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Braves split doubleheader vs. Orleans, walk off in game two

By: Carson Field

Coming off a 9-0 blowout in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader against Orleans, Bourne was in need of something to turn the tides. For most of the second game, it looked like that wasn’t going to happen.

From the third to sixth inning, the Braves left six runners on the bases. Whether it was a strikeout or a baserunning mistake, Bourne couldn’t find the remedy to break the 1-1 stalemate.

“With guys on base, we were doing too much,” manager Harvey Shapiro said. “We got to just get the ball with the bat and get it in play.”

Over the course of the game’s seven innings, Bourne struck out nine times and left eight men stranded in the base path. Despite recording seven hits, a sound figure, in a shortened game, the Braves couldn’t equate knocks to runs.

Until they did.

Leading off in the bottom of the seventh, Kyle Hess reached base when he was beaned by Firebirds reliever Nick Garcia. After a well-placed sacrifice bunt from Peter Burns, Hess moved into scoring position.

After a strikeout and a walk from Zavier Warren and Alika Williams, respectively, Alec Burleson earned the chance to be the hero.

He took advantage.

Burleson blooped a ball into the shallow outfield, shuffling Hess from second to home and clinching a 2-1 win for Bourne.

“He threw four straight balls (to Alika), and I figured he was going to come with a fastball,” Burleson said. “Luckily, I hit it above the shortstop’s head.”

Since arriving, Burleson has played exceptionally. The East Carolina standout is batting .400 with three RBIs in only three games.

“Burleson has hit the ball ever since he’s been here,” Shapiro said. “He’s been a good guy to have at the plate.”

While the hitters showed out in crunch time, the game would have been out of reach if not for a stellar performance on the mound.

Starter Mac Lardner was solid for the majority of his outing, allowing just three hits and a run in four innings of work. That run came on a solo shot to center field from Orleans’ Josh Zamora.

But, after that fly, the Firebirds were held scoreless. Relievers Joshua Culliver and Kieran Shaw allowed only one baserunner (error) in three combined innings.

“Our offense was feeling it, so just giving them a chance as much as possible,” Culliver said. “All you gotta do is go out there, pump strikes, and try to get your defense out of there as fast as possible.”

Though game two of Sunday’s doubleheader ended in thrilling fashion, the Braves were ineffective in nearly every way in game one.

On the mound, Bourne allowed nine runs on 12 hits. Four of those were scored in the fourth inning, putting the Braves in a difficult 4-0 spot. Orleans only added on to that lead, scoring five more, making the final score 9-0.

The struggles were just as noticeable at the plate. Bourne posted only two hits in the offensive drought.

While the woes on the mound were new, the stagnant bats are not. After five games, the Braves are averaging just 2.6 runs per game.

They will look to add to this year’s tally on Monday when Bourne faces off against Harwich. In Bourne’s last meeting with the Harwich, the Braves were upended 3-1.


1 Response

  1. Rising sophomore Kyle Hess put together a nice performance for the Bourne Braves in a 2-1 win over the Orleans Firebirds. Playing centerfield for the Braves, Hess went 1-2 with a single, scoring the game winning run in the bottom of the seventh after being hit by a pitch.