Harwich mashes its way to victory over Falmouth, 10-8

Four home runs in two innings lift Mariners over Commodores

The Harwich Mariners won in stunning comeback fashion Sunday night in Falmouth, battling back from a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Commodores, 10-8.

After struggling to generate any offense for the first six innings of the game, it was beginning to look like it simply wasn't Harwich's night at the plate.

That is, until the seventh inning came around. As if they were suddenly launched out of a cannon, the Mariners lineup was simply incapable of making an out.

Vince Fattore (Elon) led off the top of the seventh inning with a walk, which was quickly followed by a double from Sam McNulty (Boston College). Fattore held up at third, and then a walk by Robbie Burnett (Georgia) loaded the bases with no outs.

There’s a saying in baseball that you shouldn’t try to come back from a big deficit with one swing, you should chip away at the lead. Clearly, no one told that to Harwich leadoff hitter Ryan Weingartner (Penn State), however, as the Mariners shortstop jumped all over the first pitch he saw from Falmouth reliever Francis Ferguson and crushed it over the left field fence, climbing all the way back from a once steep deficit to tie the game.

"That was a huge moment in the game,” Weingartner said of his game-tying grand slam. “It got a little chippy at the start; [Mariners head coach Steve Englert] came out and kind of fired us up, and I think that lit up a fire in the dugout."

Still with no outs in the inning, the Mariners decided that four runs weren’t enough.

Ferguson was replaced by Parker Coil out of the Commodores bullpen, but Coil didn’t fare much better than his predecessor.

Tommy Barth (East Tennessee State) jumped on the second pitch of his at-bat against Coil and stroked a double to center field, reapplying pressure to the Falmouth defense. Coil then threw a wild pitch on the first delivery to Jake Ogden (UNC Greensboro), allowing Barth to scamper to third.

Ogden then finally gave the Commodores their first out of the inning; a sacrifice fly that scored Barth from third.
Now with the bases clear once again, Falmouth had a chance to get out of the inning down just one run. Unfortunately for the Commodores, the next batter was Michael Anderson (Rhode Island), who is top three in the CCBL in almost every significant offensive category.

Anderson decided to extend the lead a bit further for Harwich, hitting his league-leading third home run of the season to make the score 7-5 Harwich.

That was the end of the seventh-inning explosion for the Mariners, who totaled six runs on five hits, including two home runs in the frame.

"We work on the little things every day, so when stuff like that happens it’s pretty cool,” Weingartner said. “It's not something we try to do; we focus more on the fundamentals. [The coaches] do a great job of working us every day in the cage and on the field for BP, so that stuff comes with hard work and preparation."

Englert could not have been more fired up with the way his team swung the bats in the final three innings.

"Shows a sign of character, just kept grinding, kept chipping away. We found a way,” Englert said.

The Mariners' home run parade wasn’t over after the seventh inning, as Burnett and Ogden both went yard in the eighth to tally on three important insurance runs for Harwich.

"I think we have that in us, I think we can play any part of the game,” Englert said of his team's offensive versatility. “We have some team speed, steal some bases, get some knocks. Early on it was a little bit of a struggle, but a couple of times around the lineup and you start getting locked in and make a real run. That was a great comeback tonight.”

Although the Harwich pitching staff was relatively inconsistent Sunday night, Chance Mako (NC State) impressed Englert in his three innings of work, in which he gave up just one run on one hit and struck out two while picking up the win.

"[Mako], he hadn't pitched much at school. We were just trying to ease him into it, but he looked like he was really having fun out there tonight."

The Mariners will look to ride this momentum back east as they head back home to Whitehouse Field for a 6:30 p.m. matchup with Chatham on Monday.