Shaw's solo blast, lights out pitching edge Bravos past Commodores 1-0

The Bravos scooted past the Falmouth Commodores for their first win over a West Division opponent on Thursday night.

Shaw’s solo blast, lights out pitching edge Bravos past Commodores 1-0

By Mac Friday

(Photo: Braden Reed/Bourne Braves)

With 16 games under their belts, the Bourne Braves took the diamond at Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth, eager to grab their first win over a West Division opponent on the season after various losses and ties to all other teams in the division. Seven of those games, strictly wins or losses, have been decided by two runs or less, but in the tight pitching duel that was Thursday’s matchup in Falmouth, it was one run that made the difference.

Bourne starter Garrett Edwards took the bump at the Guv and brought his A-game in his second start on the season. The LSU righty dealt five innings of scoreless baseball in a tight pitching duel with Falmouth lefty Drew Sommers. Through the first two frames Edwards only permitted one baserunner via single but came under fire in the third as the Commodores got runners on with a leadoff single and walk with no outs. With his defense eager behind him, Edwards rallied to sit down the next three hitters with two runs in scoring position. The LSU righty then only allowed two more baserunners, one being a leadoff error in the sixth which spelled the end to his day.

“Early on in the game I just wanted to get ahead,” Edwards told sideline reporter Ethan Frank afterward. “With my stuff, I felt like when I was ahead, I was fine. The defense showed up behind me and put in work, made some great plays and helped me out.”

Sommers was arguably even more productive than Edwards, only allowing a single hit through five innings while striking out nine Bravos. Between the first and fifth innings, Sommers retired 14 straight Bourne hitters after leadoff hitter Elijah Nunez reached on an error to open the contest.

The Braves took advantage of Sommers’ exit in the sixth, as second baseman Matt Shaw spanked a 1-2 fastball over the center-field fence for his second home run of the season. Shaw’s solo shot would be the only run that crossed home plate on Thursday evening.

Lefty reliever Nelson Berkwich came in for Edwards with a runner on and no outs in the sixth, and despite allowing a single to the first hitter he faced, Berkwich sat down the next two Commodores via strikeout and got the third out on a putout to first.

Berkwich went on to allow a one-out single in the seventh but escaped the jam with a flyout to right and another swinging strikeout. In the eighth, he struck out two more, bringing his total to two hits allowed in three and a third innings pitched with five strikeouts. Berkwich did heavy damage with his slider, which looked flat-out unhittable to any Commodore at the plate, particularly lefties.

“My approach was to fill up the zone completely,” Berkwich said. “I hung one to the first hitter I faced on the breaker and gave up that single but pretty much settled in after that. I wanted to keep them off balance with the fastball, slider and changeup and keep the righties off balance by using the changeup early.”

After a walk-off comeback win on Wednesday night, the Bravos are still riding the high of the victory and channeling the energy, despite just four hits on Thursday night in Falmouth. Next up is a road visit to Veteran’s Field in Chatham against the East Division last-place Anglers, a much-needed win that the momentum is expected to carry over to.

“It’s good to keep the momentum going like this,” Berkwich said. “Especially after yesterday when we gave up a couple of runs and we responded and came back, that’s really huge for the team and the bullpen’s confidence because if our hitters can back us up, that just puts our confidence through the roof.”

First pitch in Chatham on Friday is set for 7:00 p.m.