– By TOM CHARD
FALMOUTH – Falmouth baseball coach Kevin Winship turned to his bench in the sixth inning Saturday and asked for the fastest player to run at second base. Patrick Lydon raised a hand.
Lydon raced home on freshman Connor Aube’s single, beating a tag to break a tie and give the second-seeded Yachtsmen a 2-1 victory against third-seeded Morse in a Western Class B semifinal.
Falmouth (16-2) will meet fifth-seeded York (14-5) in the regional final at 3 p.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph’s College.
Lydon was ruled safe on a close play that brought Morse Coach Garrett Olson out to go face-to-face with the plate umpire, Dan Boomhour.
“I saw the ball, tried to come around the catcher (Liam McDonough) and the umpire called me safe. That’s what I’m going on,” said Lydon. “I felt I was safe. It was close. It felt awesome.”
Lydon’s dash home completed a two-out rally after Falmouth entered the inning trailing 1-0.
Connor Murphy of Falmouth and Aaron Barrett of Morse locked up in a pitchers’ duel. Murphy gave up a leadoff single, then no other hits until the sixth, when Morse (13-5) got consecutive hits to take a 1-0 lead.
Barrett led off with an infield single, stole second and scored on McDonough’s single through the middle. Barrett slid home on a close play.
Barrett, a left-hander, allowed three hits before the sixth. He also picked two runners off first base.
“That was Connor Murphy’s best game in four years,” said Winship. “I thought he had his best stuff. He went pitch for pitch with the Barrett kid, who pitched a great game. (Barrett’s) got that great pickoff move.”
The game was a rematch of last year’s semifinal.
“This is the second time we’ve faced Barrett and we’ve scored four runs off him in two games,” said Winship.
After two were out in the bottom of the sixth, first baseman Andrew Emple hit one off the bottom of the left-field fence.
“I thought he had tied the game up when he hit it,” said Winship.
Emple only managed a single because Morse got the ball back in quickly. Addison Foltmer walked and Thomas Fortier lined a single to center, scoring Emple to make it 1-1.
Lydon then went out to pinch run, and Aube dumped one over the second baseman’s head.
“We came up with some big hits at the end and pulled out a win,” said Winship.
Winship coaches third base and had a good look at the winning play at the plate.
“I thought his body was across the plate when he got tagged. I haven’t timed Patrick in sprints lately, but he said he was the fastest kid.”
Fortier, the team’s No. 1 pitcher, will start in the regional final.
“St. Joe’s will be my new home after this season, so I’m kind of hyped to go out there on Tuesday,” he said. “Morse is a good team. I hit a fastball for my hit.”
Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: