By: Zach Pekale
With the Bourne Braves running out of time to make up ground in the playoff race, outfielder Jake Garella (Saint Louis) refused to let the clock strike midnight on Wednesday.
Garella, still in his first week with Bourne, provided a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th to propel the Braves to a 2-1 victory over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
“It was such a great feeling when I saw that ball flying through the air. I was just trying to stay calm,” Garella said.
As part of a 2-for-4 performance at the plate, Garella drove in both Braves’ runs, first equalizing the score in the seventh before his extra-inning heroics.
Prior to that, however, offense was at a premium for both Bourne and Hyannis.
Starter Jared DiCesare (George Mason) allowed four hits and one earned run across five innings though the right-hander exited in line to receive the loss as Bourne trailed 1-0 on an RBI single by Hyannis’ Matthew Barefoot (Campbell).
But for the second night in a row, the Braves bullpen came to the aid of its starting pitcher. The tandem of Nick Morreale (Georgetown), Jacob Wallace (Connecticut), Michael McAvene (Louisville) and Mike Ruff (Florida Atlantic) gave up five hits while not allowing a runner to advance beyond second base over the game’s final six innings.
“Our pen was dominant tonight, basically perfect for us to make a little bit of a comeback,” DiCesare said. “Our defense was even bigger tonight. [Anthony] Prato had some great plays, Tri [Jared Triolo] had some great plays, there were a couple great plays in the outfield.”
Likewise, the Braves had just two hits entering the seventh, a pair of singles from Tyler Fitzgerald (Louisville) before breaking through against the Harbor Hawks.
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During the course of Wednesday’s win, the Braves snapped a number of streaks, beginning with Spencer Brickhouse (East Carolina).
Recording just seven hits in his past 54 at-bats, the first baseman had been anemic offensively over the past few weeks. But Brickhouse led off the 11th with a towering double to the opposite field, setting the stage for Garella two batters later.
The extra base hit was Brickhouse’s first since July 8.
“Just getting on base with zero outs, being on second I knew was big and that the odds were in our favor at that point,” Brickhouse said. “That was big of him [Garella] to step in and get what we needed.”
In addition to picking up their first win of the season over Hyannis, the Braves won after scoring second for the first time in 12 games.
Coming Up: Bourne returns to Lowell Park on Thursday for the second of three late-season matchups with the Cotuit Kettleers.