'Wheels fell off' in fog-shortened 8-2 loss to Y-D

BOURNE, Mass. — Monday’s contest against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox proved a perfect storm for all the wrong reasons for the Bourne Braves.

Before the game was called off after seven full innings due to fog for the first time in the history of Doran Park, things were going wrong for the Braves. Shaky pitching and four fielding errors down the stretch were ultimately Bourne’s (7-11-2) undoing, as it fell, 8-2, to the Red Sox (14-6). All eight of Yarmouth-Dennis’ runs came with two outs.

“The wheels kind of fell off,” field manager Scott Landers said. “We lost the freebie war with too many walks, too many errors. And it cost us.”

The Braves had a chance to do some early damage in the second, with first baseman Garrett Michel (Virginia Tech) and designated hitter Davis Gillespie (Southern Mississippi) singling before outfielder Landyn Vidourek (Cincinnati) walked.

It seemed certain Bourne would take the lead when shortstop Clay Grady (Virginia Tech) hit a bloop into shallow right field, but Yarmouth-Dennis outfielder Will Tippett (South Carolina) laid out to make an outstanding grab that ended the inning. The Sox used that momentum to start the third, as a pair of doubles from outfielder RJ Austin (Vanderbilt) and catcher Easton Carmichael (Oklahoma) gave them the lead.

Braves second baseman Camden Kozeal (undecided) took advantage of multiple Yarmouth-Dennis blunders during the bottom of the frame, eventually tying the score at 1. After reaching on a seven-pitch walk, he advanced to second via a wild pitch and then capitalized on a missed pickoff attempt at third, making it across the dish.

The extra-base hits kept coming for the visitors, though — Yarmouth-Dennis tallied three in the fifth and sixth that scored two runs. Catcher Ben Hartl (Kansas) brought Bourne back to within a run with an RBI double, but an implosive seventh inning put the game out of reach.

While Bourne induced two consecutive outs following a leadoff double from outfielder Drew Burress (Georgia Tech), the next seven hitters reached base, two via errors. This resulted in a six-run frame for the Sox that put them in the driver’s seat for good.

“That [seventh inning] was an inning that really got away from us,” Hartl said. “That was a tough one. It’s one of those [where] we have to slow the game down and have somebody step up.”

Pivotal sequence

Monday’s game ultimately turned into a blowout, but in the sixth inning, Bourne was very much still in it.

Looking to respond to Yarmouth-Dennis extending its lead to 3-1, Gillespie reached second thanks to a single and throwing error by Burress. Hartl then lined a double into right field that allowed Gillespie to score from second, cutting the Sox's lead to one run.

Hitter of the Game — Ben Hartl

Gillespie and Hartl accounted for four of Bourne’s six hits on Monday, with Hartl recording two doubles.

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Hartl pounced on the first pitch he saw — which landed almost smack-dab in the middle of the zone — and sent it deep into left field. Vidourek followed it up by drawing a six-pitch walk, but both were stranded when Grady grounded out.

Hartl’s next plate appearance came two innings later with Gillespie on second, and he experienced a similar fate. He attacked the first offering that came his way, which again came down the middle, roping an RBI double.

“[My approach] is kind of simple,” Hartl said. “I don’t really like to think too much. So trying to see the first pitch I can go, and go.”

Entering Monday with only one hit in four games, Hartl indicated that he is adjusting to playing on the Cape. If he can continue to find his footing, he will prove an invaluable piece behind the dish for Bourne as the postseason nears.

“He’s trying to feel it out,” Landers said. “He’s going to be a big part of what we’re doing down the stretch. [He’s] getting his feet wet. I think he was a little passive early in his at-bats earlier this week. But he jumped on some balls and had some doubles.”

A look ahead

With a Braves loss and Falmouth Commodores win over Orleans, the gap between fourth and fifth place in the West Division has been reduced to one game. Following an off day on Tuesday, Bourne will visit the Brewster Whitecaps, fourth in the East Division and winners of three of their last four games, on Wednesday. The two teams have faced each other twice so far this summer, with the 'Caps emerging victorious in both meetings.

Left-hander Beau Bryans (Alabama) is in line to start against Brewster and has posted a 4.50 ERA, sub-one WHIP and 10 strikeouts across 10 frames on the bump. In a start against Yarmouth-Dennis — his first of the season — on July 2, Bryans threw five strong innings and only relinquished two hits while striking out four.

The Whitecaps will likely go with righty Seth Tomczak (Cal State Fullerton) on the mound Wednesday. Tomczak last started on June 27 at Cotuit, where he tossed four innings of two-hit ball and struck out four. This summer, he owns a 2.31 ERA and 12 punchouts in 11 2/3 frames.

First pitch will be at 5 p.m. on Wednesday from Stony Brook Field in Brewster.


1,308 fans attended Doran Park on Monday… With two knocks on Monday, Gillespie is on a four-game hitting streak… Outfielder Chris Stanfield (LSU) has hits in back-to-back games… Kozeal extended his on-base streak to five games with a walk on Monday. He is also tied for the lead league in doubles with six… Outfielder Ethan Conrad (Wake Forest) has a share of the league lead in stolen bases with 13… Righty Nolan Sparks (Boston College) has the third-most strikeouts on the Cape (20)... Bourne has stolen the most bases in the league with 52, eight more than the next-best team… The Braves also boast the most walks drawn (100) and second-most strikeouts thrown (194) in the CCBL.

(Photo credit: Shannen Hardy)