By: Nick Galle
On Monday night, it was Colby Thomas. On Tuesday night, it was Tanner Schobel. But on Friday night, it was the local kid, Peter Burns, who came through in the clutch before Frank Sinatra came over the speakers following the final pitch at Doran Park.
The Reading, Massachusetts, native’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Bravos over Orleans by a final score of 4-3. It was the third walk-off Bourne has had since July 14.
“It feels awesome. That was a crazy game, it was back-and-forth. We just kept competing through all nine and I got the opportunity to walk off the game,” Burns said. “I got a pitch I could hit and the rest is history.”
Peyton Chatagnier had hit a solo home run with one out in the top of the ninth, but the Birds were unable to take a lead. The Braves could have very well dropped the game if it hadn’t been for Dalton Rushing. With runners on first and third, Jared McKenzie ripped a sinking line drive toward first, Rushing dove to his right, made the catch and prevented the go-ahead run from scoring.
“Usually I’m shuffling off in front for the double play, holding the runner on because that run was so crucial,” Rushing said. “It was more of just reaction. I mean I had no clue how hard it was hit. Everything just slowed down, (I) saw the ball in mid-air and just did whatever I had to do to get to it.”
Austin Parsley made his second start of the season after tossing four one-hit innings against Y-D on July 16. The 6-foot-1 right-hander went five innings, allowed five hits, one run, walked one and struck out a season-high seven batters.
“Just making sure I kept attacking the zone even when I’m not getting calls. Like I’ve said before in other interviews, we got a great defense behind us that can make plays no matter what type of play it is,” Parsley said. “Just making sure to keep my composure and command in the zone with all three pitches and attacking the hitters.”
The one run Parsley allowed came on Tyler Locklear’s solo shot in the fourth. It was his seventh home run of the season.
Field manager Harvey Shapiro turned to Ben Ethridge in relief, but a one-hour, 23-minute rain delay forced him out of the game after just 2/3 of an inning. Cade Smith got the call to the mound following the stoppage in play, and the Mississippi State product posted his second consecutive scoreless appearance. He went two innings, gave up four hits, one run and struck out one.
“I think he’s throwing strikes now, which he wasn’t before and I think that he was just kind of overthrowing,” Shapiro said. “He was too good of a pitcher, it was going to happen. I was just surprised at the beginning, you know he just struggled, but that’s baseball, you never know.”
Entering the night with a seven-game hit streak, Christian Knapczyk extended it to eight with a 2-for-4 performance. He had two singles and also came around to score twice. Tanner Schobel went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored, Joe Lampe went 1-for-2 with one RBI, one run scored and three walks and Max Anderson went 1-for-4 with one RBI and a walk.
Bourne will be on the road tomorrow in Chatham for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Anglers. Last time the Braves were at Veteran’s Park, they suffered a 5-2 loss despite five strong innings of relief from Michael Sansone.
Cover photo via: Joe Sullivan