Early on Wednesday, it appeared as though the Gatemen were in line for a more fortunate outcome.
Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, and holding a 2-1 advantage through an inning and a half, Wareham’s pitching staff was overwhelmed by a Falmouth offense that rattled off 16 hits en route to a 12-3 win over the Gatemen.
The loss drops Wareham to 0-5-2 in their last seven games heading into Thursday’s off day and 12-13-3 overall. It is the first time this season the Gatemen find themselves below .500.
Wareham coach Jerry Weinstein said that Gatemen starter Dalton Horton’s lack of fastball command opened the floodgates for the Commodores’ offense.
“(Horton) just did not have it with the fastball tonight and if you do not have command of your fastball I don’t care what else you throw you’re not going to be successful,” said Weinstein.
Falmouth’s offense, which ranked eighth in the Cape Cod Baseball League in OPS (On-base + slugging percentage) coming into the night, had a coming out party on Wednesday. In total, eight of the sixteen hits from the Commodores’ went for extra bases, including two home runs off the bat of designated hitter Tyler Lawrence.
Every time a Gatemen pitcher left a ball up, it seemed bound for the left center field gap. That was none more notable than in the bottom of the fourth, when the Commodores smack three doubles and a home run in a five run frame off Gatemen reliever Clayton Gelfand.
“It seemed that (Horton) was throwing a lot of change-ups to make up for the fact that he did not have a great fastball and he just was not getting by,” said Weinstein.
Wareham took the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Cole Freeman lead off with a base hit, advanced to second on a hit by pitch, stole third, and came home to score on a Gavin Sheets sacrifice fly to put Wareham on top.
After the Commodores responded in the bottom of the first on an RBI single courtesy of J.J. Matijevic, the Gatemen went back in front.
Joey Bartosic – hitting out of the nine-hole for the first time this season – roped a two out double into left center field. Freeman proceeded to follow Bartosic’s hit up with a base knock of his own, singling to left field to score Bartosic and hand the Gatemen a 2-1 advantage.
From that point on, however, the contest belonged to Falmouth.
The Commodores pounced on two defensive miscues made by the Gatemen in the bottom of the second to take the lead for good.
Cadyn Grenier blooped a single behind first with one out to begin the rally. Grenier proceeded to steal second, and Matt McLaughlin got hit-by-a-pitch to put two runners on with two men down.
Michael Gigliotti stepped to the plate, and on 2-2 Horton seemed to induce a weak groundout to end the threat. The ground ball, however, eluded Gatemen third baseman Adrian Tovalin, allowing Grenier to score and moving McLaughlin and Gigliotti into scoring position.
Next batter Decan Liput put the Commodores in front, hitting a weak chopper to first baseman Gavin Sheets. For the second straight play a Gatemen defender fell asleep at the wheel, as Horton neglected to get off the mound to cover first, letting McLaughlin and a speedy Gigliotti coming around from second to score d as the Commodores took a 4-2 lead after two.
The Commodores officially put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth, exploding for five runs to take a 10-2 advantage.
McLaughlin worked a walk to begin the inning, and Gigliotti doubled off the right field wall to put runners on second and third with nobody out.
Two batters later, Matijevic lined a ball into left field that went off the glove of a diving Alex Destino, bringing in McLaughlin.
After a Joshua Watson RBI ground out brought in Gigliotti, Trevor Larnach got in on the fun, launching an RBI double off the wall in left-center field. Finally, Tyler Lawrence capped off the offensive onslaught, drilling a two-run no doubter over the fence in left to give Falmouth a 10-2 lead.