Bourne’s fatal flaw on Friday was the same as it’s been all season: hitting.
Once again, the Braves were held under two runs, cementing their spot at the bottom of the league in scoring. After 12 games, Bourne has crossed the plate only 32 times, which is 11 runs behind ninth place (Harwich).
But tonight, the starting lineup was different than the first 11 games. Henry Davis and Giovani DiGiacomo made their Cape Cod Baseball League debuts in the loss to the Whitecaps.
Manager Harvey Shapiro said the adjustment with new faces caused some of tonight’s struggles at the plate.
“We brought in some new guys, and our new guys have to play,” Shapiro said. “The old guys are gone, and when you take a couple good hitters out of your lineup, it’s a difference. You’ve got to see what the young guys can do.”
A catcher from Louisville, Davis is fresh off a College World Series trip with the Cardinals. Though his time in Omaha was shorter than he would’ve hoped, Davis is ready for the challenge that the Cape League presents.
“I’m glad to be here,” Davis said. “It’s a great group of guys, and it’s been a lot of fun so far. I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks.”
In his first game as a Brave, Davis went 1-for-4 with the team’s lone RBI. That came when he drove Nick Breuser in from second during the bottom of the ninth.
Davis was thrilled to provide run support when it was most needed.
“Two strikes on me, so I’m happy it found some grass,” Davis said. “I was just trying to stay sharp and put something at the plate.”
Defensively, however, Davis’ play was inconsistent. In the second inning, Davis caught Tyler Gentry stealing. But, a few innings later, he misplayed a pickoff attempt at second base and sent the ball flying into shallow center field.
While Davis’ performance on Friday had its ups and downs, he hopes to learn from his first game of summer ball.
“I think I had some good moments, but I can definitely do some things better,” Davis said. “I probably shouldn’t haven’t thrown that ball to second, but everything’s a learning experience.”
The other newcomer in Friday’s lineup was DiGiacomo, an outfielder from LSU. Like Davis, DiGiacomo reached base once, and his knock was a double into left field.
According to DiGiacomo, recording a base hit in his first Cape League at-bat provided much-needed tenacity.
“It definitely gave me a little bit of confidence because you haven’t seen live pitching in a couple weeks,” DiGiacomo said. “Being able to do that was good for me, and hopefully I can capitalize on that.”
He also shined in the field. At left field, DiGiacomo made a clutch throw to home plate in the bottom of the ninth.
This impressive haul was the product of tireless practice in the field, according to DiGiacomo.
“At LSU, we practice it all the time,” DiGiacomo said. “And even here, just working on making solid throws. Just trying to stay through my cut and, luckily, that’s what happened.”
Davis and DiGiacomo both showed promise in their Cape League debuts. Even so, Shapiro said he wants more from that duo.
“They looked like it was their first games,” Shapiro said. “They played all right, but we need to get more of our offense.”
Bourne’s next opportunity to return to the win column is Saturday against Falmouth. With one point separating those squads, Saturday’s contest may be crucial in the long run for West Division superiority.