Vrieling escapes top of the ninth unscathed to secure fifth consecutive win to begin season

Vrieling escapes top of the ninth unscathed to secure fifth consecutive win to begin season

By: Nick Galle 

Last time there was Cape Cod League baseball in Bourne, a pair of eighth-inning home runs from Dalton Rushing and Braylen Wimmer lifted the Braves over the Harbor Hawks on Opening Day. Six days later, the Bravos were back home in the midst of a four-game win streak, and much like the team itself, the late-game heart palpitations once again made an appearance at Doran Park.

After the Braves jumped out to a 6-1 lead, a three-run home run in the seventh and solo shot in the eighth brought the Gatemen within one, and in the top of the ninth, Wareham had the bases loaded with the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. With the game on the line, Trystan Vrieling struck out Nicholas Cimillo for the final out to secure Bourne’s fifth consecutive win to start the season.

“I thought when it was 6-1, it almost felt like it could have been 10-1 cause we had plenty of opportunities that we didn’t score,” field manager Harvey Shapiro said. “So it went from in a sense an easy game, and then it changed with that one blast.”

After getting the nod on Opening Day, Gordon Graceffo was back on the bump Saturday night. He surrendered five hits, one walk, one run and struck out four. He threw four innings and came out for the fifth, but was unable to record an out. He exited with runners on first and second, and Shapiro turned to Austin Parsley.

A wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third, but Parsley found his groove and buckled down. With a little help from Zach Agnos, who made an outstanding catch over the railing in foul territory on the third-base side, the right-hander from UNC Greensboro got Jim Jarvis and Kade Kern to pop-out to Christian Knapczyk at shortstop to evade potential disaster.

Despite the late-inning home runs from Wareham, the Braves were able to hang on, and still remain atop the league and West Division in the standings.

Dalton Rushing went 2-for-4 with a double, Colby Thomas went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored and Peter Burns went 1-for-2 with a double, walk, run scored and was also hit by a pitch. He was outstanding behind the dish, throwing out two runners who were attempting to steal second.

“I mean we got here almost two weeks ago and we’re already a band of brothers,” Vrieling said. “The position players and pitchers, they get along so well. The pitchers, it’s like a family, the position players probably feel the same way.”

After their brief stop at home, the Braves will be right back on the road tomorrow night for a meeting with the Kettleers (2-3) at 5:00 p.m. Bourne was in Cotuit this past Tuesday, but the game was postponed in the bottom of the fourth due to rain, deeming it an unofficial game.

Cover photo via: Joe Sullivan