By: Carson Field
This is becoming a recurring theme: Bourne struggled at the plate. These woes resumed on Tuesday when the Braves recorded just two hits.
But this wasn’t the only area of trouble for Bourne in the 4-1 loss to Cotuit.
Despite entering with the second-best ERA in the Cape Cod Baseball League, Bourne’s pitching staff never found its footing in the defeat. The Braves allowed a season-high 14 hits, 12 of which came in the first five innings.
Coming into Tuesday, Harrison Rutkowski had been Bourne’s most viable starter in the rotation, allowing just three earned runs in his first three starts. Tuesday, however, he picked up the loss and allowed nine hits in four innings of work.
Though he gave up just one earned run, Rutkowski’s command was inconsistent, which led to several singles up the gap.
“The hits they got off Harry were seeing-eye singles that were barely getting through,” manager Harvey Shapiro said. “They were spinning ground balls. It wasn’t that they were whacking the hell out of them.”
In the seventh inning, Blake Burzell entered the game with Bourne trailing by just one run. That gap widened. He allowed three doubles and two earned runs, which clinched the Kettleers’ 4-1 win.
Amid all the Braves’ pitching woes on Tuesday, giving up just four runs on 14 hits is somewhat impressive. Shapiro, however, didn’t credit his defense.
“They played better defense than we did,” Shapiro said. “They made great plays, and we had automatic outs.”
Before a day off on Independence Day, Bourne heads to Wareham on Wednesday. A win against the Gatemen would provide a much-needed cushion in the West Division standings.