08/11/2023 10:48 AM
Article By: Daniel Curren
After six days of thrilling baseball, the CCBL playoffs have been narrowed down to two teams. The Championship Series, presented by T-Mobile, starts tonight, and the remaining two teams will battle it out to see who will be the kings of the Cape in 2023. It’s time to meet the last two competitors.
# 4 Bourne Braves vs #2 Orleans Firebirds
Game 1: Bourne at Orleans 6:30 pm - Friday, Aug. 11th
Game 2: Orleans at Bourne 6:00 pm - Saturday, Aug. 12th
Game 3 (If Nec): Bourne at Orleans 6:30 pm - Sunday, Aug. 13th
Season Series: 3-1 Orleans
After starting the season with a record of 1-5-1, the Braves finished the season 22-15 to secure the last playoff spot in the West. From there, the swept the #1 Cotuit Kettleers and defeated the #2 Hyannis Harbor Hawks to advance to the finals. Bourne has scored 10 runs per game in the five playoffs games they have played, and they scored a dozen or more runs in three of the five games. The Braves have a teamwide OPS of .973 throughout the playoffs.
Bourne’s most dominant bats throughout the playoffs include Joshua-Kuroda Grauer (Rutgers), Pete Ciuffreda (Rutgers), Garrett Michel (Virginia Tech), and Sam Petersen (Iowa). All four of them have an OPS above 1.050 in the playoffs. Ciuffreda is slashing .250/.600/.875 for a 1.475 OPS in 15 plate appearances. His two hits include a home run and a triple, and he has also tallied six walks. Kuroda-Grauer is slashing .500/.536/.875 for a 1.411 OPS in 29 plate appearances. He has driven in 10 runs in his five games played. Michel is slashing .400/.478/.900 for a 1.378 OPS in 23 plate appearances, and Petersen is slashing .444/.524/.556 for a 1.080 OPS in 21 plate appearances.
Other bats to watch for the Braves include Derek Bender (Coastal Carolina), Bryce Eblin (Alabama) and Jonathan Vastine (Vanderbilt). All three of them have an OPS over .950 throughout the playoffs.
On the mound tonight for Bourne is Bryce Cunningham (Vanderbilt). Throughout the regular season, he posted a 2.38 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 22.2 innings pitched. Cunningham tossed five shutout innings against Orleans on 7/19.
After falling to 2-6 early in the season, the Firebirds finished the regular season with a record of 22-14 to clinch the second seed in the East. They then swept the #3 Harwich Mariners and the #1 Y-D Red Sox. Throughout the playoffs, Orleans pitching has allowed 2.5 runs per game, and they have a team ERA of 2.25. Opponents have hit just .180 against Orleans pitchers, and they have a WHIP of 0.940.
The Firebird’s strongest pitchers in the playoffs have included Matthew Watson (Texas A&M Corpus Cristi), Sean Matson (Harvard), and Jaden Winter (East Carolina). Together, the three of them have given up a combined one earned run over 13 innings pitched throughout the playoffs. They have also struck out 12 and walked five.
On offense, the Firebirds have been led by Jack Penney (Notre Dame). Penney is slashing .400/.526/.467 for a .993 OPS in 19 plate appearances. Other bats to watch for include Jo Oyama (UC Irvine) and Matt Halbach (UC San Diego).
On the mound for the Firebirds tonight is Greysen Carter (Vanderbilt). Carter dominated the Mariners in his last outing, throwing six innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts. The right-hander is known for his power fastball which sits in the high 90s.