By: Nick Galle
Austin Parsley had finished his master’s program in international business earlier this week, but he might have to consider a degree in culinary arts with the way he was cooking on Saturday evening.
The UNC Greensboro Spartan was exceptional. He went six innings, gave up just two hits, one run and struck out three to lead the Braves over Cotuit 10-4 to force a Game 3. Jace Grady singled to lead off the game, but Parsley went on to retire the next 17 batters in a row before Grady hit a solo shot, the lone run the right-hander allowed.
“Just being able to mix in all three pitches (and) keeping the hitters off-balanced. Mainly just executing the fastball on both sides of the plate and up in the zone to keep them guessing,” Parsley said. “Just getting comfortable on the mound, trusting the bats in the lineup. It was great for them to start off hot right away. It let me settle in.”
Bourne struck first thanks to an RBI single from Dalton Rushing in the top of the first, and held that 1-0 lead until the fourth inning. Insurance was needed, and it came in the form of a three-run home run from Hunter Jump. Christian Knapczyk doubled to plate Colby Thomas to cap off a four-run inning and unlike last night, the Kettleers had no answer.
“I felt really good,” Jump said. “I just wanted to do something for the team. I feel like I’ve been getting unlucky lately with some of the knocks I’ve been having, but in a playoff situation like this it was fun to finally get one out.”
The Braves struck for four more runs in the top of the eighth, an inning that was headlined by a solo shot from Peter Burns, and it’s a good thing they did. Cotuit answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame, but Ben Ethridge and Eric Adler suffocated any chance of a comeback.
“Just go out there with the mindset to throw strikes,” Ethridge said. “If they’re going to beat me, I’m not going to walk them, so they’re going to beat me swinging the bat and that’s what I did.”
Four Bravos recorded multi-hit performances in the 10-run, 12-hit showing. Knapczyk went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, one run scored and a walk, Rushing went 2-for-4 with one RBI, a run scored and a walk, Thomas went 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored and Max Anderson went 2-for-6 with a run scored.
“I think it started with Parsley. I mean he was very good. He’s been good all year,” field manager Harvey Shapiro said.
For tomorrow, the goal is simple.
“Well I guess to have one more run than they do,” Shapiro said.
Bourne finds itself in a win or go home situation tomorrow night at 6 p.m. for Game 3 of the series. Probable starters for both sides have not yet been listed, but there has been some speculation that Jake Bennett could get the nod for the Braves.
Cover photo via: Joe Sullivan