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Bourne strings together 3 hits in 9th, erases late Chatham lead to force 3-3 tie

by Allie Kaylor , 06-28-2021

Bourne strings together 3 hits in 9th, erases late Chatham lead to force 3-3 tie

BOURNE — Trevor Martin had a simple task: Get one final out in the bottom of the ninth to secure the Anglers’ first road win and the Braves’ first loss. He’d already gotten the first one. But when the cutoff throw from Lyle Miller-Green reached Caden Grice’s glove as he pivoted toward the plate, the runner on third had already glided home. Martin gave up four line drives in his 0.2 innings of work, three finding grass in the shallow outfield, and the other finding the netting of Miller-Green’s glove but advancing a runner.

The Anglers also blew their chance at a win — a new CCBL rule eliminated extra innings, which they learned in their first game at Falmouth. Now, Martin just needed to prevent a loss. Andrew Benefield fielded a ground ball and beat the runner to third to end the game and secure the second tie of the season. The Anglers surpassed their hit total from the previous two games combined, their bats waking up one day before Caden Grice and Kevin Parada leave for Team USA, but the two-out single negated eight strong innings of Chatham pitching in the 3-3 tie.

“We were a little bit better,” manager Tom Holliday said. “It was a tightly pitched game, but we played good defense, we pitched really good.”

Aaron Davenport (Hawaii) and Adam Tulloch (West Virginia) strung together seven innings without a walk on the mound. The pair had combined for a three-hit, three-run game in a loss to Yarmouth-Dennis on June 22 and combined for another impressive outing against a robust Braves team Monday.

Davenport appeared to show command issues that had plagued him in his last appearance, allowing a run off two singles and a hit batter before a 9-3-6 play caught Fedko in a rundown to end the inning. But unlike his three-run game against the Red Sox, the junior settled down and allowed just one more baserunner — a second-inning leadoff triple that scored on a wild pitch — while striking out two to keep the game within distance for the Anglers.

That first strike came when Stephenson (Temple College) laced a ball down the first-base line and followed right behind it as Bourne right fielder Kyler Fedko raced in. Fedko lunged forward in an attempt to catch the ball, coming just inches short of his glove. While the rest of the infield stood around, waiting for confirmation for whether the ball was caught, Stephenson, a self-proclaimed hitter without power, didn’t slow as he rounded first and proceeded to second for a standing double.

His third-inning double was the Anglers’ second hit all night — the first since a leadoff single by Caden Trenkle (Oklahoma State) — against a Braves team that had held opponents to a West Divsion-leading .216 average entering Monday’s game. Stephenson advanced to third on a groundout to the right side and scored on a two-out single by Kevin Parada (Georgia Tech) for Chatham’s first run of the night and Bourne’s 15th allowed all season.

Stephenson’s third-inning helped cut into that lead, and he erased it when he touched home in the fifth. He tripled with a hit that landed just a few feet past his earlier one for the Anglers’ fifth hit of the night — more than they’d hit in the two games prior. Trenkle sent a hard-hit ball just over the head of shortstop Tanner Schobel, his second single of the night and second RBI of the season after a slow start.

That single brought Parada to the plate, another Angler that had a slow start to the season but was riding a three-game hitting streak that he extended to four with a third-inning RBI single. He wasted no time in the batter’s box, sending a first-pitch fastball in the right-center gap.

Trenkle sprinted from first, stopping at third after a red light from third-base coach Randy Whisler. He made it halfway home, but ultimately trotted back to the bag after the cutoff throw reached the infield, holding Parada to a two-bagger. The Anglers remained hitless for the rest of the inning, but a sacrifice fly advanced Trenkle to home, giving the Anglers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish until the very end.

That’s where the offensive production would end for the Anglers, positioning the Braves to eliminate the gap several innings later. The final four innings saw 11 Chatham batters record 11 outs, and Stephenson was caught stealing for the 12th.

But where the hits weren’t coming, the power was. In the eighth, Parada nailed a fly ball in the left-center gap, poised to record his second double of the night and third straight hit. But Colby Thomas slid in and held up his glove, with the ball inside, to rob a hit that likely would’ve been for extra bases.

After a talk from Tom Holliday in the on-deck circle, Jake DeLeo, who hadn’t had a hit in seven at bats, stepped up to the plate. He swung at the first pitch, and off the bat, it looked like he’d finally break that streak. But another highlight-reel catch from Thomas — nearly identical to the first — sent DeLeo back to the dugout for the eighth-consecutive time.

“That kid made two great plays, that’s the unknown,” Holliday said. “You don’t know what we would’ve done had those been base hits."

Adam Tulloch bailed out the missing offense in later innings, allowing just one baserunner in his first inning. Josh Rivera perfectly timed a jump to rob a potential leadoff bloop single, but it was just out of reach, instead hitting his glove and bouncing into the dirt in what was ruled an error on the shortstop. Nevertheless, he continued his streak of dominance by allowing four baserunners in each of his following and throwing a perfect seventh. His four-inning appearance was the longest for a Chatham pitcher all year, as Holliday usually takes his pitchers out after three.

“Feeling really good, had everything working out there,” Tulloch said. “I was commanding the fastball really well, had both offspeeds come in. I was using them for strikes and for strikeouts.”

Adam Scoggins (Oral Roberts), who entered the game in the eighth, came back out in the ninth, looking to hold onto the lead for the Anglers’ first road win of the season. He struck out Dalton Rushing on three pitches before Martin entered the game to get the final two against a string of right handed batters in Bourne’s lineup.

As Bourne was guaranteed to not take the field again that game, manager Harvey Shapiro could be liberal with his switches — which he took advantage of. Shortstop Nick Goodwin pinch ran for catcher Colton Bender, the eight hitter that reached on the Braves’ second single of the inning. Then Braylen Wimmer, who entered the game batting .500 with two home runs and two doubles in five games, subbed in for the nine hitter and promptly sent an RBI single to right field.

By the time Joe Lampre grounded out to Benefield, the game was already over for Chatham. It wasn’t a loss, but the Anglers went back to the buses still searching for their first road win of the season, thinking about what could’ve been and almost was.

“That’s this crazy rule of nine inning baseball,” Holliday said. “Just like right now, everybody played a great baseball game, we had nothing but a tie. What’s a tie? I mean, come on.”