By: Jacob Janower (Photo: Blaine McCormick)
For the first time in 12 games, the Bourne Braves had a contest decided by more than four runs, but it was not the result they wanted.
The Braves’ (7-5) pitching faltered and their bats could not make up for the deficit in a 8-2 loss to the Chatham Anglers.
The team is in the midst of their first rough stretch of the season, as they have now been on the losing side of three of their last four games.
Braves pitchers struggled from the early innings and on and finished the night with nine hits and eight walks allowed.
The home team Anglers exacted revenge on the Braves after they had lost a 4-3 decision in the first meeting of the season between the two teams.
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The Braves did not have any answers for Anglers’ starting pitcher Dan Hammer (Pittsburgh), who got them off on the right foot and never looked back. The rising sophomore rebounded from a so-so outing in his CCBL debut to shut out the Bourne offense. He was able to pound the strike zone and stay walk free.
Hammer allowed just three hits over six innings, all of which were singles.
The best chance for the Braves against the right-hander came when Grant Williams (Kennesaw State) reached on a single to lead off the game and advanced to second on a passed ball with no outs. However, he was stranded at second.
Anglers Ride Infield Singles To Early Lead
The first sight of offense for either team on Tuesday came from the Anglers in the bottom of the third. After a walk, two hard-hit infield singles set up a bases loaded opportunity and Jacob Olson (South Carolina) delivered by driving home two of the runs. Olson had three RBIs on the night.
Braves’ pitcher Chris Holba (East Carolina) had been cruising through the first two innings, retiring six of the seven hitters that he faced, all in an efficient manner.
Despite the fact that some of his numbers were not as strong as his previous start against Chatham, in which he allowed two earned runs in 4 and 1/3 innings, Holba was able to work around some trouble in the fourth and fifth innings, and did not let the game get out of hand until his command got away from him faster than an escape artist trying to get out of a strait jacket.
Walks have been a recurring issue for him throughout the season. Holba has surrendered 10 in his last two starts, which is two more than he allowed all season in 42 and 2/3 innings at ECU.
Sixth Inning Seals the Game For Chatham
Holba’s aforementioned command problems came to the forefront in the sixth, his final inning of work, as he combined with reliever Carter Henry (Houston) to issue four walks in the inning.
In total, the Anglers pushed ahead four more runs to open up a seven-run advantage. Oddly enough, only one of the four runs scored in the inning was off of a hit.
Chatham would push another run across against Henry in the following inning on a run scoring single from D.J. Artis (Liberty) to extend its lead to six.
Much like the musician Drake, the Braves went back-to-back in the seventh inning for their first two runs of the game.
Home runs by Zac Susi (Connecticut) and Andrew Fregia (Sam Houston State) off of Nick Rand (UMass Lowell) accounted for more long balls in the span of two minutes than the Braves had in their first 11 games of the season.
The short power surge was a good sign for a Braves team that was starved for a couple of home runs, as the pitcher friendly aspect of Doran Park makes it likely that most of their round trippers come at road ballparks.
Stat That Mattered
A big reason for the Braves offensive disappearance was due to the struggles from the middle of the order.
Scott Schreiber (Nebraska} and Grant Witherspoon (Tulane), two of the team’s most productive hitters through the early part of the season, combined to go 0-for-8 with four strikeouts.
Brave of the Game
Jared Triolo (Houston) snapped out of a 1-for-9 mini slump by going 3-for-4. All of his hits were singles.
Triolo raised his batting average nearly 100 points to .375.
Coming Up: The Hyannis Harbor Hawks will face off against the Braves tomorrow for the third time in under a week. Bourne has won the first two games between the teams this season.
Pre-game, in-game, and post-game highlights:
You can contact the author via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@JanowerJacob).