By: Jacob Janower
The Bourne Braves bats have picked the wrong time to go cold.
With the stretch run in full effect, the Braves marked their longest losing streak of the season with their fourth consecutive defeat. This time, it was a 5-1 decision that went in favor of the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. The loss put the Braves under .500 for the first time since an Opening Day loss.
Over the four-game slide, the Braves have produced just nine runs.
The Braves had backed into a playoff spot after the Hyannis Harbor Hawks lost earlier on Monday afternoon, but are still faced with an uphill climb to get back into first place.
Y-D took the lead on a home run from Alfonso Rivas (Arizona) in the sixth inning and added three more tallies in a four-hit seventh inning. All of the damage was done off of reliever Sean Leland (Illinois).
For the second straight night, Bourne wasted a strong starting pitching outing due to struggles from the bullpen.
Braves’ starter Daniel Bies (Gonzaga) completed five strong innings of work for the fifth time in six starts. Bies threw arguably as well as he has all season long in the first three innings, retiring the first eight hitters that he faced and getting a crucial out to end the third inning with two runners on.
While Y-D scratched across a run in the fourth inning, it was without the virtue of a hard hit ball. Nico Hoerner (Stanford) blooped a double that was lost in the sun and was moved to third on a single by Alfonso Rivas (Arizona) that just got under the glove of second baseman Grant Williams (Kennesaw State). After Bies recorded a popout and a strikeout, Luke Miller (Indiana) drove a run in with an infield single.
Hard contact continued to elude the Red Sox against Bies, as they only other hit they had off of him came on a bunt, but the right-hander avoided any further harm.
Rivas’ go-ahead home run off of Leland, which took place the inning after Bies exited, was benefitted by the small dimensions of Red Wilson Field, as it likely with not have cleared the fence anywhere else.
Red Sox starter Karl Kaufman (Michigan) went toe-to-toe with Bies, but lost his shutout on a pair of hits in the sixth inning. Williams- who reached base all four times he was at the plate- led off with a bunt single, then moved to second and scored on a double off the wall by Grant Witherspoon (Tulane). The Braves reached base 12 times total, but that was the only they put on the board.
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The Braves two closest competitors had schedules on the opposite end of the spectrum on Monday, as Falmouth was off while Cotuit played a doubleheader.
Stat That Mattered
Richie Palacios (Towson) and Williams combined for five of the eight hits by Bourne. Considering they were leading off and hitting third respectively, they did their job by setting the table for the rest of the lineup.
Brave of the Game
Palacios collected three hits, including two doubles, one down each baseline, and added a single as well to complete his 3-for-5 day.
Coming Up: The aforementioned conclusion of the season series against the Kettleers will take place on Tuesday at Lowell Park. Andrew Crane (Troy) is the expected starter for the Braves.
You can contact the author via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@JanowerJacob).