COTUIT - Bruised and battered the Bourne Braves lived by the notion that you throw out the records once the playoffs start as the fourth seed in the West took down the top-seeded Cotuit Kettleers, 12-7, at Lowell Park on Thursday in the first game of the playoffs.
The Braves found themselves in firm control of things early after they plated five runs in the second inning, punctuated by a L.J. Mazzilli (UConn) three-run homer, to give them a 6-0 lead.
That lead would be short lived when the Kettleers rattled off seven runs of their own in the bottom half of the second. Cotuit left fielder Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) went 2-for-2 with a double, home and three RBIs in the frame as the team batted around.
The Braves needed a stop-gap and found one in reliever John Farrell (William and Mary) who kept the Cotuit hitters in check over 4 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out seven and keeping his team within one.
Jordan Patterson (South Alabama) led off the top of the fifth inning with a single back up the box for the Braves, setting up Joe Jackson (Citadel) who hit a one-out, two-run home run over the right field fence to give Bourne an 8-7 lead that they would not relinquish.
The Braves would double up on insurance in the sixth and seventh innings, scoring two runs in each frame as Mazzilli (4-for-6, two doubles, home runs, five RBIs, two runs) continued to lead the offensive charge.
In a game that took three and a half hours to complete and featured 28 hits, the Kettleers looked to have a late rally at hand as the final glimpses of daylight faded, loading the bases with one out. But Tony Giel (Columbia) shut the door by striking out Kemp and forcing James Roberts (USC) to ground out to third to end the game.
Jack Reinheimer (East Carolina) went 4-for-6 with two runs and two RBIs to help the Braves' cause. Cotuit got a 4-for-5 effort from Mike Ford (Princeton) who added an RBI and a run.
Game two will be played under the lights at Bourne's Doran Park on Friday night at 7:00p.m. Game three will be back at Lowell Park on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. if necessary.
NOTES: Cotuit starter Adam McCreery (Arizona State) lasted only an inning and a third, allowing five runs on four hits and two walks. In two regular season appearances against Bourne, McCreery allowed four runs over five innings...Bourne starter Jon Keller (Nebraske-Lincoln) didn't fare much better, lasting only an inning and two thirds after allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks. In eight regular season starts, Keller did not face the Kettleers...Jeff Thompson (Louisville) is schedule to be the Braves starting pitcher on Friday night. Cotuit has not announced their starter.
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