Playing their third game in as many days, the Mashpee High School baseball team suffered a loss on the road to Abington High School on Thursday, April 25. The Green Wave took a 4-1 decision as they silenced the Mashpee bats just 24 hours after the Falcons exploded late in the game to pull off an impressive win against Falmouth.
The Falcons fell to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the South Shore League.
Senior Nick Storey had a pair of hits in the game. He also had the Falcons’ lone RBI.
Mashpee 8, Falmouth 7 (8 innings)
Mashpee and Falmouth need to play each other every year if their games are going to be anything like the first one.
The Falcons edged the Clippers, 8-7, on their home field in extra innings on Wednesday, April 24, in the first-ever meeting between the neighboring towns on the diamond. The teams were about as evenly matched as could be. Mashpee scored four in the first; Falmouth got them back in the second. Mashpee pulled ahead, 5-4, in the fifth, but Falmouth tied it back up with a run in the top of the seventh to send it to extra frames.
That’s when things got really crazy.
The Clippers looked like they’d pull off the memorable comeback by plating two in the top of the eighth to take a 7-5 lead, but the hometown team had last raps and made the most of them. MHS pushed across three to win it, thanks in part to attention to the little things in practice by sophomore Willie Baker that might have determined the outcome.
After Falmouth’s two-run outburst in the top of the eighth, the Falcons did not stop believing.
“They have a confidence in one another,” coach Dan Patenaude said. “They never believe they’re out of a game.”
Leadoff hitter and 8th grader Colton Colleran started the frame off with a single to left, then Willie Baker followed it by reaching on an error to put two aboard. Kyle Puchol then delivered a sharp double to the gap in left-center to score Colleran, and put the tying runner on third, and winning run, which he represented, in scoring position.
Falmouth skipper Josh Oliver opted to walk cleanup hitter Jared Barr to load the bases and set up a force play at the plate. With Baker at third, it was the attention to detail in practice from a few days ago that made the difference for the Falcons.
Zach Rogers, who had started the game on the hill and lasted seven innings, chopped the second pitch he saw from Max Roman up the third base line. Baker, remembering a rundown drill from earlier in the season, said that his first thought was to stay as close to the inside of the basepath as he could, to make the throw home for Falmouth third baseman Anthony Karson more difficult.
“I don’t know if the ball hit me, or if I just messed up his angle, but the ball got away,” Baker said.
Despite a gallant effort from Kevin Duarte, who had just moved in behind home plate defensively that inning, the ball did skip to the backstop. Baker slid in safely and Puchol dove in head-first behind him with the game-winning run.
“That game was a lot of fun; it was an instant classic for sure. That was a great team, and they’re going to definitely remember us. I love it when they remember us because it brings more intensity, I absolutely love that,” said Puchol, who played with several Falmouth players on youth travel teams in the past. “It was great getting to see some of them I hadn’t seen in a while. It brought back thoughts and memories and it was fun, but you have to focus too out there...I loved how we stayed focused and just fought to the end of the game.”
The ballgame had twists and turns aplenty before the eighth. Mashpee took advantage of some control issues that starter Sam Griesbauer had early and put up a four-spot, thanks to RBI singles from Puchol and Zach Rogers and then a pair of bases-loaded walks. Griesbauer then settled in and shut down the Falcons until tiring in the fifth. He struck out seven over his four-plus innings, allowing four hits, five walks and a hit batter.
Falmouth got the four-spot right back in the second. Shawn Jablecki doubled to right to start the inning and scored on Nick Cavossa’s single. Colby Davis was hit by a pitch and with two outs; so was Collin Mastriano. A wild pitch brought home the second run, and then a failed pickoff play led to two more Falmouth runs and a tied game.
Things settled down after that until the fifth. Mashpee recaptured the lead on a one-out, bases-loaded sacrifice fly to center by Nick Storey to make it 5-4.
MHS was two outs away from wrapping it up in regulation, but senior Noah Johnsen delivered a clutch knock to tie the score. With Kyle Connolly on first, running for Colby Davis after he was hit by a pitch, Johnsen roped a triple to left field that tied it up. Falmouth tried to get ahead with a suicide squeeze bunt by Roman, but the Falcons cut Johnsen down at the plate as Rogers fed the ball to Barr quickly.
With two more in the eighth it looked like Falmouth was in great shape. A one-out, two-run, triple deep to left by Jablecki scored Chris Perito and Anthony Karson, who had both walked against Baker. The sophomore then struck out the next two batters to escape further damage and give his team some life.
They used that life by fighting to win the game in the next frame.
Sandwich 6, Mashpee 0
In its first game back after vacation, the Mashpee High School baseball team found itself facing its toughest job of the year thus far. Not only did the Falcons have to square off against the team that may be the best on Cape Cod, but also against its ace.
Righthander Dillon Ryan was as good as advertised, as were his Blue Knights. Ryan allowed just one base runner and carried a no-hitter through three innings before Kyle Puchol broke that, slicing a single to left field that hugged the third base line. That was the last hit of the day for the Falcons until the seventh when Jared Barr and Zach Rogers led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Barr would be erased at second trying to steal, and Ryan fanned the last two batters of the game to finish off his masterpiece.
Ryan, whose fastball seemed to gain steam as it crossed home plate, was masterful. He allowed three hits, one walk and one hit batter. The hard-throwing righthander struck out at least one batter in every inning and finished with 11 whiffs.
Jagger Bryant was solid on the hill for the Falcons but took the loss. Sandwich touched him up for a pair of runs in the first. After retiring the first two men of the inning, Tyler Wudyka singled to left and then scored on a double by Kevin Carrera. A Josh Kutcher hit made it 2-0 in the top of the first.
The game remained a tight pitchers duel into the fifth. A tiring Bryant ran into trouble the third time through the Sandwich order and got a dose of bad luck, as well. After a one-out single by Mike Petit and a walk to Wudyka, an error allowed a run to score. Another runner came in on a fielder’s choice to make it 4-0 after five.
Sandwich tacked on two more in the seventh. The top of the order gave reliever Willie Baker trouble as it strung four singles in a row together and scored twice.