By: Nick Galle
After Christian Knapczyk tripled to lead off the top of the seventh inning, he stood on third base and looked down into the left-side batter’s box at his Louisville teammate, Dalton Rushing, who had come in to pinch hit. With runners on first and third, Knapczyk shouted to tell Rushing to do a job, and Bourne’s top run-producer wouldn’t let his fellow Cardinal down.
Knapczyk scored on a wild pitch, but Rushing lined a frozen rope to left field to plate Zach Agnos to bring the Bravos within one run. In his Braves debut, Ben Huber would later single to drive in Rushing, and a three-run inning would tie things at four. Bourne tacked on the go-ahead run the following inning to top Wareham 5-4, preventing its fifth loss in the last six games.
“I think the big hit was Rushing’s hit because we were trailing at the time and he hit a blue dart and we scored, and then it gets contagious,” field manager Harvey Shapiro said. “The next inning we should have got the bunt down, we only got one run, and that’s something you got to do in good baseball. You got to get the bunt down. But it’s a good win and we pitched well.”
When Michael Sansone last took the hill at Spillane Field, the Fairfield Stag went five scoreless innings and gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out three. He entered Saturday night with a 0.78 ERA, but the Gatemen didn’t hesitate to jump on him, and they did so early.
Sansone had only allowed two runs all season, but the Gatemen struck for three in the home half of the first inning thanks to Jim Jarvis’ solo home run and a two-run shot from Jack Brannigan.
Wareham forced the left-hander out of the game after just three innings, but Cole Chudoba brought his A-game out of the bullpen. The soon-to-be UConn Husky went four innings, allowed just two hits and struck out two to allow the Braves to make their comeback before Kelsey Ward threw 2/3 of an inning and Eric Adler ended things with a four-out save.
“I just had to come right in attack mode,” Chudoba said. “You just can’t be afraid to go right at them. I’ve thrown a lot of strikes, getting some weak contact and again, just picking up my guy you know? That’s how we’ve been successful all year.”
Knapczyk went 2-for-3 with the triple, a run scored and a walk, Joe Lampe went 1-for-3 with one RBI, one run scored, a walk and was hit by a pitch and in game number one on the Cape, Huber went 2-for-5 with a pair of base hits and two RBIs.
“Just try not to let the moment get too big,” Huber said. “Good team right here coming in (and) an upgrade in league-wise, and just trying to stay within myself and just do what I do instead of trying to do too much.”
Bourne will look to replicate its performance tomorrow night at 6 p.m. as the Gatemen make their way to Doran Park. The Braves are now 4-0 against Wareham this season and they won their only home meeting against the Gatemen 6-5 back on June 26.
Cover photo via: Joe Sullivan