By: Greg Levinsky
WAREHAM – Starting pitchers battled pitch for pitch as Falmouth Commmodores Adam Laskey and Wareham Gatemen Zach Hart produced nearly identical lines in the Commodores Gatemen on Wednesday at Spillane Field in the first game of the West Division finals.
Laskey (6.0 innings, 2 earned runs, 6 hits, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts) the 2018 Cape League Pitcher of the Year and rising junior at Duke battled Hart (6.0 innings, 2 earned runs, 6 hits, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts) to a nearly identical line. Both departed in the midst of a 2-2 tie, and the Gatemen batters cracked the Commodores bullpen en route to a 4-3 victory.
“We’re here to win, we want to win,” Laskey said. “We didn’t win today. We were up 2-0 when I was in the game, and I gave up the lead. Obviously I want to leave the game with a lead then hand it to the bullpen.”
They split in the season series, taking three games apiece and two of three on each other’s home field. The trend did not continue on Wednesday night as the Commodores fell on the road. To head coach Jeff Trundy, it was the Gatemen’s timely hitting that quelled the Commodores.
“They swung the bats well when they needed to and got some big hits,” Trundy said. “I thought they earned it.”
Hart retired the first seven Commodores he faced.
Herbert Iser (Dallas Baptist) reached with a single in the third, and the Commodores scored a pair. Hayden Cantrelle (University of Louisiana) followed with an infield single and both scored on a Maverick Handley (Stanford) triple.
Hart allowed two unearned runs in one inning his previous appearance against the Commodores, and the Commodores had as many of the earned variety against him.
Laskey continued his summer’s success in his first appearance against the Gatemen. He began his outing with 4.1 scoreless innings before allowing a solo home run to Lael Lockhart (Houston). Austin Shenton (Florida International) had a two-out single to tie it in the fifth. Laskey escaped the inning to earn a quality start.
“I thought I did well,” Laskey said. “I mean I made some mistakes in the fifth inning that I’d like to have back.”
Gatemen shortstop Ryan Kreidler (UCLA) had a leadoff double off reliever Cal Coughlin (TCU), and came in to score after stealing third on a bloop single by Skyler Hunter (Purdue). Isaac Collins (Creighton) followed with a run-scoring double for a 4-2 advantage with none out.
Coughlin followed with a strike-them-out, throw-them-out and got out of the inning.
Matt Wallner (Southern Miss) singled home a run with two outs in the top of the eighth off Gatemen reliever Joseph Baran (Lackawanna College) to bring the Commodores within one. That’s all they’d get as Baran finished the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win.
“I just love our guys and the fight they have in them,” Trundy said.
The Commodores host game two of the series tomorrow, Thursday August 9 at 6:00 p.m. at Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth.
“They’ve invested in each other, and that’s what’s going to carry us through in regards to competing tomorrow,” Trundy said.
Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky