Still Dreaming

BOU17_celebrate

whitneyIt’s been a dream of a summer for Blake Whitney (South Carolina Upstate) and Wednesday night, he had a big hand in sending the Bourne Braves’ summer into dream territory, too.

A late reinforcement who had a dominant season in the NECBL, Whitney tossed six shutout innings to send the third-seeded Braves into the Cape League championship series with 2-0 win that capped a sweep of Wareham.

Whitney, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound junior, had a 5.50 ERA in the spring but did lead his team with 82 strikeouts. He’s continued to pile up the Ks this summer, and everything else has fallen in line. Pitching for the North Adams Steeple Cats, he racked up 80 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched and finished with a 2.07 ERA. The 80 Ks led the league by a wide margin. The next-best total was 51.

Bourne scooped Whitney up when North Adams’ season ended. He pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief in his lone regular season outing.

Wednesday, Whitney drew the ball for the potential series clinched and kept doing his thing. He scattered four hits – all singles – and struck out six over six dominant innings. Not only was it exactly what the Braves needed, it was a ground-breaking performance for Bourne’s pitching staff.

Bryan Hoeing (Louisville) and Chad Luensmann (Nebraska) finished off the shutout.

The Braves got all the offense they needed from a Lyle Lin (Arizona State) home run and a Jared Triolo (Houston) RBI. Wareham got two hits from Willie MacIver (Washington) but couldn’t get on the board and saw its surprising run come to an end.

Bourne is in the title series for the first time since winning the 2009 championship.

Brewster 8, Orleans 3

Brewster will not go away. With their pitching staff taxed and Orleans trotting out another all-star hurler, the Whitecaps blasted three home runs and racked up 12 hits in a game two victory. Nick Dunn (Maryland), Chandler Taylor (Alabama) and Julian Infante (Vanderbilt) all went deep, while Mickey Gasper (Bryant) tripled and Darius Hill (West Virginia) doubled. Brewster scored four runs off Orleans starter Joey Murray (Kent State) and continued to add on against the Firebirds bullpen. The game shaped up as a slugfest early, but Brewster reliever Joe DeMers (Washington) put a clamp on Orleans’ part in the back-and-forth with three scoreless innings. Ryan Cyr (Kansas) and Troy Miller (Michigan) finished it off. Orleans got a home run from Ethan Paul (Vanderbilt) but managed just one run over the final seven innings. The top seed has now been pushed to a game three in both of its East Division series.

What to Watch

Brewster and Orleans return to Eldredge Park tonight for game three of the East finals.

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