By: Jacob Janower
The Bourne Braves offense had been longing for some consistency.
On Saturday the Braves (10-7) got started strong on that path, scoring at least six runs for just the fourth time during the season and winning 6-4 over the Wareham Gatemen (7-10). The Braves finished the day having hit .500 (6-for-12) with runners in scoring position.
It was the first of six match-ups between the two Western Division foes, who will also face each other twice more in the next four days.
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The Braves brought all nine hitters to the plate in the game-changing fourth inning that saw them put four runs on the board against Joey Matulovich (California).
Scott Schreiber (Nebraska), Richie Palacios (Towson), Jared Triolo (Houston), and Andrew Fregia (Sam Houston State) all delivered RBI singles as part of five straight Braves who had a hit in the inning, with Triolo’s knock serving as the go-ahead hit.
“To get four runs off of him (Matulovich) in one inning was big,” Braves’ field manager Harvey Shapiro. “I thought we swung the bat well tonight.”
The sixth inning rivaled the fourth in terms of the amount of players who reached base from the Braves, just with less hits but a more patient approach. After the first hitter of the inning was retired, five straight batters reached base on two walks, a hit by pitch, and two singles, which totaled two runs. Fregia added his second RBI of the game when he was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded, while James Hannah (Dallas Baptist) drove in a run with a single.
Almost the entirety of the offensive production came from the four hitter Schreiber through the ninth hitter Hannah, as they had all but two hits and drove in and scored all six runs.
Bies Overcomes Rocky Start
Daniel Bies (Gonzaga) allowed hits to the first two hitters that he faced, each of whom came around to score, but was still able to make it through five innings.
“In the first inning, a lot of unfortunate things happened,” Bies said. “A couple of not very good hits that just bled through. I tried to take it for what it was, they weren’t really hitting me very hard and I just tried to keep them away from hard contact.”
Bies was particularly stout with runners in scoring position, not allowing a hit in seven at-bats by the Gatemen in the run-scoring situations.
Although this was Bies’ second start of the season, it was his first that was not a part of a doubleheader.
“I was trying to last a bit longer today,” he said. “A couple innings my pitch count got a bit up there. Usually for a nine inning game I will be trying to last six or seven.”
His final line was five innings with seven hits but only the two early runs allowed. He pounded the zone all night, throwing first pitch strikes to 15 of the 21 hitters he faced and only walking one, which was the first hitter of the game.
Leland, Rossomando Rebound
Both Sean Leland (Illinois) and Ronnie Rossomando (Connecticut) had struggled during the early half of the season, but each was sold in relief of Bies.
Leland let a run cross the plate but also struck out two hitters. Rossomando struck out the side in a scoreless inning, his first as a relief pitcher.
Luis Alvarado (Nebraska) earned his first save of the season in the ninth.
Stat That Mattered
The Braves tied their season high for runs in an inning with four. It was just the second time all season that they have had an offensive inning that impactful.
Player of the Game
Fregia’s two runs batted in were a huge spark to the bottom of the Braves order. It has been a tough start to the summer for the infielder who has occupied both spots on the left side, but he has shown signs of turning it around in recent games.
Coming Up: The Falmouth Commodores will make their first visit to Doran Park this season to face the Braves. Nick Bennett (Louisville) is scheduled to make his first start of the season.
For Shapiro, it’s all about making sure his team, especially his pitching staff, is ready to play every day.
“The stress is on the pitching,” Shapiro said. ” I don’t think a major league team has enough pitching with their major league pitching and their Triple-A. Unfortunately we had some field issues when the doubleheader was rained out and the golf tournament was Monday when we could have played so we wouldn’t be in this bind. I feel bad for the kids because we are really the only ones in this situation.”
You can contact the author via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@JanowerJacob).