By Mac Friday
(Photo: Braden Reed/Bourne Braves)
Despite a late rally in the sixth inning to bring the Bravos back within shouting distance of a surging Falmouth Commodores squad, Bourne was unable to overcome an early offensive explosion by a team that has been underperforming with the bats in its hands.
Nevertheless, the West Division last place Falmouth Commodores stacked six runs on nine hits against the Braves at Doran Park on Saturday, exploding for four runs in the top of the sixth as Falmouth held on to win 6-4.
The Commodores struck first in the opening frame, earning their first baserunner on a flyout that was dropped by left fielder Josh Moylan. Righty starter Kade Grundy then walked the next batter and allowed an RBI single up the middle by first baseman Jacob Walsh.
Wash struck again in the third, sending a colossal shot over the right-center field wall for a solo home run. Second baseman Peyton Stovall then hit a homer of his own in the next at-bat for back-to-back Commodores jacks.
After allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and a pair of walks, Grundy was pulled for lefty Will Sandy, who navigated his first two innings well with just one baserunner via a walk but faltered in his third frame of work. Sandy grabbed the leadoff out with a groundout, but walked the next batter, allowed an ensuing single and allowed both runners to advance and one to score with back-to-back wild pitches. With one out, second baseman Matt Shaw attempted to throw out a third run at home, but the tag was late. A hot shot then got past Chris Brito at first base, bringing in righty Cameron Bye to clean things up.
Bye continued the streak of fantastic appearances by Bourne relievers for the fourth straight game, dealing three and a third innings of one-hit ball across the rest of the contest, and didn’t allow a baserunner until the ninth.
“I was commanding all three of my pitches really well low in the zone,” Bye said. “Whenever I needed to I could throw anything to get back into counts when I was behind. Our pitching overall across the past few days has been awesome.”
“I thought Grundy came out and didn’t have his best stuff but still grinded for us,” Braves manager Scott Landers said of his starter. “He kept us in there. Sandy threw the ball well but had a couple of tough plays and cheap hits happen behind him… Cam threw the ball very well when he came in.”
The Bravos were held hitless their first time through the lineup, but finally, put a barrel on the ball in the fourth. Falmouth starter Juaron Watts-Brown was nails across his first four innings of work before the Bravos rally in the sixth. He finished with five innings of five-hit ball with four earned runs and six strikeouts. Through four he had allowed just the single in the fourth.
In the sixth, the bats truly came alive as shortstop Dakota Harris led off with a ground-rule double over the right-field fence. Second baseman Matt Shaw then reached on a throwing error and another RBI single by right fielder Jack Duffy brought in Harris. Third baseman Brennan Milone then followed up with another RBI single that he beat out at first, scoring Shaw. After a strikeout by Moylan, Milone came around to score on an RBI double off the bat of Brito.
In the seventh, Bourne had runners at first and second with no outs thanks to back-to-back free passes, but a strikeout, fielder’s choice and groundout rendered the runners stranded. The Braves could not rally beyond the seventh, with just six hits on the night.
“We have to do better with different situations throughout the game,” Landers said. “We have to have better situational hitting and it’s tough to hit up here. Guys are usually the best hitters at their schools, and they have to learn other roles that others have normally at their institutions. They sometimes aren’t the ones who drive in runs or set the table for the next guy in line. We’ll get back at it tomorrow and hopefully, we do better there.”
The Braves make their second trip to Spillane Field in Wareham tomorrow night for a matchup with the Gatemen. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.