Thousands watch Falmouth top Wareham
Avenging last year's 6-1 loss to the Wareham Gatemen, the Falmouth Commodores won Thursday's Cape Cod Baseball League game on the Vineyard's "Field of Dreams", 6-2.
Pre-game exercises included the singing of The Star Spangled Banner by Sammy Chaves, soon to be a freshman at M.V. Regional High School, and Bill Lee's "first pitch" which, in fact, turned out to be the second (and third) pitches.
The Spaceman, as the garrulous Red Sox pitcher from the 1970s was known, was constantly available for autographs and photographs and conversation. Surrounded by a dozen Gatemen and Commodores, he held a 15-minute seminar on pitching and demonstrated his remarkably supple 62-year-old condition - touching the ground with flat hands, for instance, for which he credited Yoga.
The game was played with American League rules - i.e., with designated hitters.
Falmouth scored an unearned run in the first inning when Ryan Jones of Wichita State singled and went to third on a wild throw to first by Brett Eibner of Arkansas and scored when Todd Cunningham of Jacksonville State grounded out to deep short.
The Commodores added another run in the second when Auburn's Hunter Morris led off with a solo home run over the fence in left-center field.
Wareham threatened but failed to score in the top of the third. Tyler Albright of Harvard led off with a single to left field but was quickly erased when Texas' Connor Rowe hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Shea Vucinich (Washington State) then reached on a line drive to right but went no further when Georgia Tech's Derek Dietrich bounced out to first baseman Morris, unassisted.
The Commodores' biggest inning was the bottom of the third. Eight men went to the plate and three scored on five hits. Three of the hits were bunts.
B.A. Vollmuth (So. Miss.) reached on an infield hit to short, went to second on Scott Lawson's (Miami) perfect bunt single and to third when Jones of Wichita State also bunted safely loading the bases. Todd Cunningham, at .348 one of the league's four leading batters, bunted yet another single, driving in Vollmuth. Jason Esposito of Vanderbilt singled down the left field stripe scoring Lawson and Jones. Pitcher Brett Eibner of Arkansas then fanned Josh Adams of Florida and got Chris Hannock (Cal. State) to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
Neither team scored in the fourth, fifth, or sixth innings.