Braves Bring Lumber, Put Out Fire in Orleans
By Jim Chandley, CCBL Intern
ORLEANS, Mass.—The Bourne Braves are headed to the Cape League Finals for the first time in four years. Bourne Braves G.M. Mike Carrier had not been back to Eldridge Park since the Braves lost the final in 2005. “This feels nice, it’s good to win here,” said Carrier after his Braves dispatched the Firebirds 8-0 on Sunday.
“This field has been for us what Yankee Stadium was for a Red Sox fan,” said Braves assistant G.M. Darin Weeks. “This wasn’t like 2004 [when the Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in the playoffs] but it was close.”
The Braves seemed to be riding the momentum from a dramatic win the previous night at Doran Park. They were crisp in their infield and outfield practice and were joking around during batting practice. As they took the field, Seth Maness (East Carolina) was locked in. He set down ten in a row to start the game and continued to coast until he was lifted after the sixth inning.
Jimmy Reyes (Elon) was very good in his own right. Through five innings it was a 1-0 Bourne lead and the Firebirds had an edge about them. In the sixth, however, the wheels came off. Pierre LePage (Connecticut) hit a homerun to left centerfield to lead off the sixth. After Kyle Roller (East Carolina) was hit by a pitch, Stefen Romero (Oregon State) and Ben Klafczynski (Kent State) hit singles to bring the score to 3-0. Reyes was lifted from the game and people began to leave Eldridge Park.
On the other side, Maness was closing out six scoreless and taking a seat. When it was all said and done, the Firebirds would only be allowed 32 plate appearances by Maness along with Justin Poovey (Florida) and Kevin Munson (James Madison) who came in to relieve him.
Bourne continued to add to their lead in the seventh with hits from Scott Woodward (Coastal Carolina) and Rob Segedin (Tulane). After seven it was 6-0 Bourne. The Braves would tack on a run in the eighth thanks to a sacrifice fly by Zach MacPhee (Arizona State) and one more in the ninth on a solo shot off the bat of Roller.
The Braves brought Munson out in the ninth and it was clearly over. Munson was throwing 94-95 miles per hour and pounding the strike zone. The Firebirds managed only a walk by Jeremy Gould (Duke) and were set down for good.
Braves fans ran out onto the field as Firebirds fans headed for their cars. The Braves had punched a ticket to the Cape League Final, which will begin on Tuesday. Their opponent will depend on whether Y-D can hold serve against Cotuit at home or if the Ketteleers can pull off the upset. If Y-D prevails, they will host game one on Tuesday. If they lose, Cotuit will visit Doran Park on Tuesday night.
Jim Chandley can be reached at [email protected]
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Michael Campbell, Katy Ann Fitzpatrick