FALMOUTH, MA: Falmouth starting pitcher Joe Bircher (Bradley) pitched 6 innings, struck out 7 and allowed only a single unearned run in support of a 4-2 win over the Wareham Gatemen on Friday night.
Early on, this was game was shaping up as a pitcher’s dual between Bircher and Gatemen starter Josh Turley (Baylor). Through three innings, the only baserunner for either team was a leadoff double by Wareham third baseman Jeff Reynolds (Harvard). He was stranded, however, and was one of 8 runners left on base by the Gatemen in the game.
Wareham did give a run for Turley to work with in the 4th inning. CCBL All-Star John Andreoli (UCONN) reached on an infield error and later scored on a Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) rbi single. Palka has been hot of late with 5 hits in his last 3 games; including 2 during this game, to go along with 3 RBI. He has raised his average to .294.
The Gatemen lead would not hold up as Falmouth put 3 runs on the board in the bottom half of the 4th inning; highlighted by a Max White (Oklahoma) 2-run triple. The Commodores added a run in the 6th on an rbi double by Barrett Barnes (Texas Tech) to extend the Falmouth lead to 4-1.
The Gatemen had their best chance in the 8th inning as Brandon Thomas (Georiga Tech) tripled to lead off the inning and a walk to Max Muncy (Baylor) gave the Gatemen runners on the corners with 1 out in the 8th. Falmouth, however, turned to their closer Jason Simms (Rice) who named a CCBL All-Star earlier in the day. The Gatemen did score a run thanks to an infield error but that is as close as the Gatemen would come and Falmouth hung on for 4-2 Western Division win at Guv Fuller Field. Simms picked up his league leading 8th save. (Tied with Gatemen closer Konner Wade).
Wareham was led offensively by the trio of Brandon Thomas, Daniel Palka and LJ Mazzilli (UCONN) who all had multiple hit games. Josh Turley was the losing pitcher and his record now stands a 3-2. Joe Bircher picked up his 2nd win of the 2011 season for the Commodores.
The Gatemen (18-17) remain in 3rd place in the CCBL Western Division; 4 points ahead of Falmouth and 4 points behind the Bourne Braves who also lost on Friday night.
Wareham will host the Harwich Marinerns (18-16-1) on Saturday night at Spillane Field where Barrett Astin (Arkansas) is expected to start on the mound for the Gatemen.