BOURNE, Mass.–The Braves (19-19-2) ended their regular-season series against Cotuit (13-26-1) Saturday night with a season-sweep in a 4-2 victory.
It was another eventful first inning, as the Braves’ offense scored three of their four runs in their first at-bat. After a controversial called ball three in a 2-2 count with two outs and bases loaded, John Jones (South Carolina) eventually worked a walk to bring in Willy Yahn (UConn,) who led off the inning with a single to left.
Cotuit starter Matthew Ruppenthal (Vanderbilt) was unable to bounce back from the detrimental walk and proceeded to walk Danny Reyes (Florida) for another Bourne run. A wild pitch brought in the third an final run of the inning with Evan Mendoza (NC State) scoring from third to make the potential called third strike a sore spot for the beleaguered Cotuit team and coach Mike Roberts-who made sure the home plate umpire wouldn’t forget the call for the rest of the night.
Ruppenthal settled in after his shaky first and went five innings, with three earned runs off four hits, four walks and four strikeouts.
Both starters were able to go deep into the game, as Braves’ Chris Holba (Eastern Carolina) went 4 2-3, giving up two earned runs off eight hits with one strikeout.
Cotuit jumped on the board in the third, after stringing together two singles and an RBI double by Quinn Brodey (Stanford.)
The Kettleers closed their deficit to one run in the fifth when Cory Voss (Arizona) hit a leadoff double and later scored off Holba’s last batter A.J. Balta (Oregon,) who doubled to bring in Cotuit’s second run and make it 3-2.
Ronnie Rossomando (UConn) entered the game and lasted 2 1-3 innings, posting hitless frames while walking two and striking out two.
Bourne tacked on an insurance run in the sixth, beginning with a ground-rule double by Jones who advanced to second on a Reyes fielder’s choice and to third by Jeremy Eierman’s (Missouri State) infield single. Jones scored off another wild pitch by the Cotuit staff, this time Taylor Lehman (Penn State) who went three innings, giving up one earned run off three hits.
Cotuit was unable to answer back, as both Zach Spangler (Kent State) and closer Jon Escobar (Holy Cross) silenced Kettleer bats-combining to go two innings of one-hit baseball, and bringing the Braves back to a .500 record on the season.
The Braves will close their regular-season series against the West’s first-place Falmouth Commodores (27-13,) 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Arnie Allen Diamond.
The probable starters are Jake Bird (UCLA) and Bourne’s JT Perez (Cincinnati.)