By: Zach Pekale
As the dog days of summer approach, the Bourne Braves are beginning to feel the heat.
Losers of four straight, the Braves’ skid extended to five games following a 4-3 loss to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
Outfielder Matthew Barefoot (Campbell) came across to score what became the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Greer Holston (Mississippi) in the top of the fifth inning.
However, a majority of the Harbor Hawks’ offensive production came against Braves’ starter Austin Pope (Fairfield).
Returning to the mound following arguably his most complete appearance of the summer, Pope struggled to keep his form on Monday. The bats of Hyannis were able to consistently generate hard contact off of the right-hander, resulting in six hits and three earned runs over three plus innings.
For Bourne, runs remained hard to come by but the team out-hit Hyannis 11-10. Against the Harbor Hawks, the Braves left eight runners on base.
Trailing 4-0, the Braves chipped away at the Harbor Hawks lead, capitalizing on a wild pitch as well as RBI hits from Anthony Prato (Connecticut) and Spencer Brickhouse (East Carolina) to trim the deficit to one run.
Over the final four innings, the duo of Andy Archer (Georgia Tech) and Nick Morreale (Georgetown) kept the Braves rally alive, allowing three hits against seven total strikeouts down the stretch.
“The only thing on my mind was throwing strikes. That starts with getting ahead, throwing strike one and I felt like I did a great job of that,” Archer said. “Once I’m ahead in the count, I’m really hard to hit when I’m throwing my other off-speed pitches for strikes.”
While the Braves did not complete the comeback, a positive sign going forward was the performance of Brickhouse, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI single. Coming into Tuesday’s game, the league leader in runs batted in had just one hit in his past 19 at-bats with nine strikeouts.
“I’ve been frustrated. This has probably been one of the worst struggles I’ve had in a very long time … Me and my dad went out and hit buckets of baseballs today and just tried to get the swing back,” Brickhouse said. “I feel like we’re on the verge of something special and we’ve just gotta break through.”
Coming Up: The Braves are off on Monday for their scheduled workout at Fenway Park and return to action on Tuesday when they head to McKeon Park to take on Hyannis once again.