Bourne Braves In A Fight For First
By: DAN CROWLEY, July 31, 2014
The Bourne Braves remained the top club in the Cape Cod Baseball League as of midweek, but as the stretch run opens, Falmouth appears to be making a move in the Western Division, while in the East first place Harwich is only a game ahead of hard-charging Dennis-Yarmouth and Orleans.
The Braves made some roster moves on Monday, releasing right-handed pitcher Brett Morales (Florida), while signing outfielder Lucas Raley (Mercer) and left-handed pitcher Max Knutson (Winthrop).
Former Bourne Brave Billy Fleming reported to the New York Yankees Gulf Coast Rookie League affiliate and appeared in his first game last Friday, going three for five, with an RBI and two runs scored. As of Wednesday, after 13 at bats, he was hitting .462.
Richie Martin Jr. (Florida) leads the team at the plate as the Braves enter the home stretch with an average of .354. Blake Davey (UConn) leads in the home run department with four and Mark Laird (LSU) leads in RBI with 20. Joey Strain leads the pitching staff with an ERA of 0.61.
Falmouth 5 - Bourne 3
The first-place Bourne Braves allowed the second-place Falmouth Commodores to climb to within one game of the top spot Wednesday night in a 5-3 loss at Doran Park.
Bourne allowed the Commodores to take a 4-0 lead after seven innings, before scoring twice in the bottom of the eighth, when Harrison Bader (Florida) drove in Blake Allemand (Texas A&M), who then scored on a groundout by Jason Delay (Vanderbilt).
Falmouth took a 5-2 lead in the ninth, while Bourne added one more run in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by Blake Davey (UConn).
Travis Bergen (Kennesaw State) got the start for the Braves allowing two runs on six hits and striking out six in four innings of work. Jacob Sparger (Louisville) came on in relief in the fifth and went two and a third innings for the Braves, allowing two more Falmouth runs on three hits. Bergen took the loss.
Brett Sullivan (Pacific) finished the night three for four, with a walk for the Braves.
Bourne 7 - Cotuit 1
A solid start by Bourne’s Andrew Sopko (Gonzaga) and a 15-hit barrage by the Braves, highlighted by a three-run eighth inning homer by Mark Laird (LSU), resulted in a 7-1 victory Tuesday at Lowell Park in Cotuit.
Sopko went five scoreless innings, scattering five hits and striking out three to earn his third win of the season. Lucas Laster (Mississippi State) gave up one run on one hit in three innings of relief and Joseph Kuzia (St. John’s) pitched a scoreless ninth.
The Braves broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth when Brett Sullivan (Pacific) singled to score Stephen Wrenn (Georgia), who had reached on a base hit. Bourne added two runs in the seventh on hits by Laird and Blake Davey (UConn). In the eighth Wrenn doubled and scored on a base hit by Richie Martin Jr. (Florida), setting the stage for Laird’s three-run blast.
Martin and Laird each finished with three hits, with Martin adding two runs scored and Laird four RBI. Sullivan, Davey and Blake Allemand (Texas A&M) each finished with two hits.
Hyannis 8 - Bourne 7
A five-run eighth inning comeback fell short for the Braves on Saturday as they dropped an 8-7 decision to the Harbor Hawks in Hyannis. Dylan Nelson (Radford) got the start for Bourne and went four innings, allowing four runs on four hits. Jacob Sparger (Louisville) pitched two and a third innings in relief allowing three runs and John Gorman (Boston College) pitched the final inning and two-thirds surrendering a run on three hits. Gorman took the loss.
Dan Kihle (Wichita State) hit a one-out solo home run for the Harbor Hawks in the bottom of the first. After scoring twice in the second, Donnie Dewees (North Florida) hit a solo shot in the third to give Hyannis a 4-2 lead.
Richie Martin Jr. (Florida) doubled and scored for Bourne in the top of the first and Blake Davey (UConn) walked and later scored on a sacrifice fly in the second.
Hyannis added three more runs in the seventh for a 7-2 lead before the Braves tied the game at 7-7 in the top of the eighth, led by a three-run, home run by Zander Wiel (Vanderbilt) and a two-run base hit by Mark Laird (LSU). Wiel finished one for three with a walk, a run scored and three RBI.