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Cape Cod Baseball League: Orleans 7, Wareham 3 — Fast start yields road win for Firebirds

by Joshua Kummins

WAREHAM, Mass. — The Orleans Firebirds, now sitting atop the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Eastern Division, used timely hitting and strong pitching performances to defeat the skidding Wareham Gatemen by a 7-3 count on Saturday night at Spillane Field.

Every player drove reached base and/or drove in a run in the contest to pace a nine-hit attack for the Firebirds, who have now won two straight away games.

Orleans (4-2-1) has won two games in a row and three of the last five to propel themselves into the top of the division and within one point of the league’s best team, the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. Wareham (4-4-0) has now dropped two straight and three of four, now sitting three points back in the Eastern Division.

The ‘Birds drew first blood in the second inning against Gatemen starter Josh Turley (Baylor), making his Cape League debut.

After right fielder Steve Selsky (Arizona) singled, first baseman and Medford, Mass. native Ben Waldrip (Jacksonville State) poked a bunt midway down the third-base line that advanced the runners.

Third baseman Steve Nyisztor (Rutgers) walked to load the bases, which set up catcher Jake Hernandez (USC) for a shot to open a comfortable lead early and he did just that on a long double into the left field corner that cleared the bases to score three runs.

In the next inning, Nyisztor hit a strong bunt towards first base that was far enough for second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum (Stony Brook) to score the fourth run after he hit a leadoff double.

The teams traded runs in the fifth inning as the Firebirds took a 5-0 lead on a one-out home run to deep left field by Selsky against Gatemen reliever Brent Suter (Harvard).

Wareham finally got to Orleans after returning starter and Sharon, Mass. native John Brebbia (Elon) exited the game. Brebbia tossed four, two-hit innings, while walking one and fanning three. The Gatemen worked up his pitch count to 66 early, which signaled the end of the night from manager Kelly Nicholson.

Against reliever Nick Mutz (Western Oklahoma), Wareham’s first run came on an outfield-assisted fielder’s choice, which was hit into by second baseman L.J. Mazilli (Connecticut). The play scored shortstop Derek Dennis (Michigan) as he reached on an infield error to open the frame.

Firebirds first baseman Rudy Flores (Florida International) was hit by the first pitch from Wareham pitcher Daniel Feehan, a Nashua, N.H. South High School graduate and UConn Husky, which set up another RBI double by Jake Hernandez.

Feehan tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, while allowing just one hit. He made way for Abington, Mass. native and Maine Black Bear Stephen Perakslis, who tossed two innings and allowed just a hit and a walk.

Orleans left fielder Tarran Senay (N.C. State) then hit a long sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Hernandez with the seventh and final run in support of reliever Mutz, who earned his first-ever CCBL win.

Wareham closed the scoring with single runs in the sixth and eighth innings on an infield single and a shortstop groundout by Dennis, respectively.

As the Orleans hit early and often, Josh Turley was sent off early and suffered his first loss of the summer as he surrendered five hits and four runs in just three innings.  

The teams return to the field on Sunday for doubleheaders, which will be hosted by the Eastern Division teams. Wareham travels to Yarmouth-Dennis, while Orleans returns to their home, Eldredge Park, where the Firebirds host the Cotuit Kettleers.

If you are visiting the Cape, you may want to visit Eldredge as Team USA-bound pitcher Marcus Stroman (Duke) is scheduled to start the nightcap game for Orleans.

NOTE: During my annual Cape Cod trip in July, I’ll have a report here on BSU18 with smaller recaps from all of the night’s games during the visit. This visit was a personal one to visit a family friend playing for Orleans, but I figured why not write something anyway. 

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