By: Zach Pekale
Around the Cape Cod Baseball League, Doran Park is known to be pitcher-friendly. On Friday, this assumption showed to be one-sided.
The Bourne Braves (2-1) limited the Orleans Firebirds (1-2) to just five hits while collecting four extra base hits en route to a 7-1 win.
Outfielder Chase Murray (Georgia Tech) took Firebirds’ starter Noah Song (Navy) deep to right field, tallying his first home run of the season as well as the first long ball at Doran Park in 2018.
On the mound, starting pitcher Austin Pope (Fairfield) showed poise in his CCBL debut. The right-hander threw four innings of no-hit baseball, striking out five with two walks.
“I was very excited to get out here and start pitching. Keith [Bilodeau], the pitching coach, just emphasized on attacking guys and going right at them from the start so that’s the mentality I had through the game,” said Pope.
Extra Base Barrage
Utilizing a second fast start in as many games, the Braves tallied three extra-base hits in the first three innings.
In total, four of the team’s 10 hits went for extra bases.
A two-out double from Tyler Fitzgerald (Louisville) provided Bourne with its first hit of the evening and came around to score when Ashton Bardzell (Fairfield) smacked a triple to the gap in right-center, scoring himself only a few pitches later on a passed ball.
In the third, Murray’s solo shot extended the lead to three runs, giving the pitching staff a comfortable lead that it would not relinquish.
“He [Song] started me with a changeup up and I let it go, that’s one I should’ve hit. Then they did it again, him hoping I wouldn’t swing,” said Murray. “Anytime we have the bats going like this it’s gonna be a good night for the Braves.”
Player of the Game
The Braves stifled the Firebirds offense, tallying 13 strikeouts and allowed one run with the game seemingly out of reach.
Following four innings of no-hit baseball by Pope, reliever Bryan Hoeing (Louisville) turned in arguably the best pitching appearance of the season.
In four innings out of the bullpen, Hoeing earned the victory, stymieing Orleans with a masterful four-hit, seven strikeout performance.
Coming Up: The Braves are back on the road for the first time since Opening Day and are set to take on the Brewster Whitecaps.