By: Jacob Janower (Photo: Blaine McCormick)
The only thing better than one win during the day is two on the same day.
For the Bourne Braves, their second and final doubleheader of the season resulted in a sweep in their favor over the defending CCBL champions, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
After dropping four of their five previous contests, the Braves outscored Y-D 11-5 over the two seven-inning games.
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A pair of three-run innings gave the Braves all that they needed to claim the first game of the doubleheader.
After the Braves fell behind early, Grant Witherspoon (Tulane) tied the game in the second inning with a two-run double that bounced up against the right field wall. He extended his team lead in two-baggers with five.
“Once you win again, it feels better,” Witherspoon said. “You just have to look forward to that next feeling of a win and try to get to it.”
The Braves ended up taking the lead in the inning when lead-off hitter Richie Palacios (Towson) singled in Jameson Hannah (Dallas Baptist).
Those three runs were all that starting pitcher Brian Eichhorn (Georgia Southern) needed, as aside from a two-run second inning, he cruised through the Red Sox lineup.
Eichhorn followed what has been his modus operandi all season long, which consisted of pounding the zone with strikes. He did not have a single three-ball count and threw a first pitch strike to 16 of the 20 hitters that he faced. His strikeout to walk ratio now sits at 14:1 after a trio of outings and with the victory he became the Braves first three-game winner.
Bourne added three insurance runs, all with two outs in the fifth inning, to increase its lead. Zac Susi (Connecticut), Lyle Lin (Arizona State), and Witherspoon all consecutively knocked in runs with singles as part of five straight hitters that reached in the inning.
Ryan Feltner closed out the game with two scoreless innings. He has now thrown seven innings this season without allowing a run.
Stat That Mattered
Two. The amount of innings in which the Braves brought eight men to the plate. Unsurprisingly those were the two innings in which they scored three runs. For a team yearning for some offensive production, the Braves can’t complain about their run output in just six innings at the plate during the game.
Brave of the Game
Both Witherspoon and Susi were the primary offensive contributors, but due to his three RBIs, Witherspoon earns the Brave of the game.
The normally consistent outfielder had been scuffling over his past four games, going just 2-for-16 before his 2-for-3 day.
“I thought it was a tough week but you are supposed to go through rough stretches,” Witherspoon said. “You can’t really do much if you are going to keep feeling bad about it. I just came trying to widen out a little bit and try to get back to what I want to do.”
GAME 2: Bourne 5, Yarmouth-Dennis 3
The Braves pitching stayed strong and the offense got the job done when needed to secure the doubleheader sweep.
Spencer Brickhouse (East Carolina) broke a tie-game in the third inning with a three-RBI double that put Bourne up for good.
In their final at-bats in the sixth inning, Andrew Fregia (Sam Houston State) put up an insurance run with a run-scoring single.
Despite the victory, the Braves offense struggled to collect hits, putting five of nine baserunners on via the walk or hit by pitch. Brickhouse accounted for three of the Braves four hits on the night.
The first baseman mentioned that his preparation does not change much for a seven-inning game as opposed to a nine-inning game.
“You worry about the first one and then you worry about the second one later,” Brickhouse said. “You really just take it one inning at a time. It’s the same baseball game, just two less innings.”
Another solid start by Zach Mort (George Mason) gave the offense plenty of opportunities to strike. Mort was making his fifth appearance, but first start, and finished the night with just one earned run allowed in four innings.
Reliever Ray Gaither (Dallas Baptist) made his summer debut by throwing a scoreless inning and Chad Luensmann (Nebraska) worked around a shaky final two innings to shut the door.
Stat That Mattered
11. The amount of innings over the course of the doubleheader in which the Braves held the Red Sox scoreless.
Player of the Game
Due to his 3-for-3 day, Brickhouse was the star of the game. He now has eight hits over his last four games and is coming into more of his own at the plate.
“Just taking every day and trying to get better out here,” Brickhouse said. “You’re facing the best competition so you have to take every day and learn to adjust on the fly. Every pitcher is different and every day you are going to face a new pitcher, one just as good as the last one, so you have to make some adjustments.”
Coming Up: The Braves will head to Red Wilson Field for the final contest in the trio of games on the slate against Y-D. Dylan Coleman (Missouri State) is expected to make his first start of the season for Bourne.