The Falcons sharpened up as their matchup at Falmouth progressed on Friday, April 29 – Austin Langley and Ben Humphrey both crossed home in the downhill innings – but in the end, the Yachtsmen were too dialed-in. They chewed through Freeport’s pitches and thwarted their biggest hits to walk away victorious, 11-2.

“That’s a pretty good team,” said Freeport head coach Bill Ridge of Falmouth, understating the matter. “And we ran into a kid that was really throwing the ball well today.”  Reece Armitage started on the mound for the Yachtsmen.

Falmouth tracked Freeport starting pitcher Josh Burke pretty darn effectively through their first three ups, wringing him for seven runs. Connor Aube even blasted a homer for Falmouth – Aube had quite the day, also logging a single and a triple before all was said and done.

“They had a good approach at the plate,” Ridge said of the Falmouth attack. “They hit the ball well, the first few innings.”

It was Burke’s first varsity start – he’s actually just a sophomore. “That was his first career start. So we decided to throw him right to the wolves,” Ridge said, chuckling. “He’ll learn.”

Freeport ace Jack Davenport could have thrown; he was available in the rotation, but Ridge had already pegged him for a coming contest: “We’ll use him against Kennebunk.”

For their part, the Falcons couldn’t get a man around – not until the top of the fourth, that is. Max Doughty began the ups, chopping a short hit toward right that nine times out of 10 would’ve fallen for a single. Yachtsman Jesse Melchiskey at first, however, had other plans for it and turned a spectacular catch, twisting in mid-air to snag the ball before it could drop over his head. 

Explosive plays like Melchiskey’s thwarted a number of dangerous Falcons hits, in fact.

“As far as I could tell,” Ridge said, “there were six outs that were very good (Falmouth) plays. We put the ball in play and they went and made a diving catch or a double-play.”

No, Doughty wasn’t fated to get on in the fourth. Langley was, however; he did so without much fanfare – on balls, with two outs – but fanfare isn’t all that important, as long as a runner rounds the bases, which Langley eventually did. He reached second when Humphrey also walked, third on a nice Burke single toward short and home when Caleb Rice gapped a single to shallow center-right.

“To come out of there,” Ridge said, “getting as many guys on base as we did, throughout the late innings – we gave ourselves a chance to score some runs. We just didn’t have the big hit…In the early innings, we just weren’t getting our front foot down and getting the bat going. So we were behind a lot. As the game went on, we started putting the ball in play.”

The Falcons were on the board, but they still faced an uphill climb – one they ultimately couldn’t make. Falmouth ratcheted further ahead in the bottom of the fifth, adding two more: Chris Camelio tagged up and dashed home when Hogan Tracy flew out to Freeport centerfield Joey Burke, and Aube scored from second on a double to deep center by his younger brother, Garrett. 

And though Freeport grabbed another in the top of the sixth – Humphrey walked to first, stole twice during Josh Burke’s at-bat and scored on Burke’s grounder to shallow right – they couldn’t quite find a way to quell the Yachtsmen at the plate. The Falcons had slowed Falmouth down since the beginning of the game, sure, but the home team had all they needed. They hashed two more in the sixth for the 11-2 final.

“Defensively, as we went through the game, we got stronger,” said Ridge. “We started making really good decisions out there, throwing some leather around. So that was good, by the end of the game.”

The Falcons slipped to 1-3 on the loss. The team opened with a 2-0 win vs. Lake Region, but then dropped bouts 4-1 to Yarmouth and 11-1 to York. 

Yarmouth, York, Falmouth: The Falcons certainly haven’t played an easy schedule recently; those are three top teams. Similarly, Freeport’s upcoming opponents also promise trouble. 

“We’ve got a tough schedule ahead,” said Ridge. “We’ve got Kennebunk, Cape and OOB, who’ve been playing pretty well this year.”

The Falcons hosted the Rams on Monday, May 2nd, after the Tri-Town Weekly’s print deadline. They welcome the Capers on Wednesday the 4th and travel to the ‘Gulls on Saturday the 7th.

The Yachtsmen’s W bumped them to 4-0. Falmouth battered Poland 14-0 in their season-opener, then bested Kennebunk 5-3 and Cape 8-2. They visited Fryeburg on Monday the 2nd, and Gray-New Gloucester on Wednesday the 4th, and host Greely on Friday the 6th.

Scooting for third, Austin Langley hops over a Josh Burke grounder toward short.

Ben Humphrey dashes for home in the top of the fourth at Falmouth on Friday. Humphrey wouldn’t score on this go-round, but he would later on.

Freeport fielder Caleb Rice snaps up a grounder versus Falmouth on Friday.

A ball zooms toward Falcons catcher Caiden Shea, moments too late to catch a Falmouth runner.

A ball zooms by a patient Jack Davenport, at the plate for Freeport on Friday.