BOURNE, Mass.–In what looked like another insurmountable comeback against the Harwich Mariners (25-15-2,) Monday night’s game was the same story but a different ending. With help from the bullpen in more ways than one, the Braves (20-20-2) pulled off a walk-off victory in the bottom of the ninth to beat Harwich 3-2.
The game started like most of Bourne’s losses this season, with Harwich striking first in the third inning off reliever Sean Leland (Louisville,) who came in for starter Tony Dibrell (Kennesaw State,) who was kept on a pitch count.
Dibrell went two innings, giving up just one hit.
After two back-to-back singles in the third, a wild pitch brought in the first run.
Harwich then tacked on their second run in the fourth after Austin Filiere (MIT) tripled and later scored off a fielder’s choice.
Leland went five innings, giving up two earned runs off five hits with one strikeout.
Bourne’s offense was lethargic for most of the night, only knocking three hits until the seventh.
The tide changed as starter Ryan McAuliffe (St. Johns) was relieved after going six innings of three-hit baseball, walking one and striking out four.
Bourne jumped on reliever Theodore Rodliff (Stony Brook) who gave up an two-run RBI single off the bat of Jeremey Eierman (Missouri State) for John Jones (South Carolina) and David MacKinnon (Hartford) to score the first two runs of the night and make it a 2-2 game.
Zach Schellenger (Seton Hall) relieved Rodliff in the eighth and went 1 2-3 innings.
Across the diamond, Bourne’s Zach Spangler (Kent State) was able to hold the tie and give the Braves a chance to come out with the win.
With the season winding down and playoffs around the corner, both teams decided to give the fans a taste of the postseason, with both bullpens leading the way.
Fans could hear both Bourne and Harwich bullpens going back and forth after each pitch to leadoff Connor Wong (Houston.) Harwich won round one of the heckling as Wong struck out.
Schellenger was able to get back-to-back strikeouts as Jones went down swinging for the third out.
With nobody on, two outs and two loud bullpens, MacKinnon was able to work a walk and then advance to second off a wild pitch.
Newcomer Chase DeMars (South Carolina) appeared to be unable to get the job done, as a dropped third strike would send the teams into extras.
The Braves’ bullpen heckling might have had an effect on Cal Raleigh (Florida State) who threw the ball down to first, and air mailed it over the first baseman’s head for DeMars to be safe.
MacKinnon, rounding third, almost didn’t make it home, as he hit the third base bag and wiped out down the baseline, getting up in time to score his second run of the night and the walk-off unearned run.
The Braves will carry the much-needed momentum and strong pitching and peanut gallery performance by the bullpen to Wareham (23-15-4,) for a 6:30 Tuesday game at Spillane Field.
Probable starters are Hogan Harris (Louisiana Lafayette) and Bourne’s Doug Norman (LSU) in what could be a taste of what post-season play might look like next week, as both teams are slated to meet in the first round.