By: Carson Field
Not many games have been more confusing than Saturday’s 3-1 win over Falmouth in Game 2 of the Cape Cod Baseball League playoffs first round. Bourne was outhit. For the first five innings, the Braves were also outperformed on the mound.
But that didn’t matter. A big sixth inning was all Bourne needed to even the series at one game a piece.
With the bases loaded in the sixth, Jake MacKenzie worked some magic. Perhaps more accurately, magic worked against Falmouth shortstop Trei Cruz.
A near-routine dribbler became an ordeal for Cruz, who tried to pick it on a short hop. The ball seeped past him into the shallow outfield, allowing Cody Morissette and Zavier Warren to score.
While the play was ruled an error on the scoreboard, manager Harvey Shapiro didn’t agree with the call.
“Jake got a hit,” Shapiro said. “That was a tough play that took a weird bounce, and he beat it out.”
Shortly after, the Braves crossed the plate again. This time, Joshua Madole singled to left field, bringing Jimmy Glowenke across to score.
While that was the only miscue that allowed Bourne to score, that wasn’t the Commodores’ only flub. They recorded three errors, opposed to the Braves’ zero. And that doesn’t include Hayden Cantrelle’s baserunning mistake, which caused an early finish to the fifth inning.
While these blunders certainly worked in Bourne’s favor, Mac Lardner’s ability to bend and not break allowed for this victory. He allowed just one run in five innings, despite giving up nine hits.
His experience of getting through tough innings helped stop some of the bleeding in the early innings.
“He’s a veteran,” Shapiro said. “He’s been through it, and he’s a competitor, and that helped him stay in control.”
In addition to Lardner, Jared Poland and Kieran Shaw also appeared on the mound in the win.
Over the first two games, Bourne has thrown five different arms — five of its most consistent hurlers, nonetheless. With the rubber match set for Sunday evening, Shapiro hopes he has enough guys ready in the bullpen.
“I’m worried about pitching for tomorrow,” Shapiro said. “We don’t have a lot of rested guys, so anybody can go.”