For the Bourne Braves, the All-Star break was meant to resemble a reset button entering the season’s home stretch. But in their first game back, the Braves’ struggles looked all too familiar.
Against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, it was a five-run fifth inning that enabled Y-D to topple Bourne 8-3 in the teams’ final regular-season meeting.
Braves’ starter Austin Pope (Fairfield) gave up two earned runs over four innings but struggled with his command in the loss, registering four hits and four walks against only two strikeouts.
While Pope found escaped twice with multiple runners on due to a pair of timely double plays, reliever Caleb Bolden (Arkansas) wasn’t as fortunate.
The rising sophomore allowed three earned runs on two hits and a walk in just a third of an inning. Unable to locate on his pitches, there appeared to be a disconnect between Bolden and catcher Thad Phillips (Connecticut).
Phillips chipped into the Red Sox lead in the bottom half of the frame with a two-run double but nine stranded baserunners came back to haunt the Braves.
Trailing 8-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Fitzgerald (Louisville) clubbed an RBI double before Bourne loaded the bases, coming up empty-handed.
Following the loss, the Braves slip further away of the playoff picture, trailing Cotuit by two games with nine to play.
Coming Up: The Braves travel to Lowell Park for a pivotal first of three remaining games against the Cotuit Kettleers.