By: Jacob Janower
The Bourne Braves players’ mouths are watering. They are so close to clinching a playoff berth that they can taste it.
However, for the second consecutive time, the Braves failed to nail down one of the four postseason spots allotted to teams in the West Division, dropping a 5-0 contest to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
Now should reserving their spot in the playoffs be a concern to the Braves (20-19) with five games remaining in the season? Not necessarily, considering just a win or another loss by the Harbor Hawks (14-22-3) will allow the Braves to play on August 5 and beyond.
What is a little bit more concerning was the lack of offensive output against a Harbor Hawks pitching staff that entered Saturday night having allowed the most amount of runs in the CCBL by a wide margin.
Starting pitcher Jordan Martinson (Dallas Baptist) worked five scoreless innings, giving up just three singles and striking out seven hitters, a season-high. He had allowed four earned runs in four innings in his first start this summer against the Braves.
Noah Sandlin (Southern Mississippi) and Christian Tripp (New Mexico) struck out five in the final four innings to finish off the third time in which the Braves have been shut out this season.
The Braves, particularly starter Brian Eichhorn (Georgia Southern) were snakebit by a three-run third inning in which the Harbor Hawks did not hit the ball out of the infield until they made the final out of the inning. Errors were the theme, as a wide throw by Eichhorn on a sacrifice bunt attempt put two men on base. Later on in the same inning, two miscues on one play by Tyler Fitzgerald (Louisville) allowed a pair of runs to cross the plate. Hyannis scored another run on a fielder’s choice. None of the three runs were earned for Eichhorn.
The right-hander was very strong otherwise, allowing just one baserunner to reach in the other three innings he pitched. He struck out the side in his final frame on the mound.
Those three tallies were all that they needed, but nevertheless the Harbor Hawks poured on two more runs off of Nick Johnson (Rhode Island) on RBIs by Dominic DiCaprio (Rice) and Cesar Trejo (UNC Greensboro).
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The cluster of teams near the top of the division grew closer, as a Cotuit win over Falmouth put them just two points back of the Commodores, while the Braves stayed just one point behind the division lead.
Stat That Mattered
The Braves once again struggled with runners in scoring position, as Kevin Radziewicz’s (Fairfield) infield single in the ninth inning was their first and only hit of the night in a such situation.
Brave of the Game
On a night in which most of the team was very quiet, Radziewicz was a pleasant surprise with two hits in just his 16th game played this season.
Coming Up: The Braves will have another aforementioned opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with their final meeting against Hyannis on Sunday.
You can contact the author via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@JanowerJacob).