Bats go quiet at home, Bravos drop first game of season against ‘Dores
By: Nick Galle
Last time the Commodores came to Doran Park, the Braves found themselves in a heavyweight battle with their West Division rivals, but went home with a win thanks to 15 hits and a Colby Thomas walk-off home run. The bats were on fire earlier in the week, but on Wednesday night, Jack Jasiak had the fire extinguisher that ended Bourne’s eight-game win streak.
The 2021 AAC All-Tournament Team selectee had the Bravos baffled, striking out six through six innings. He allowed just two hits, one of which was Christian Knapczyk’s single that led off the bottom of the first.
Dalton Rushing scored twice thanks to a sacrifice fly from Tanner Schobel and a single from Joe Lampe, but those were the only two runs Bourne would score, as it went on to fall 4-2 to Falmouth for the first time this summer.
In what was his first start of the season, Josh Ekness shut out the ‘Dores through his four innings on the hill. The 6-foot-4 right-hander gave up just one hit, walked five and fanned four. All five walks were issued in the first two innings, but Ekness eventually found his groove and retired seven of the next eight Commodores.
“I felt like the umpire’s zone was a bit tight, but I just didn’t do a good enough job adjusting,” Ekness said. “So when it came to the third and fourth inning, I knew I had to pick things up quite a bit and I guess I just stayed within myself a bit more, didn’t try to do too much and tried to pitch more toward contact.”
Frank Doelling and Bryson Cafaro both made their Braves debuts out of the bullpen in relief of Ekness. Doelling went two innings and gave up two hits, three runs, only one of which was earned, walked two and struck out a pair. Cafaro added two scoreless innings, surrendered two hits, walked one and sent a trio of Commodores packing by way of the strikeout.
“(I) kind of had a three-pitch mix going,” Cafaro said. “I felt the changeup was better than usual tonight, so I got some guys out with that (and) stuck to it.”
Aside from Knapczyk’s single in the first, Braylen Wimmer had two of the other four hits for the Bravos. The South Carolina Gamecock went 2-for-3 with a double and was hit by a pitch.
“Those pitchers were definitely good tonight. The first guy was dealing. He was throwing good pitches. He happened to leave me one of those sliders in the zone and I put my best swing on it luckily,” Wimmer said. “And then that lefty came in and I was looking for a fastball early in the count, I got that pitch and tried to stay short and simple and hit it back up the middle, and that’s what I did.”
After their off day tomorrow, the Braves will be back in action on Friday night at home for a matchup with Orleans. Bourne tied the Firebirds 2-2 back on July 6 thanks to a two-RBI triple from Zach Agnos.
Cover photo via: Joe Sullivan