Bourne Hopes to Take It to the Next Level in ’09
BOURNE, Mass. – A team can’t get much closer to the playoffs without getting in than the Bourne Braves did last year.
In a dead heat for the second playoff spot in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s West Division, the Braves battled the Falmouth Commodores down the stretch. Both teams finished at 23-20-1, so the Braves traveled to Falmouth for a one-game tiebreaker.
With nine outs remaining, Bourne held a 2-1 lead and seemed headed for the playoffs, but, alas, it was not to be. The Commodores scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the Braves home empty-handed after a season in which they failed to accomplish their main goal.
But Bourne is reloading and will look to make the playoffs in 2009. With a little luck and a lot of hustle, the Braves won’t have to do so by way of a one-game tiebreaker.
One key remember of the team who will be returning is second baseman (and fan favorite) Pierre LePage (Connecticut). LePage came to Bourne last year to fill in and made a lasting impression on his manager. “He plays the game the way it was meant to be played,” said Braves skipper Harvey Shapiro of LePage’s heart and hustle.
Other players who may join the Braves include Blake Forsythe (Tennessee), a strong defensive catcher, Cody Wheeler (Coastal Carolina) and Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi), two tough left-handed pitchers, and Scott Woodward (Coastal Carolina), a utility man with a strong bat.
What do all of these players have in common? Each of them may join Team USA this summer. “We certainly hope they’re going to be with us, but we will have to wait and see,” said Shapiro.
Also on Bourne’s roster is Anthony Rendon (Rice), who leads the Owls’ offense in virtually every category. Shapiro says Rendon “may be one of the best hitters in the country.”
Exactly who will be in Bourne and who will be traveling the globe with Team USA remains undetermined. But Shapiro still believes he will field a team that provides a fun and entertaining season for Braves fans.
The Braves’ first game is scheduled on Friday night, June 12, in Hyannis against the Mets. However, Bourne fans will get a preview of a few of their players on Sunday, June 7, at Doran Park when the Braves organizations plays host to a pre-season game between the U.S. Military All-Stars and a select Cape League squad. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Jim Chandley, CCBL Intern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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