By: Jacob Janower
Despite the fact that Thursday’s regular season finale was meaningless in regards to playoff implications, the Bourne Braves offense continued its mini offensive tear that they will carry with them into postseason play.
Six two-run innings carried the Braves (22-22) to 12-5 victory over the Wareham Gatemen. With the win, they salvaged a .500 finish during the regular season, the fifth consecutive season in which they have finished average or above average record-wise. Bourne has now scored 25 runs in their final two games.
“We are going to the playoffs with some momentum offensively and I think defensively as well,” Grant Williams (Kennesaw State) said. “Our pitchers have done well the last couple of days keeping us in ballgames and I think our offense has been on a tear.”
The Braves offense stayed hot, although this time they got plenty of help from the Gatemen defense. Wareham committed four errors in the first three innings, three of which came by Ben Baird (Washington). Two of the first four scoring plays came due to a Brave reaching on an error.
Plenty of players stood out during the onslaught, including Williams, who came through with three hits and three runs scored. He now has four hits and four runs batted in over his last two games.
Williams has been quite the revelation this summer, as he has not slowed down since being named an All-Star. The middle infielder finished the regular season with a .331 batting average, the highest clip on the team.
“I played with a chip on my shoulder, being a smaller guy and getting overlooked sometimes, you definitely have to play with a chip on your shoulder and I think I proved to some people that I can play this game,” Williams said.
Big performers also included Richie Palacios (Towson) (two runs and two RBI), Jameson Hannah (Dallas Baptist) (two hits, one run, two RBI) and Jared Triolo (Houston) (two hits, two RBI, two runs, and reached base five times).
Triolo delivered the biggest blow of the game, a two-run opposite field home run that extended the Braves lead after Wareham had previously cut the deficit to one. The third baseman’s blast was just one part of the slugfest at Spillane Field, which had not had a ball go over the fence in the first two games that it had hosted between these two teams.
Recent Gatemen additions Joe Drpich (Siena College) and Giovanni Dingcong (St. Thomas Aquinas) added some pop to their lineup with long balls apiece, which accounted for all five of their runs.
Drpich had a solid all-around game, finishing just a triple shy of the cycle.
Ryan Simpler (East Tennessee State) got the start in the Braves second consecutive bullpen game. Simpler laid the groundwork for the bullpen by giving up just the Drbich two-run homer in three innings and got plenty of run support to boot.
Five other relievers- Christian Ryder (Georgia), Kyle Martin (Fordham), Jack Nelson (Boston College), Sean Leland (Illinois) and Nick Johnson (Rhode Island)- finished off the night. Ryder served up Dingcong’s home run, but the final four pitchers did not allow an earned run or a walk. The Braves pitching staff as a whole did not offer a free pass all game.
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Lyle Lin (Arizona State) was the only Brave to not reach base in the game. It was the second straight game of consistent performances throughout the lineup, as all nine had a hit yesterday.
Eight different Braves also either scored or drove in a run.
Brave of the Game
Triolo’s performance was among the flashiest of anyone in the lineup, and the rising sophomore has seven hits in his final four games to wrap up the summer.
“We have a good team, so I’m just helping do my little part that I can do,” Triolo said.
Coming Up: With the regular season wrapped up, the Braves will shift their focus to the playoffs, as they finished third in the West Division and secured a matchup with the Cotuit Kettleers in the first round, who will host the first and third game (if necessary) of the series.
You can contact the author via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@JanowerJacob).