By: Nick Galle
Last time Bourne faced the Red Sox, it took the Bravos just 1 1/3 innings to get starter Nolan McCarthy out of the game, forcing field manager Scott Pickler to go to the bullpen. McCarthy was back on the bump Friday night, and the Braves once again saw the bullpen much earlier than expected.
The Bravos brought home four runs in the first inning thanks to an RBI double from Braylen Wimmer and a three-run missile over the left-center field fence from Colby Thomas. Thomas has been phenomenal with runners on base as of late, tallying all nine of his RBIs this season over the past four games.
“I’ve kind of been more picky I guess (and) not swinging at the high stuff or the ball in the dirt because it gives me a better chance to hit the ball hard when I get a better pitch to hit,” Thomas said. “It’s been working out. Once you get a good pitch to hit, put a good swing on it, good things happen.”
The early run support made things easy for Trystan Vrieling, who got his first start of the summer after being named Cape Cod League Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday. The Gonzaga Bulldog entered play retiring the last 21 batters he had faced in order. Vrieling went four innings, allowed three hits, one run, walked one and struck out four.
Austin Parsley took over on the hill and went four innings, allowing just one hit and striking out five. He now has the most strikeouts on the Bravos (22) and has yet to walk a batter all season.
“Just be able to command all three pitches and have the hitters hit the ball and we got the defense behind us make plays,” Parsley said. “The rest does itself really.”
Seven of nine hitters in the starting lineup tallied a hit and all nine got on base at least once. Tanner Schobel and Dalton Rushing both hit solo home runs and Thomas went 1-for-3 with the home run, three RBIs, one run scored and a walk, Wimmer went 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored and Christian Knapczyk went 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two walks.
Cayden Wallace extended his streak to seven games with his 1-for-3 performance from the plate. He also drew a walk and scored two runs.
“He’s a good athlete. I mean he batted anywhere from the second spot to the fifth spot for most of the year (and) Arkansas’ the number one team in the country,” field manager Harvey Shapiro said. “I don’t like to hit freshmen up that high in the order, but this group, we got Knapczyk who’s a freshman, Anderson’s a freshman, Wallace is a freshman. That’s a pretty good group of freshmen.”
Before they return home, the Bravos will be back in Wareham tomorrow night for a matchup with the Gatemen. When these two teams met back on July 4, Bourne came away with a 4-0 victory behind an outstanding start from Gordon Graceffo and three perfect innings from Vrieling.
Cover photo via: Joe Sullivan