By: Zach Pekale
When the Bourne Braves took on the Yarmouth Dennis Red Sox at Doran Park, the teams were labeled as polar opposites.
Y-D, winners in 17 of its past 24 games, has arguably been the hottest team in the Cape Cod Baseball League as of recent. Coincidingly, the Braves have been the coldest, dropping their past six games.
However, only one tally mattered on Wednesday and it came in the win column as the Braves defeated the Red Sox 6-3 to snap their losing streak.
Against Y-D starter Tommy Mace (Florida) Bourne jumped out to an early lead, tagging the right hander for three earned runs on just one hit in the bottom of the first.
For the duration of the Braves’ losing streak, they trailed for a majority of the time. On Wednesday, first inning RBIs from Spencer Brickhouse (East Carolina), Lyle Lin (Arizona State) and Ashton Bardzell (Hartford) set a more aggressive precedent.
Batting out of the six-hole, Bardzell provided a pivotal boost to the bottom half of the lineup with a perfect 4-for-4 performance.
“I just felt comfortable and relaxed at the plate. Just trying to have a lot of confidence, go out there, hit the ball, not worry about anything else and do what I can to help this team,” Bardzell said.
Backed by three runs of support, Braves’ starter Jared DiCesare (George Mason) bounced back from his first loss of the summer. In five innings, he allowed three earned runs on six hits, striking out five to get the win.
While Y-D matched Bourne with 10 hits, DiCesare and the bullpen had success in stranding runners throughout the game.
Relievers Mike Ruff (Florida Atlantic), Michael McAvene (Louisville) and Jacob Wallace (Connecticut) combined for four hits over the final four innings in what was Bourne’s most complete pitching performance in over a week.
“Jared set the tone early. He was able to pound the zone, work quick innings and get us into a groove,” McAvene said. “Having Jared start off like he did helped piggyback into the bullpen and allows you to come in and keep throwing well.”
With the win, the Braves move back into a tie for fourth place of the Western Division standings with 13 games to play.
Coming Up: Bourne and Y-D play the second leg of a home-and-home on Thursday at Red Wilson Field at 5 p.m.