By Katie Vieth
July 8, 2004
LOWELL PARK — Let us ponder the first-baseman.
He is involved in a large number of the plays in a baseball game, so a good glove — with the ability to make a stretch to first for an out — is important, but not exactly vital to a team. So really, how important is a first-baseman to a team? Here’s a hint: two words. Bryan Harris.
When a first-baseman goes four for four, that helps a team. When that little batting statistic includes two home runs, a single, and a double (yes, that’s a triple away from the famous “cycle”), that makes a huge — maybe even game-changing — difference.
It was clear from the start of the game that Bourne was not to be an easy win. In the top of the first inning, Casey Hudspeth threw around twenty pitches (eleven to Tim Mascia, who would foul off five and would end up getting to first with a walk). The bottom of the first yielded fifteen for Bourne pitcher John Lewis.
Chase Headley would be the first to score, doing so in the second inning after a stolen base, a Nathan Emrick bunt, and an RBI single by Bobby Felmy. The Kettleers would leave second and third occupied in the second. The next run would come from Harris. With an 0-2 count, Harris connected and hit an into-the-woods home run. The crowd, which was recorded at eleven hundred forty-five, stood up and cheered. A two-run lead in the third inning! What more could you want? Bobby Felmy would add to the lead when he would reach first on a single, advanced to second on a Dennis Diaz hit down the third-base line, and scored on a Nathan Southard single to left field.
But a Bourne rally in the sixth was the clear answer to the Kettleers lead. Lead-off hitter Joseph Hunter hit a single to center, stole second, but was left there when Tim Mascia flew out on a foul and Craig Stinson was put out 6-3. (A leaping Ben Ingold made the stop.) Cotuit was beginning to feel a bit confident. Two outs, two-run lead … and then came Micah Owings, who on a 1-1 count, managed to hit a home-run shot to center and shattered a three-run lead. Austin Easley would follow with a single, but nothing would come of it after Greg Creek grounded out 4-3. It became quite clear that an offense, something that the Kettleers are not becoming known for, would be a good commodity to own.
Don’t forget about Bryan Harris.
A pitching change would place Ryan Cahalan on the mound, with Kyle Padgett up to bat. Padgett would get on with a walk, move to second when Greg Mangum managed to get to first, and moved to third when Joseph Hunter was hit by a pitch. The Braves then decided to put Brennan Boesch in the lineup. Boesch would get to first … on a walk. Cahalan would get out of the inning with a 5-3 double play, but with a tied game going into the bottom of the seventh, things were beginning to look a bit down for the maroon.
Nathan Southard and Jason Donald would both strike out swinging to lead off the inning, placing Bryan Harris at the plate (for the third time that game, with two outs). Bourne pitcher (who was previously the designated hitter) Micah Owings would manage to get a 1-2 count before Bryan Harris would hit another home run to left field, reinstating the Kettleers’ lead. Chase Headley would ground out to end the inning, but the Kettleers would fight through two more innings to seal another victory against the Bourne Braves.
Thank you, Bryan Harris.