joey Terdoslavich hit a fly ball to deep center to score Johnson with Perry able to move up to third. The Anglers hopes for a big inning ended when Parker Bangs chopped a ball to third. Falmouth thirdbaseman Esposito threw home and Perry was tagged out after getting in a rundown long enough for Green to be able to move over to third. As Perry was tagged out, Bangs attempted to move up on the play and was thrown out when Esposito threw to second and Lawson applied the tag to Bangs to end the inning.

Falmouth came back in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead. After getting a strikeout and flyball for the first two outs of the inning, Tolleson gave up a sharply hit single to left to O'Brien. Vollmuth followed with a line shot over the fence in left and Falmouth had a 3-2 lead.

Chatham threatened in the fifth when Phillip Pohl led the inning off by hitting a grounder to third. The ball was misplayed by Esposito and went directly to Vollmuth who still had time to get Pohl at first. Vollmuth's throw was in the dirt and got past Morris at first, allowing Pohl to reach second. On the play, Esposito was charged with a fielding error and Vollmuth was charged with a throwing error. The next batter was Matt Duffy who hit one back to Winkler. The pitcher tried to catch Pohl straying off second but his throw was late and the Anglers had two runners on. This threat ended when Tyler Rahmatulla (batting .053) struck out and the Commodores were able to turn a 6-4-3 doubleplay off the bat of the speedy Merrifield.

Falmouth added two insurance runs in the same inning when Cunningham singled and Lawson doubled off the fence in right-centerfield to score Cunningham. Lawson moved to third on the throw home and he scored when Fletcher hit a foul ball to rightfield. Terdoslavich made a nice running catch but he tripped over the bullpen mound and Lawson scored. 

Trailing 5-2 heading to the seventh, Terdoslavich gave Chatham a glimmer of hope when he singled to start the inning. That hope was quickly erased when Bangs hit into a doubleplay and Pohl struckout to end the game.

NOTES:   Both winning pitchers picked up their first wins of the summer. Morman (1-2) was the winning pitcher in game 1. Sheppard picked up his second save. Scanlan was the loser, dropping his record to 1-1...   With the win in game 2, Winkler moves his record to 1-2. Mark Pope pitched the seventh and recorded his first save. Tolleson took the loss and falls to 2-2...   The Commodores turned 6 doubleplays over the 14 innings...   Falmouth's Cunningham is leading the league in batting at .394. He has a sizeable lead over Orleans' Gary Brown who is at .365...   Green's homerun was his second off Winkler in a week. He hit a grand slam off him in the Anglers 6-4 win last Wednesday...   Falmouth (.243) is second in team average, behind Y-D (.260)...   Chatham's team ERA of 3.66 places them ninth in the league. Not too long ago, the Anglers pitchers were challenging for the top spot...   After starting the season 9-1, Chatham has gone 8-15 since...   Collier is fifth in strikeouts with 35...   When he was being helped off the field after nearly making the catch on Mach's homerun, Brooks looked to be seriously hurt. It was good to see him looking a little more comfortable and moving around in the dugout during the second game. After experiencing pain in three separate areas in his right knee, Brooks will reportedly have an MRI today...   Falmouth returns to action tomorrow night when they host Hyannis at 7:00. Chatham tries to get back on track when they go to Y-D tomorrow for a 5:00 game...   On my way home, I decided to take a detour by Spillane Field to see a bit of the Bourne- Wareham game since I heard that Alex Wimmers was starting for the Braves. When I arrived, they had just completed the sixth inning and Bourne was on top, 2-0 in a game they would eventually win, 4-0. I was told that Wimmers had held Wareham hitless until Zach Wilson singled in the fifth. Of course, I got there just in time to see Wimmers give up two sharp hits to Alex Dickerson and Brett Eibner to start the seventh, at which time he was promptly removed from the game. I think I saw Wimmers throw a grand total of 6 pitches. I missed a very solid performance because Wimmers only allowed 4 hits while striking out 10 in his 6 innings of work. It was a great night for the Bourne bullpen. Logan Billbrough relieved Wimmers and got a ground ball and two strikeouts to get out of the seventh before striking out the side in the eighth. Closer Stephen Harrold struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his seventh save. It is no exaggeration to say that Billbrough and Harrold made it look easy. Bourne has taken all 4 games against the Gatemen so far this year.