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Braves Swept in Doubleheader Despite Great Starts
Jun 13, 2011
Author: Ian Martin
Two impressive starting pitching performances again weren't enough for Bourne to get its first victory of the young season. The Braves (0-3) fell to the Harwich Mariners (2-2) in a rain-rescheduled doubleheader by scores of 1-0 and 2-0.
Game one and game two's middle innings played out similarly, with neither team scoring runs in the second through seventh innings behind solid starting and relief pitching from both the Braves and Mariners. But it was the first inning of the first game and the last inning of the last game that determined the sweep.
Bourne's Tommy Collier (San Jacinto Community College) gave up an RBI double with two outs in the first to Andrew Rash (Virginia Tech), in what would be the only run of the initial game. But behind his fastball, Collier ended up throwing four and two-thirds innings and recording five strikeouts and zero walks. Collier credited his performance not only to his pitching, but the catching of game one catcher Chris Forsten (William and Mary).
"The relationship between a pitcher and catcher is very important," Collier said. "[and] we've talked a lot in between practices."
Ryan Eades (LSU] started on the mound for the Braves in game two, and suffered the same outcome as Collier, tossing a praise-worthy game but ultimately seeing his side lose.
Facing his LSU counterpart Kevin Gausman - the starting pitcher for Harwich in game two - Eades lasted six innings and didn't give up a run. It wasn't until R.J. Alvarez (Florida Atlantic) allowed two runs in the eighth - technically extra innings in the usual seven-inning doubleheader game - that the Braves fell behind for good.
The fateful inning had two men out with no score, but a runner on third for the Mariners. But a clutch single by Jabari "Hammer" Henry (Florida International) put the nail in the coffin for Harwich.
Brave's manager Harvey Shapiro was disappointed with Alvarez's inning in the otherwise scoreless game, but doesn't think that the off-night will be consistent.
"[Alvarez] is one of the better pitchers in the league but he didn't have a good day," he said. "Other days when we have runs it doesn't seem so significant."
The run support does continue to be an issue for the Braves, who haven't plated any in the team's first three games. The offense in clutch situations in particular seems to be troubling for the players adjusting to the wood bats, with five runners left on base in each of the doubleheader contests.
And while this could also affect pitcher's confidences, both of the doubleheader starter's accepted the lack of runs as the result of a slow season start.
"It's baseball. It happens," Eades said of his team's absence of scoring. "All I can do is the best I can and give my team a chance to win.It's just a part of baseball."
Collier echoed that statement, and added once the offense does start to click, a performance like his will just be part of a larger effort.
"We're not catching breaks right now," he said. "Eventually. we're going to starting playing really well."
The Braves next game is Tuesday at Falmouth at 7 p.m., while the next home game is Wednesday against Cotuit at 6 p.m.