09/26/2007 3:43 PM
2007 Season Review
(25-17-2 – 1st in West)
(Lost to No. 2 Falmouth, 2 games to 0, in Division Series)
BOURNE, Mass. – From worst to first. That, in a nutshell, is the story of the Bourne Braves. After winning just nine games and finishing the 2006 season with the worst record in the Cape Cod Baseball League, the Braves bounced back with a magical 2007 campaign which saw them finish first in the West Division for the third time in five years.
Losing four players to Team USA before the season even started and one to the fourth round of the 2007 MLB draft put Bourne in an early hole. Few would have thought the Braves would wind up as divisional champions and come within one victory of eclipsing their regular-season record for wins at 26.
Bourne finished among the league’s top four teams in pitching and batting and had five All-Stars on its roster. Named as starters for the July 28 game at Spillane Field in Wareham were second baseman Kevin Hoef (Iowa) and center fielder Ben Guez (William & Mary). Reserves were outfielder Josh Satin (California) and pitchers T.J. Hose (East Carolina) and Jordan Flasher (George Mason).
Because Bourne lost players to Team USA before the season, it allocated several spots for temporary players and, boy, did they come through! Hose, Guez and Bill Perry (Hartford) were exceptional. Perry gained considerable attention because he grew up and played high school ball in Falmouth and at season’s end he was named winner of the John J. Claffey Award as the league’s New England Prospect of the Year.
In July, the Bourne pitching staff had the best ERA in the league. Although the bats cooled off from a hot and steamy June, the team’s solid defense, strong pitching and clutch hitting continued and the wins continued to pile up. Bourne torched the West Division, losing only one game to Hyannis and none to the rival Cotuit Kettleers. Bourne finished with the league’s best regular-season home win mark of 16-6 and was 21-0 when leading after seven innings. When the Braves out-hit their opponent and scored first, they were 17-6.
But when the playoffs rolled around, Bourne couldn’t cope with the surging Falmouth Commodores and the Braves were eliminated in two straight games. The Braves gave it their all, even though reduced to a 16-man roster in the playoffs. Losing guys like Flasher, Matthew Hall (Auburn), T.J. Steele (Arizona), Mitch Moreland (Mississippi State) and Wade Kapteyn (Evansville) definitely hurt, but the players who remained finished with a strong and determined effort.
Bourne’s season highlight actually had nothing to do with wins and losses. The formal dedication of Doran Park, named for longtime Sagamore Beach resident and Cape Cod Baseball League fan George Doran Sr., was a rousing success. The first-class facility, located on the campus of Upper Cape Cod Regional Vocational Technical High School along the shores of the Cape Cod Canal, is a perfect example of what can be accomplished by hard-working volunteers with help from a grant by the Yawkey Foundation, which has contributed nearly $1 million to Cape League field improvements over the past several years.
By Andrew Grover, Bourne Braves Intern