Early pitching struggles plague Falmouth, push Commodores to brink amidst 13-6 Game 1 loss


HYANNIS, Mass. — Braden Davis couldn’t seem to find the strike zone. Neither could Garrett Coe or Bryan Villar.

Whatever Falmouth threw on Friday night, Hyannis had an answer for. Five walks by Davis through just over two innings. A two-out RBI conceded by Coe in the fourth. Three singles given up in the sixth by Villar.

Through just six innings, the Commodores had yielded 12 runs.

“In this game, there’s a fine line between success and failure,” Commodores Manager Jeff Trundy said. “A couple of pitches going one way or another can make a big difference in an at-bat or an inning.”

Falmouth (0-1) ultimately fell to Hyannis (1-0) by a tally of 13-6 in game 1 of the West Division Semifinals. Pitching-wise, Davis received the loss with three hits and seven runs allowed in just over two innings. Each of his succeeding relievers — Coe, Villar and Grant Goodlad — also surrendered at least one score.

“We didn’t do the things early on that it takes to win a baseball game,” Trundy said. “The wheels came off a bit. They got some momentum, and it stayed on their side. We tried to do some things to get ourselves back in the game but it just wasn’t meant to be today.”

Aside from struggles on the mound, Trundy’s team couldn’t find its stride with the bats. The Commodores were held to just five hits in total prior to the top of the ninth.

Following a walk and Caden Shapiro error in the outfield to start the bottom of the first, Hyannis three-spot hitter Cameron Smith stepped up to the plate with two runners in scoring position. The Florida native then bounced a Davis pitch to Travis Bazzana who threw to first, allowing leadoff runner Zach Ehrhard to race home.

But Falmouth, which limited the damage to just one run, would respond immediately through three consecutive second-inning singles. Gavin Turley, Michael Eze and Shapiro all recorded base hits to put the Commodores’ first run on the board. Then, Tab Tracy brought home Eze for a second score on a routine infield bouncer that trickled in between the legs of Hyannis’ second baseman for an error.

In the bottom of the frame, though, the Harbor Hawks forged a four-spot despite notching just one hit. Nick Mitchell would score first for his team after a one-out attempted double play by Bazzana fell just short. A single, along with two walks and a wild pitch, helped cross the rest of Hyannis’ runners in Eric Snow, Ehrhard and Jonathan Gazdar.

Falmouth scored its only other run in the next six innings on a wild pitch that scored Eze. The Commodores did manage to put up a three-spot in the final frame, but eight more insurance runs for the Harbor Hawks prevented any chance of a comeback.

“I think it’s easy to be motivated,” Travis Bazzana, who went 0-for-2 at the plate, said about Falmouth’s mentality following the game. “I hope everyone has their heart in it and that we go out and compete.”

Reliever David Case was credited with the win for Hyannis after conceding just a hit and a run through four frames. His starter — Darin Horn — yielded four knocks and two scores, while Closer William Armistead gave up three runs in the ninth-inning closeout.

Falmouth returns to Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field for game 2 of the West Division Semifinals Saturday at 6 P.M. The Commodores, which find themselves down 1-0 in the opening series of the playoffs for the second consecutive season, must triumph in their next two contests to advance to the second round.

“I’m not worried about these guys getting ready to compete,” Trundy said. “They’ve competed all summer long. There’s been no quit in them and I certainly expect that tomorrow there will be a bunch of hungry guys ready to play baseball.”