09/03/2008 2:31 PM
Bourne Braves 2008 Season Review
One-Run Loss to Falmouth in Game 45
Keeps Bourne Braves from Post-Season
BOURNE, Mass. -- Despite an up-and-down season, the Bourne Braves pushed their West Division opponents to the brink in 2008. When the dust settled on the 44-game schedule, the Braves found themselves in a flat-footed tie with Falmouth for second place, forcing a one-game “play-in” to decide which team would meet first-place Cotuit in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s divisional playoffs.
A Friday that was supposed to be an off day suddenly became the most important date of the summer for both the Braves and the Commodores as they battled at Guv Fuller Field. Bourne took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, but Falmouth came back with two runs to win the game and clinch a playoff spot.
Despite failing to make it to the post-season, the Braves provided many pleasant memories for their growing corps of supporters. Attendance increased by more than 5,000 fans, thanks in large part to the introduction of 7 p.m. games under the new lights at Doran Park. Those fans were rewarded with being able to watch some of the Cape League’s top performers of 2008 doing their thing in Braves uniforms.
Bourne finished in the middle of the league in team pitching, but had three of the league’s best hurlers on its staff. Kevin Landry (William and Mary), Bryce Stowell (California-Irvine) and Nick McCully (Coastal Carolina) all had big seasons, with McCully’s 5-0 record and 1.98 ERA earning him the B.F.C. Whitehouse Award as the league’s outstanding pitcher. In 50 innings, spread over nine games, he struck out 44 batters while walking just 14.
Landry amd Stowell were similarly impressive. Landry was 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA and in 45 innings of work, he walked seven batters and struck out 44. Stowell pitched 45 2/3 innings in which he issued just nine walks while fanning 58. He finished with a 3-1 record and a 2.46 ERA.
Bourne entered the tiebreaking game against Falmouth riding a five-game winning streak. With that kind of momentum and a formidable pitching staff, the Braves figured to provide a formidable test for Cotuit if they could just get past Falmouth. The Commodores had other ideas, though, and their 3-2 victory in game 45 ended Bourne’s season.
Bourne also received help from some unlikely places. Marc Krauss (Ohio) played a great left field for the Braves despite not even being on the opening day roster. Krauss, who joined the team after being released by Harwich, and fellow outfielder Jordan Henry (Mississippi) finished fifth and sixth in the race for the league batting title, hitting .344 and .335, respectively. And Pierre LePage (Connecticut) joined the club late in the season and brought some much-needed energy for the stretch run.
Henry had a season for the record books as he set Braves marks for hits (60) and runs (42) in a season. He scored a run in 12 straight games to beat the record set by 2003 AL batting champion Bill Mueller (Bourne, 1992) with nine straight games.
Bourne will reload and be back at Doran Park next June. There’s talk that the team’s name will be changed and that the ballpark itself will see even more improvements, but the intensity and the expectations will remain high as Bourne continues its long quest for a Cape League championship, something the canal-side town has not enjoyed since 1965.
Jim Chandley, CCBL Intern ([email protected])
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen