Braves “walk” off to open the 2016 season

Braves “walk” off to open the 2016 season

Tiffany Seal

BOURNE, Mass.—The Bourne Braves sent fans home happy from the season opener and put a literal meaning to the term “walk off,” as left fielder Connor Wong (Houston) drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to start the season with a 3-2 win against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.

The Harbor Hawks struck early against Braves’ starting pitcher J.T. Perez (Cincinnati), who allowed a run and three hits in the first. Another run in third held the Harbor Hawks ahead 2-0 until the sixth inning.

Perez went five innings giving up six hits, two earned runs while striking out seven.

The Braves threw three pitchers tonight including David Drouin (Hartford) and winning pitcher Zach Cook (Winthrop.)

Hyannis’ starter Andrew Gonzalez (Michigan State) shutdown the Braves bats with runners in scoring position until he was relieved in the sixth.

“As we went on in the game we had better at-bats,” head coach Harvey Shapiro said. “I thought earlier, the game sped up on us a little bit. In the sense that they were trying too hard and they weren’t relaxed because it’s their first game and they’re a little anxious. They looked anxious in pregame in the infield and at the plate.”

One Brave who seemed to lack opening day jitters was Justin Yurchak (Binghamton) who went 2 for 3 with a walk and scored on an unearned run in the sixth from a passed ball and error by Hyannis second baseman Peter Zyla (Duke.)

Although the Braves came out on top, they left 11 men on base.

Until walking off the Braves, Wong had gone 0-4.

“[I was] just trying to find a good pitch to hit,” Wong said. “He had to come to me, obviously with the infield in and the outfield in, I wanted to hit a fly ball and was looking for a pitch up.”

The Braves were able to capitalize with the bases loaded and avoid extra innings.

“Anytime you win a game on the Cape is a good day,” Shapiro said.

Bourne looks to continue with another good day on the Cape tomorrow as they host eastern division Chatham Anglers at 6.

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