Falmouth jumped out early on Monday afternoon in Cotuit, and kept the pressure on all game, but at the end of the day, after a back-and-forth contest in keeping with this season's league-wide offensive surge, it was the Kettleers who took the win, in their final home game of the regular season.
It was also Falmouth's final road game, as the Commodores looked to tune up for the playoffs. The offense was clicking along well, with Falmouth scoring three runs in the top of the second on a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double by left fielder Coty Blanchard.
But Falmouth starter Brandon Bixler couldn't protect the lead against the potent Cotuit lineup, giving up a two-run homer to Cotuit catcher Aramis Garcia in the third, which, combined with one Cotuit run in the first, made it a tie ballgame.
Falmouth battled back with a run in the fourth, when catcher Ka'iana Eldredge's single scored second baseman Casey Turgeon.
Eldredge was in the middle of the action again in the sixth, when Falmouth appeared to put the game away with a three-run rally. After leading off the inning with a walk, center fielder Billy Ferriter made it to third when right fielder Eric Yavarone's sacrifice bunt went straight back to the pitcher, who whirled and fired the ball over the head of his second baseman and into center.
Yavarone became a little too aggressive on the bases, getting caught in no man's land on a pickoff throw by Garcia. The resulting rundown was conducted too quickly and efficiently to allow Ferriter to score from third, but Eldredge promptly lined one into right field for another RBI single. Blanchard followed with a single of his own, chasing Cotuit reliever Cameron Griffin from the game.
Jordan Ramsey, the new pitcher, induced shortstop Austin Anderson to fly to center, then walked designated hitter Drew Dosch to load the bases. First baseman Jonathan McGibbon swatted a deep fly to right center, which popped out of the center fielder's glove for a two-run double, putting Falmouth out ahead, 7-3.
But Cotuit assembled a run in the bottom of the sixth on a double, a single, and a sac fly, then exploded for four more in the seventh. Garcia started it off with a double. After Falmouth starter Mick VanVossen got the first out of the inning, and was relieved by Trent Szkutnik, Cotuit right fielder Daniel Aldrich scored Garcia with another double.
Szkutnik showed control problems, sending Aldrich to third on a wild pitch and walking DH Time Kiene, but he also got the second out, and looked poised to end the Kettleers rally. Center fielder Patrick Biondi refused to cooperate, though, knocking in Aldrich with a single to right. After another wild pitch, second baseman Tony Kemp walked to load the bases, and shortstop James Roberts delivered the big hit, a two-run single straight up the middle that put Cotuit ahead for good.
Adam McCreery and Dan Slania continued Ramsey's solid work out of the bullpen, each stifling a nascent Commodores rally with a timely double play, Slania's to end the game.
The Commodores return home to to wrap up their 2012 regular season today at 6:30 p.m., against the same Cotuit Kettleers. Wednesday is an off day, then the playoffs begin on Thursday, when the Commodores will likely open things up in Falmouth.