Selsky’s Four RBI Help Firebirds End Two-Game Skid

By Greg Joyce

On Friday morning, some members of the Orleans Firebirds showed up to Eldredge Park hours before their bus to Falmouth was scheduled to leave. The team was coming off two straight shutout losses, in which the offense mustered just four hits. Batters wanted to get some early batting practice in to shake off their offensive woes. It seems that the extra effort helped, as the Firebirds got back in the win column after a 7-4 win at Falmouth on Friday night.

Steve Selsky (Arizona) led the way for Orleans, racking up three hits and four RBI, while Ben Waldrip (Jacksonville State) added a solo shot, his first of the year.

“He’s clutch,” field manager Kelly Nicholson said of Selsky. “ I’ve seen Selsky up here before, and he’s a very, very good hitter. He did a nice job tonight.”

In the top of the third with the score 0-0, the skies opened up and caused an hour-long rain delay. Soon after the game resumed, the Commodores took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third off Tyler Johnson (Stony Brook).

Orleans was quick to respond though, as they tied at one in the top of the fourth. The inning started when Matt Duffy (Long Beach State) laid a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single. Maxx Tissenbaum (Stony Brook) moved Duffy over to second on a sac-bunt, setting the stage for Selsky’s first RBI. The junior outfielder hit a line drive to the gap in right-center field for a double, scoring Duffy.

The Commodores scored another run in the fifth off Johnson, but the Firebirds responded again in the seventh, when Waldrip hit a towering home run over the right field fence to tie the game at two.

The score would remain two all until the top of the eighth, when the Firebirds took the lead for good. The inning started when Rudy Flores (Florida International) hit a single down the left field line, and Will Piwnica-Worms (Duke) ran for him. Duffy was up next, and he put down another bunt, this one on the first base line. The Falmouth pitcher got to the ball, but slipped on the wet infield and Duffy was safe at first. Then, Tissenbaum came up and bunted down the third base line. The pitcher tried to get the out at third, but Piwnica-Worms beat the throw, loading the bases with no outs. Once again, Selsky came up and delivered, this time with a line drive to left-center field, scoring Piwnica-Worms and Duffy.

“They played small ball pretty well,” Nicholson said of his team. “Duffy got down some good bunts, we moved some guys over, had some sac-flies.”

With the score 4-2, Kenny Long (Illinois State) entered his second inning of work in the bottom of the eighth. He let up a run to make it 4-3, but Trevor Gott (Kentucky) came in to eventually get a strike out for the third out of the inning.

The Firebirds added insurance runs in the top of the ninth, which started with Tarran Senay’s (NC State) first hit of the summer, a single to center field. Piwnica-Worms followed with a single of his own, before Duffy put down a sac-bunt to move the runners over. Tissenbaum then shot a line drive to right field, scoring Senay. Selsky secured his final RBI of the night when he hit a bloop single to right field to make it 6-3. Waldrip also added his second RBI when he hit a sacrifice fly to left to drive in Tissenbaum.

Gott allowed a run in the bottom of the ninth, but got out of any major trouble to record his second save of the season. Long got his first win of the year with his 1.2 innings pitched, allowing just one run. Matt Boyd (Oregon State) also pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings in relief in his first appearance for Orleans.

Johnson did not factor into the decision, but his final line was 4.2 innings pitched, seven hits, two runs, five strikeouts, and one walk.

In addition to his textbook bunting, Duffy scored two runs, and also flashed some leather in the field.

The Firebirds’ seven runs and 13 hits were both season-highs, and a great improvement from the previous two games.

“Those guys swung the bats really well tonight,” Nicholson said. “It’s going to take them a little time, but tonight was really encouraging.”

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About firebirdsccbl
The official blog of the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Check here for the latest news on the Firebirds, and be sure to follow us on Facebook (Orleans Firebirds), Twitter (@FirebirdsCCBL) and YouTube (OrleansFirebirds).

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