Explosive third inning propels Braves to first win of 2019

Bourne cruised to a 10-2 win against Falmouth on Saturday, giving the Braves their first victory of 2019.

Explosive third inning propels Braves to first win of 2019

After nine batters, it appeared Bourne’s woes at the plate would continue against Falmouth.

Eight of Bourne’s first nine failed to reach base, and the Braves stranded their lone baserunner.  

Shortly after, everything changed with one swing of the bat.

Third baseman Zavier Warren crushed a solo shot to center field in the third inning, giving Bourne it’s first lead of the 2019 season.

“It felt really good,” Warren said. “I knew it had a chance, but I wasn’t really sure. The wind was blowing out, so that helped.”

Following that two-out knock, the production continued. Alika Williams, Alec Burleson and AJ Curtis strung together three consecutive hits, extending Bourne’s lead to 3-0.

And Bourne didn’t let up after that high-scoring third. In the fourth inning, the Braves crossed the plate twice, putting the Commodores in a tough 5-0 spot.

After a rough first trip to the plate, the Braves’ starting lineup recovered in its second chance. Six of Bourne’s batters reached base, compiling five total RBIs.

“I think we took too many fastballs the first time around, but then we jumped on them second time through the lineup and kept on for the rest of the game,” Burleson said. “We waited on our pitch, didn’t swing at their bad pitches.”

While Falmouth did get two across in the fourth, that five-run deficit proved insurmountable. In fact, Bourne only enhanced its lead.

The Braves doubled their score in the last four innings, and the pitching staff did its work, cementing Bourne’s 10-2 victory — the first of its season. On the flip side, Saturday marked Falmouth’s first loss of 2019.

In total, Warren and Burleson were Bourne’s most productive players at the plate. Both reached base three times and combined for six RBIs.

Saturday marked Burleson’s Cape Cod Baseball League debut, as his collegiate season at East Carolina ended a week ago. A two-way player, Burleson batted .370 with nine home runs, while posting a 3.28 ERA on the bump for the Pirates.

Burleson’s ability to “do it all” excites assistant coach Ace Adams.

“It helps us immensely,” Adams said. “That’s what you love to have in your lineup — players that can run, throw, hit, steal bases. (He’s an) outstanding player.”

All but two of the Braves’ starting batters reached base in the win, and as a whole, they combined for 13 hits. This offensive breakout was a steep improvement from the first two games, when the team produced just seven hits.

Prior to Saturday, Bourne dealt with two days off because of poor weather. Rather than taking their foot off the pedal, the Braves made the most of their lag time.

“We just had to keep swinging in the cages,” Burleson said. “Just staying in the cages, going to the gym and coming here got me ready to go.”

Now sitting at 1-2, Bourne can soar above .500 with wins in Sunday’s home doubleheader against Orleans. With a turnaround looming, Burleson is confident this win can be an impetus for more victories.

“I think we can build on this and play well tomorrow,” Burleson said. “I wasn’t here for the first two games, but everybody seemed to be seeing the ball well.”