One last look back at Falmouth's 2023 campaign

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The Falmouth Commodores are just over two months away from a new chapter. Before the page is officially moved to the 2024 season, though, it’s time to take one last checkup on how things turned out in the ‘Dores 2023 campaign.

Falmouth was slow to kick things in gear throughout the early stages of the Cape season. Following an 11-10 opener loss to Wareham, the Commodores went on to finish the first quarter of their campaign with a 3-6-2 record. Manager Jeff Trundy’s squad notched a pair of early one-score victories against Harwich and Brewster, but additional defeats to Yarmouth-Dennis, Hyannis (twice), Orleans, and Bourne put the ‘Dores at the backend of the West Division standings.

Things wouldn’t get much easier from there. In its first duel with rival Cotuit, Falmouth was handed its biggest loss of the season in a 12-1 defeat. A day later, the Commodores were held to just one run against Chatham – a trend that also continued in their next two duels against Harwich and Hyannis.

After an off day, however, Trundy’s team finally started to find its stride. The Commodores rattled off four straight wins against Orleans, Chatham, Brewster, and Wareham, averaging over eight runs per game through that span. Falmouth’s manager explained during the stretch that he wasn’t necessarily surprised by his team’s improvement.

“I think everybody is starting to get a little more comfortable and confident,” Trundy said. “The bats are getting better. We’re not going to score that many runs every night, but if our at-bats keep being the way they were tonight we’ll be in good shape.” Thanks to their new hitting prowess, the Commodores found themselves with an 8-12-2 record at the season’s midpoint, just one game behind Wareham (9-11-2) for fourth place in the West Division.

Trundy’s team wasn’t satisfied yet, though. Falmouth began the second half of its campaign with five straight triumphs over Orleans, Yarmouth-Dennis, Wareham, Brewster, and Bourne. The ‘Dores 5-2 victory against Y-D was also Trundy’s 500th career win as manager.

“I think it’s a credit to everyone who has been a part of this organization,” the longtime skipper said of the milestone. “I feel very grateful to have done this for as long as I have.”

Trundy’s feat is only matched by current Y-D manager Scott Pickler and former skippers John Schiffner (Chatham) and Harvey Shapiro (Falmouth, Bourne and Wareham). Pickler, who is the all-time leader in Cape League wins, praised the ‘Dores leader after the special game for his success.

“He’s an unbelievable guy,” Pickler said. “Those kids play hard for him. They respect him. I’m so excited for the guy. There isn’t a coach in the league who doesn’t respect and love Jeff Trundy.”

Falmouth didn’t have much time to celebrate Trundy’s mark following the win. After their game against Brewster the next day was postponed due to rain, the Dores were slated to play for 11 straight days prior to the All-Star Break. Competing against the likes of all but one other Cape League team, the Commodores compiled a 7-4 record in that span. Among those to lead the ‘Dores during the long stretch were Travis Bazzana, Kade Snell, Garrett Coe, Gavin Kilen and Joey Ryan, who all later received All-Star game invites.

“I’m always excited for and ecstatic for them,” Trundy said of Falmouth’s All-Star Game selections. “I feel like there were other guys who were probably deserving, but at the same time I’m happy for the guys who get a chance to play.”

Falmouth’s success continued well after the two-day hiatus during the All-Star Break. The Commodores closed the season with a 7-2 record in their nine last contests, beating the West Division’s top two seeds – Cotuit (1st) and Hyannis (2nd) – a combined four times in the process. Trundy’s team’s final tally of 24-18-2 was third-best in the Cape Cod Baseball League (third in the west division).

But things took a turn for the worse in the first round of the playoffs. After finishing with the best final ten-game regular-season mark (8-2) of any team, 3rd-seeded Falmouth was swept by 2nd-seeded Hyannis in a best-of-three series, losing game one 13-6 and game two 9-7 in extras. The Commodores’ second straight season with a first-round exit followed the team’s most wins since 2019.

“Every team carves its own niche,” Trundy said. “This team refused to die, never quit and had a blast with one another. I was even astonished by all the players coming and going about how they stayed together as a night group. All the things you would hope for a team, this group did. I love them, and I always will love them.”

Trundy and company look to improve upon their 2023 showing starting with a revenge game on the road against Hyannis at 6 p.m. on June 15. The Commodores recorded an 0-4 record at McKeon Park last season.