BOURNE, Mass.–The Bourne Braves will soon be able to sell the movie rights to their Hollywood-ending of the Western semifinal series with the Wareham Gatemen. After their second-consecutive late-inning come-from-behind victory against Wareham, this time with a near unbelievable six-run, ninth-inning walk-off, Bourne advanced to the CCBL Western Division Championship, Saturday night in an 8-7 win.
In a game that had a combined 31 hits, with Bourne knocking 20 of them, the Gatemen were able to better capitalize on offense throughout most of the night.
Braves’ starter AJ Moore (Kennesaw State) went a solid six innings, surrendering just one earned run off five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
The one run came in the third off a failed pickoff attempt that advanced runner Cole Freeman (LSU) to second, and who was later brought around off a single from Jonathan Pryor (Wake Forest.)
Bourne matched Wareham in the fifth, when Chase DeMars (South Carolina) doubled and advanced to third off Kevin Mohollen’s single (Delaware), and was brought home off a sacrifice fly by Evan Mendoza (NC State.)
The game stood locked 1-1 until the seventh, when Wareham tacked on two runs off reliever Ronnie Rossomando (UConn), who gave up a two-run 400-foot moonshot by Adrian Tovalin (Azusa Pacific.)
A possible comeback looked to slip through the cracks as the Gatemen continued to add to their lead in the eighth, as Rossomando gave up a leadoff double and a single to be pulled for Nick Johnson (Rhode Island)- who had just as much success trying to escape the middle of the Gatemen lineup.
Third baseman Colton Shaver (BYU) lined an RBI single and was followed up by a two-run RBI double from Alex Destino (South Carolina) to take a 6-1 lead.
But just like the continuous drizzle that was small but persistent throughout the later-innings, the Braves offense refused to go down without a fight.
Scoring a run in the eighth off a David MacKinnon (Hartford) double, the Braves offense began to move runners around and execute key situational hitting with runners in scoring position.
With a four-run deficit going into the ninth, the Gatemen tacked on another insurance run off closer Kent Axcell (Ohio State) by way of another home run, this time from Dominic Miroglio (San Francisco.)
Down 7-2, defensive substitution John Jones (South Carolina) hit a leadoff single to start an inning that he would later end nine batters later.
Newcomer Grant Williams (Kennesaw State) followed Jones up with a single and both runners were brought home by offensive sub Andrew Shaps (ASU), who hit a three-run home run to make it a 7-5 ballgame.
After a Wareham pitching change, one of two in the inning, Yahn roped a double off Jake Matthys (Angelo State.)
After a wild pitch, Yahn scored from third off Brennan Breaux’s (LSU) RBI single, making the score 7-6.
The line continued to move, as MacKinnon and Justin Yurchak (Binghamton) hit back-to-back singles to load the bases for none other than Jake Mangum (Mississippi State.)
With one-out, Mangum was called out on strikes to send the Braves down to their last out and the second time around the order.
“Get a hit,” said Jones. “[No approach] just win the game.”
With one swing, Jones did just that and sent a liner to left field and was mobbed by the entire team in a water and gatorade celebration in center field.
With their sweep of Wareham, the Braves have an off-day Sunday and travel to Falmouth for the Western Division Championship Monday.
Time and starters are TBA.