HYANNIS, Mass.–With a must-win game against division West rival Hyannis (15-17) Monday, the Braves (14-16-2) were unable compensate for poor pitching in an 8-5 loss, sending them into fourth place behind the Harbor Hawks.
Starter JT Perez (Cincinnati) struggled to find the strike zone and was burned by his hit-by-pitches early on. With two HBP in the first inning, the Harbor Hawks capitalized on the free passes to score one off a Jordan Rodgers (Tennessee) fielder’s choice.
Perez lasted three innings, in which his last frame allowed three earned runs, sending his total to four earned runs on the night off six hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
The backend of the bullpen was unable to stop the offense of the Hawks, and went a combined five innings, giving up just four hits but allowing four earned runs with one walk and six strikeouts.
Newcomer Jon Escobar (Holy Cross) came in relief for Sean Leland (Louisville) in the seventh and pitched 1 1-3, allowing one earned run to put the Hawks ahead 7-4.
A positive on the night for the Braves was their upward offensive trend, outhitting the Hawks 11-10.
The Braves tried to muster a comeback in the seventh, scoring three off a Justin Yurchak (Binghamton) RBI single and a Connor Wong (Houston) two run RBI double. But the Hawks had already put a large deficit between them and their rivals, scoring throughout the game.
With the last inning standing between a potential shift in the West standings, Yurchak led off the Braves with a shot to right-center to give him his first home run of the Cape League season. Yurchak ended the night going 2 for 4 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
The solo shot was not enough to rally the offense however, as cleanup David MacKinnon (Hartford) was the only other Brave to single in the inning, with the rest of the lineup going down in order to end the game.
The Braves will head into their off day Tuesday in the cellar of the West, ahead of only Cotuit (11-20-1) as they face the Wareham Gatemen (15-14-2) 6, Wednesday at home with the probable starter being Ryan Wilson (Pepperdine.) Bourne has yet to name a starter.