By: Jacob Janower
While they have had a fair amount of success thus far this season, the Bourne Braves have failed to really stake themselves out to a sizable early lead. That is, until Friday night.
Although the offensive eruption was not of Mount Vesuvius proportions, five runs in the first three innings gave the Braves all that they needed to get a 7-6 win over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (3-5-1) in a game in which they never trailed, despite some late drama. The Braves are now 5-2 on the season. All five wins have been in one-run games.
It took 55 innings for the Braves to hit a home run, but Scott Schreiber (Nebraska) put a kibosh to that, taking advantage of the hitter friendly McKeon Park to clobber a three-run home run off of Harbor Hawks’ starter MD Johnson (Dallas Baptist).
“It felt good giving our pitchers some runs to start with,” he said. “It was a nice way to start the game.”
The Braves had just nine extra base hits, all doubles, in their first six games, so Schreiber’s home run, as well as a triple by Grant Witherspoon (Tulane), was a huge jolt to the offense.
Jared Triolo (Houston) added an RBI single and the Braves also scored two more runs on wild pitches.
Hyannis was able to put up a threat in the eighth inning, scoring five runs off of Zach Mort (George Mason) and P.J. Poulin (Connecticut), but that was as close as they were able to get.
Ryan Feltner (Ohio State) shut the door in the ninth, getting his third save while striking out the side as he continues to dominate CCBL hitters.
“Every time he comes in he is electric,” starting pitcher Brian Eichhorn (Georgia Southern) said. “Every single time he fills up the zone and just blows it by people. It’s awesome watching him pitch. He did a really good job like he has been all season.”
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While the early run support could have caused Eichhorn to tire due to the long period of rest, he remained fresh on the mound, throwing first pitch strikes to 15 of the 18 hitters that he faced, several of which were first pitch swinging by the hitter.
Predictably, Eichhorn did not surrender a single walk.
“A lot of my off-speed was working,” Eichhorn said. “For a majority of the innings I was getting ahead early on the batters with the fastball and stuff and then getting guys to make weak contact. The defense was doing the rest for me.”
He mentioned how he was able to ease into the outing due to the five runs in the first three innings.
“That’s a huge cushion,” Eichhorn said. “It relieves a lot of the pressure on you and you’re just trying to get back in there and get them up to bat as soon as you can.”
Friday’s outing was in a much different scenario than the first time he pitched, which came in the second game of the season as a reliever.
Eichhorn looked dominant in a relief role then, and wasn’t too shabby when forced to throw more innings. He has made 25 starts in two seasons at GSU.
Walk This Way
The Braves’ patient approach continued to pay dividends on Friday in a big way against Hyannis starting pitcher Johnson. Bourne drew seven walks in the first four innings and ten total, but only two of those runners came around to score.
While a number of the Braves who walked were stranded, they were still able to effectively run the pitch count up on Johnson and pose a frequent scoring threat.
Brave of the Game: Scott Schreiber
Due in large part to his home run, Schreiber was the Braves top performer on the night. In addition to his big fly, the designated hitter also singled and scored another run in five at-bats.
In Schreiber’s first two games on the Cape, he has collected four RBI’s, including the walk-off in Thursday’s win over Harwich.
He said the key to his success is just staying within myself.
“Sometimes I try to do a little too much,” Schreiber said. “Just sticking to my approach and not trying to be the hero.”
Coming Up: Game two between these teams will take place on Saturday night at 6:00 at Doran Park. Sean Leland (Illinois) is penciled in to make the start for the Braves.
You can contact the author via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@JanowerJacob).
Pre-game, in-game, and post-game highlights: