for immediate release: 10 August, 2003
Game One 2003 Championship
Orleans 2, Bourne 1 (10 innings)
ORLEANS, MA – Myron Leslie’s RBI single in the bottom-of-the-tenth drove in Brandon Boggs with the winning run to give Orleans a 2-1 win and the first game of the best-of-three 2003 championship series.
The Cardinals had loaded the bases on a leadoff single by Boggs (Georgia Tech), a double off the right field fence by Matt Cooksey (George Mason) and an intentional walk to Jon Zeringue (LSU). The game winning hit was only the second hit of the playoffs for Leslie (South Florida), and his first hit with runners on base.
Game two of the finals is today at 3:00 p.m. at Bourne’s Coady Field. If a third game is necessary it will be in Orleans on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.
It was the third one-run game of the playoffs, Orleans 1-0 over Brewster in 14 innings and Bourne 1-0 in 13 innings, which have featured outstanding pitching and solid defense from all four teams. Bourne took a 1-0 lead in the third when Mike Butia (James Madison), the hero of Bourne’s win over Hyannis, singled to left to start off the inning. Butia went to second on an errant pickoff throw from Orleans hurler David Purcey. He moved to third on Tim Bush’s (Northeastern) sacrifice and scored on Sean Dobson’s (Toledo) infield out. The RBI was Dobson’s third of the playoffs.
Orleans came right back and tied the game in the fourth when Cesar Nicolas went deep over the left field fence for his third home run of the playoffs. Nicolas, the regular season RBI leader with 28, leads the playoffs with four.
The Braves had Orleans starter Purcey (Oklahoma) in and out of trouble most of the game. Bourne left nine runners on base, five in scoring position and three on third base. Devin Ivany (South Florida) reached third on a single, sacrifice and wild pitch in the second inning. Clifton Remole (Georgia Tech) made it to third, with two outs, in the fourth on a single, stolen base and an error. The best scoring opportunity for the Braves came in the seventh. With one out Andrew Toussaint (Southern University) walked for the second time, Matt Tolbert (Mississippi) reached on a bunt single and Butia was hit by a pitch. Bush could not get a bunt down on the first pitch and ended up striking out. Sean Dobson battled Purcey through eight pitches before grounding out to second to end the threat.
Purcey went eight strong innings for the Cardinals. The southpaw scattered five hits, walked three and struck out five. He was 4-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 52.2 IP during the regular season.
Ryan Schroyer picked up the win in relief. The Arizona State player pitched two innings, giving no hits, walking two and striking out four.
Bourne starter Jeff Dagenhart (William & Mary) went five plus innings before leaving in the top of the sixth with a blister. He gave up three hits, walked two and struck out six. He did give up Nicolas’ long home run. Dagenhart tied Eric Beattie with four wins to lead the Braves. He topped the team with eight starts and 50 innings pitched. Scott Shapiro came in for Dagenhart and went 2.2 innings allowing two hits and striking out two.
Orleans was not without scoring opportunities as it left runners on first and second in the second and had Cooksey reach third with two outs in the sixth. The best opportunity came in the eighth. Boggs started the inning with a flyball to deep right that Orleans players and fans thought was a home run. First base umpire Mark Ottavianelli ruled it a fan-interference double and after much discussion with Orleans manager Carmen Carcone and then the other three umpires, the decision stood. The discussion came about because a young fan reached over the fence with his glove, had the ball hit off his glove and then the fence before hitting the ground and being picked up by Butia. Two outs later, a strikeout and fly ball to center, that was deep enough to move Boggs to third, put the potential winning run 90 feet away. Leslie was hit by a pitch and Bourne manager Harvey Shapiro brought in Andrew Slorp. The UC-Santa Clara player ended the threat by getting Nicolas to fly out to right center on a nice running catch by Justin Maxwell. Maxwell had robbed Zeringue of extra bases in the third on a running catch at the track in left center.
Slorp took the loss for the Braves, giving up one run in an inning and two-thirds of work. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out one.
Nicolas’ home run snapped the Braves consecutive scoreless innings streak at 26.2 innings, the second longest in playoff history. Wareham pitched 29 straight scoreless innings in 1994. Bourne was also the first team since Cotuit in 1999 to pitch consecutive shutouts in the playoffs. With the 10-inning game, the Braves became the first team since Chatham and Hyannis in the 1982 finals to play consecutive extra-inning games.
For Bourne it was its first extra-inning loss of the summer (2-0 regular season, now 1-1 in playoffs). Orleans was 0-3 in extra-inning games during the regular season, but is 2-0 in the playoffs.
The championship series is being televised by CSTV, who did regular season games and the All-Star game. Jack Edwards is handling the play-by-play and Malcolm Moran, USA Today sportswriter, is doing the color. CSTV can be found on channel 610 of DirecTV. The second and third game (if necessary) will be broadcast by WCIB Cool 102 (101.9 FM) and it will simulcast through Free Teamline with Larry Egan and John Garner behind the microphones.
Bruce Hack, CCBL Historian