By: Jacob Janower
Andrew Fregia’s three-run home run helped snap the Bourne Braves three-game losing streak and put them back over .500 for the season.
Fregia (Sam Houston State) lifted his second homer of the season, both of which have been to the opposite field, in the fourth inning, giving the team the lead for good. The Braves (12-11) rode that momentum to a 8-3 victory over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (9-13-1).
“It means a lot to us,” Fregia said about the win. “We need to just get rolling and this is going to help us a lot. That is a good ball club over there, and to sneak this one out, I think it is going to get rolling.”
The offensive surge was a welcome sign for a Braves team that had scored just eight runs during the three consecutive games that they had lost.
The Braves have now won three of the first four match-ups against Hyannis and have won both of the games that have been played at McKeon Park.
Both teams traded off runs in the second and third innings, leading to a succession of single tallies on the scoreboard before Fregia’s long ball broke the scoring open.
“I was trying to be on time with a fastball,” Fregia said. “He beat me in the two previous at-bats with a first pitch fastball, so I told myself he was going to throw another one and I was going to be on time with it.”
Fregia has been able to generate his power from his leg kick, which has played a big factor in the result of his at-bats.
“I’ve been trying not to kick my leg near as high,” he said. “I’m trying to get it up a lot earlier and let it hang, and then get it down and being on time.”
The first run of the game came from the Braves on a RBI double by Richie Palacios (Towson), who reaped the benefits of Harbor Hawks’ right fielder Daniel Robinson (Central Michigan) misjudging his fly ball.
Palacios did it all offensively for the Braves and changed the game in more ways than one. He finished with two hits, one RBI, two runs scored, and two stolen bases in his first start since July 4.
Grant Witherspoon (Tulane) reached on an error an inning later that temporarily gave the Braves their second lead of the game.
Most of the damage was done against Jordan Martinson (Dallas Baptist). The left-hander allowed five runs, four of which were earned, in four innings of work.
A sacrifice fly by Andy Atwood (Oregon State) and eighth inning RBI singles from Fregia and Lyle Lin (Arizona State) added more insurance.
Fregia’s RBI single gave him four runs batted in for the game, which is the most any position player has collected in a single game for Bourne this season.
Despite all the offensive success, the Braves had some opportunities to break the game open even more, but went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
Bies Holds Down Harbor Hawks
For the second straight outing, Braves’ starting pitcher Daniel Bies (Gonzaga) seemed to get stronger as his night went along.
He surrendered the lead on two separate occasions, but was able to keep the Harbor Hawks off of the scoreboard when granted a three-run advantage.
Bies closed his start with a 1-2-3 fifth inning and he surrendered only two earned runs, the same total that he allowed in his last start against Wareham.
His biggest strength continues to be his ability to limit the base on balls. Hyannis drew just one against him on Sunday, and Bies has issued only three free passes in 18 innings during the summer. A big reason for that has been his ability to start off the at-bat on the right note. He threw a first pitch strike to 18 of the 23 hitters that he faced on the night.
Luensmann-Feltner Duo Strikes Again
Chad Luensmann (Nebraska) and Ryan Feltner (Ohio State) have been two of the most frequently used late inning options for the Braves this season, and the duo combined to throw the final four innings.
Luensmann allowed just one earned run in three innings and Feltner retired three of the four hitters that he faced in the ninth.
It was the first time that both have pitched in six days, but it did not look like there was any rust for either of them.
Stat That Mattered
A big part of the Braves offensive struggles have stemmed from a lack of multi-hit games. On Sunday, four of the nine hitters collected two hits. Fregia, Palacios, Lin, Scott Schreiber (Nebraska) and Jared Triolo (Houston) accounted for 10 of the 12 hits that Bourne collected.
Brave of the Game
Fregia’s stellar night made him the player of the game. The shortstop, who led off on Sunday, said that his mindset changed after his first at-bat of the game.
“My job being in the leadoff position is just to get on base,” he said. “Anywhere else in the lineup I’m just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere.”
Coming Up: For the third time this summer, the Braves will play division rival Falmouth Commodores. The two teams have split the season series thus far.
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Pre-game, in-game, and post-game highlights: