By: Madeleine Balestrier
The Braves had a flair for the dramatic as they allowed the Gatemen’s go-ahead run to step up to the plate in the ninth.
With the help of another Jared Triolo (Houston) double and an effective bullpen outing, the Bourne Braves avoided the ninth inning comeback and secured a 3-2 victory over the Wareham Gatemen to take game one of the series.
The Braves and the Gatemen have a storied history in postseason play. Since 2000, the two teams met six times to duke it out on the diamond. Although Wareham leads with four of the six series under their belts, the past two seasons left Wareham packing after they were swept by Bourne in the first round of the playoffs.
Through three and a half innings, starters, Daniel Bies (Gonzaga) for Bourne and Fitzpatrick Stadler (Arizona State) for Wareham, kept the opposing team’s bats relatively quiet.
The back half of the fourth gave way to the Braves’ offense as Jake Anchia’s (Nova Southeastern) error at first base put Palacios on first and put the rest of the lineup into motion.
Scott Schreiber (Nebraska) singled through the right field gap to push Palacios to second base. Then Jared Triolo (Houston) lined a ball up left field for a double to bring across both runners.
Triolo secured RBI-doubles in consecutive playoff appearances.
With two outs and two runs on the board, Tyler Fitzgerald (Louisville) kept the momentum flowing for Bourne as he singled to bring Triolo home from third base.
While the Braves’ bats were hot in the fourth, they stalled throughout the rest of the contest and left the remainder of the matchup in the gloves of the bullpen.
Starter Daniel Bies (Gonzaga), southpaw PJ Poulin (Conneticut), righty Kyle Marman (Florida Atlantic) and switch pitcher Jared Skolnicki (Kent State) combined for a solid outing on the mound.
“The guys have been awesome so far,” Skolnicki said. “They keep us all loose in the pen so when I get up I am basically ready to go.”
Bies went for four and two thirds of an inning with only four hits, one earned run, three walks and four strikeouts.
Poulin and Marman both had productive days on the hill splitting their arms through four innings, while Skolnicki secured the save in the top of the ninth.
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Since the Braves started postseason play against the Cotuit Kettleers last Saturday, their bullpen’s line through 13 and two thirds reads as 10 hits, one unearned run, 16 strikeouts and four walks.
Brave of the Game
Although the entire bullpen deserves a tip of the cap, the Brave of the Game is the most recent addition to their Tomahawk Chops and card games: Jared Skolnicki. He secured a save in his debut and added another one after tonight’s nail biter. Runners were on the corners when the Golden Flash stepped on the mound.
“It’s mainly just being prepared and trusting my stuff and just going out and knowing I am going to throw strikes and attacking the hitter,” Skolnicki said.
He effectively forced the Gatemen’s newly acquired powerhouse, Joe Drpich (Siena), into a fly out situation.
“I was up in Vermont this past summer and I had a really good summer there,” Skolnicki said. “So I basically just took everything I learned from up there and translated it to here…I was really able to adapt up here so far.”
Coming off of a 4-1 victory, the Orleans Firebirds will head to Stony Brook Elementary School as they look to secure the East Division Finals sweep over the Brewster Whitecaps.
Coming Up: The Braves will travel to Spillane Field for game two of the Western Division Finals tomorrow night. The Gatemen and Braves are set for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.
You can contact the author via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow her on Twitter (@mads_balestrier).