Braves Sweep Their Way to the Western Division Finals

Braves Sweep Their Way to the Western Division Finals

By: Madeleine Balestrier

Two wins in one day left the Bourne Braves riding a wave of momentum into the Western Division Finals.

Bourne secured the sweep over the Cotuit Kettleers with a 4-2 victory Sunday night. A combined effort from the bullpen and bats sent the Kettleers packing until next summer.

“We are ready to win it all,” Jared Triolo (Houston) said. “We are all bought in and ready to keep it rolling through the championships.”

Both sides came out blazing in the first inning. A Greyson Jenista (Wichita State) single sparked the Kettleers’ offense, while Michael Toglia’s (UCLA) single helped push the first run of the matchup across the plate.

The Braves quickly responded with back-to-back singles from leadoff man Grant Williams (Kennesaw State) and Lyle Lin (Arizona State). Another single from Jameson Hannah (Dallas Baptist) completed the trio and brought home Williams to knot up the game.

With two outs on the board, Triolo was not ready to lay down his bat. He doubled up the right field line to bring home Lin and Hannah as Bourne took the lead heading into the second inning.

Although a Griffin Conine (Duke) leadoff homerun against lefty Eli Kraus (Kent State) added some action to the third, the Braves and Kettleers’ bats went cold until the bottom of the sixth inning.

Another Triolo double led off the inning and set up Williams’ single to add an insurance run to the scoreboard for Bourne.

“We need to keep doing what we do and keep putting up runs,” Triolo said.

While the Braves’ bats worked their way along the runs column, their pitching staff combined to keep the Kettleers’ offense at bay.

Starter, Kraus, held the Kettleers to two runs and secured the win with 4 strikeouts. As his day ended through five and a third innings, righty, Sean Leland (Illinois) took over the mound.

After a hit by pitch loaded the bases, Leland struck out two consecutive batters to escape the sixth inning. He held the Kettleers to just one hit while on the mound.

Closer, Chad Luensmann (Nebraska), relieved Leland in the top of the eighth. He faced the pressure of another bases loaded situation with a Kinneman swinging strikeout to end the top half of the eighth. The last promising opportunity for the Kettleers’ comeback turned into Luensmann’s only strikeout of the night.

Stat That Mattered

Cotuit’s failure to capitalize on opportunities led to their sweep as they stranded two bases loaded opportunities on Sunday night. Each comeback attempt was squandered by a strikeout.

Brave of the Game

At the peak of the Cape Cod Baseball League playoffs, Triolo’s bat has found its swing.

“I mean my parents just came to town…and finding the barrel, getting the right pitches,” Triolo said. “Its all just been following now.”

He hit a homerun and recorded five RBI in three games; including tonight’s two hits and two RBI. Tonight his two doubles brought runs across the plate in the first and set up the insurance in the bottom of the sixth.

Scoreboard Watch

While the Western Division Final is confirmed between Wareham and Bourne, the winners of Orleans/Chatham and Yarmouth-Dennis/Brewster are still to be determined. The Eastern Division Final matchup will be set on Monday night.

Coming Up: Bourne will host the first game of the Western Division Finals against the Wareham Gatemen. First pitch is set for 6 pm at Doran Park on Wednesday.

You can contact the author via email (madeleinebalestrier@gmail.com) or follow her on Twitter (@mads_balestrier).

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