Bender blast in seventh keeps Bourne out of the loss column

Bender blast in seventh keeps Bourne out of the loss column

By: Nick Galle 

Believe it or not, lightning wasn’t the most electric thing in the air on Wednesday night at Doran Park.

After a lightning delay that lasted two hours and five minutes, Colton Bender stepped up to the plate with his team down 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning. He quickly went down 1-2, and then the unthinkable happened. Bender got ahold of a changeup and launched a towering shot over the left field fence to even things up.

“I kind of take every at-bat to a same mindset – it’s your last at-bat, and you got to put your best effort forward,” Bender said. “When you’re with two strikes, you don’t think about hitting a home run. The pitcher throws them, Coach Harvey, he harps on that. I was out front and connected with the barrel, that’s what happens.”

It would be the only run the Bravos would score, but it prevented Bourne from recording its first loss of the summer. For the second straight game, late-inning heroics would result in a tie, this time with the Harwich Mariners.

Peter Van Loon was excellent in his first official start of the season. The right-hander from UC Irvine went four innings and gave up three hits, walked one and struck out five.

“I felt a little shaky to start, but around midway through the second inning and top of the third and fourth I really started to dial in and trust my mechanics and feel like I normally do,” Van Loon said. “As long as I make pitches, and this goes for every pitcher, as long as you make pitches as a staff, we all believe we have the stuff and what it takes to keep us in the game.”

Following the delay, Xavier Lovett came in to pitch in the bottom of the eighth just minutes after his Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated Vanderbilt to win the National Championship. One runner reached on an error and one walked, but the 5-foot-11 right-hander struck out two to work his way out of trouble.

“I’m just so happy man. Proud of my team, proud of my boys, they did it, we did it, we did it. We were working so hard, finally got there and finished it off man,” Lovett said. “Talk about amped up, I had a little salt before I came out there, so double that, times three, times four, times five. I was just feeling good.”

Max Anderson made his Cape Cod League debut after being activated yesterday. The Big Ten Freshman of the Year went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and a walk in his first game with the Bravos.

The Braves will cap off their three-game homestand against the Whitecaps tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. Bourne beat Brewster 9-1 back on June 21, and the Whitecaps are currently in second place in the East Division at 4-2-2 with 10 points.

Cover photo via: Joe Sullivan