Playoffs: Upset

It was a summer to remember in Hyannis, but it won’t end with a championship.

Fourth-seeded Falmouth completed an upset of the top-seeded Harbor Hawks with a 5-2 win in game three of their first-round playoff series last night. Falmouth had dropped the first game of the series but then came back to win on Saturday. After rain postponed game three twice, Falmouth came away with another victory last night.

Hyannis, the team with the best record in the league by a seven-point margin, is out, joining Orleans as a No. 1 seed making an early exit.

Falmouth got it done last night thanks to a big offensive day and a solid pitching performance. The team finished with 13 hits, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings and added two late insurance runs. Jeremy Baltz (St. John’s) and Barrett Barnes (Texas Tech) — two of the biggest bats in a depleted lineup — each had three hits. Jake Rodriguez (Oregon State), Eric Garcia (Missouri) and Reid Redman (Texas Tech) had two hits apiece.

On the mound, Joe Bircher (Bradley) got the start, which figured to give Falmouth the edge. He’s been great all summer and he did enough on this night, striking out six and allowing two runs in 4.2 innings of work. When he left the game, Hyannis seemed poised for a comeback, with one run in and two in the fifth.

But Falmouth reliever Nathan Thornhill (Texas) came on, got a strikeout to end the inning and never looked back. Thornhill allowed just two hits while striking out six in 3.1 innings. John Simms (Rice) then came on for the ninth and allowed a two-out single before sealing the victory with a strikeout.

Falmouth moves on to play No. 2 Wareham in the Western Division finals.

Elsewhere

  • While the West has a first-round series to finish up, the Eastern Division got its finals underway as Harwich hosted Y-D. The Red Sox came in hot, having swept Orleans, but Harwich put out the fire in a big way, winning 6-0. That’s an unlikely score, considering the fact that Harwich was starting Nick Routt (Mississippi State), who had a 7.91 ERA in the regular season. But Routt put those struggles behind him and went seven shutout innings, scattering six hits and striking out four. Caleb Reed (Mississippi State) and Blake Hauser (Virginia Commonwealth) finished off the shutout. As for the offense, Harwich got all it needed early, scoring two in the first inning and three in the second. Mike Garza (Georgetown) went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Ronnie Richardson (Central Florida), Darnell Sweeney (Central Florida) and Jake Davies (Georgia Tech) each had an RBI.
  • What to Watch:

    Harwich may have the edge tonight as it starts ace Taylor Rogers in game two at Y-D. The probable starter for the Red Sox is Andrew Thurman, who had a 3.82 ERA in the regular season.

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