By: Carson Field
Very rarely has offense and defense clicked at the same time this season for the Braves.
Some games, Bourne will keep its opponents in check but fail to get run support. In others — like the last three — the offense will explode but fall victim to an erratic night on the mound.
Monday was like neither of those scenarios. The pitching and batting were equally dominant in Bourne’s 14-0 win over Falmouth.
On the mound, Mac Lardner was nothing short of excellent. The Gonzaga hurler threw seven innings and allowed no runs and just two hits in the outing.
From his off-speed stuff to fastballs, Lardner’s unpredictability kept him outstanding for the entirety of his outing.
“Everything was working,” Lardner said. “My fastball was going where I wanted it to, and so was my changeup.
“I think just staying unpredictable was the biggest key.”
Lardner picked up his second win of the year, and his ERA improved to 0.81. In relief, Karl Johnson kept the shutout intact. Johnson, a UConn arm, hasn’t allowed a run this season.
On the offensive end, the Braves were just as lights-out. They tallied 13 hits in the win, and every member of the starting lineup reached base.
Eight of those runs were scored in the Braves’ last two innings at the plate. After posting four runs in the bottom of the seventh, catcher Jackson Greer crushed a grand slam into center field, cementing the 14-0 beatdown.
“It’s was a good matchup for sure,” Greer said. “We were swinging the right pitches and avoiding the bad ones.”
Not long ago, the Braves were averaging 2.3 runs scored per game. Over the past four games, the team has averaged eight runs per game.
Following the 14-run explosion on Monday, Bourne is just one run behind Harwich in terms of total scoring. This recent hike in production at the plate gives Greer and the rest of the team hope going forward.
“Coach has just talked about seeing the ball,” Greer said. “Don’t even worry about mechanics, just see the ball, and that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been slowing the game down, and that’s obviously been working.”
Now halfway through the season, Bourne is five points ahead of Hyannis for last place in the West Division. The Braves will look to widen that gap and further push themselves in the playoff picture against Cotuit on Tuesday.