Luck Runs Out In Bourne

By Greg Joyce

For six and two-thirds innings on Sunday night, the Orleans Firebirds were cruising. They were up 4-1 behind great offensive and pitching performances, and everything was clicking. But that’s when there was a reversal of fortune, as the Bourne Braves scored five unanswered runs to take the 6-4 victory over the Firebirds at Doran Park.

The Braves put two runners on in the bottom of the sixth, before Mike Hauschild (Dayton) made his only mistake of the day, leaving a pitch up that was taken by Garret Cannizaro (Tulane) for a three-run home run that tied the game.

In the same inning, the Braves took the lead off a triple by Travis Jankowski (Stony Brook), who came in to score after the throw in from center field was not cut off.

Early on it looked promising for the Firebirds, as they held a 4-0 lead after three innings. Andrew Aplin (Arizona State) got things going as the first batter of the game, hitting a line drive to center field for a single, and then stole second base.

One out later, Matt Duffy (Long Beach State) was hit by a pitch. Then, with two outs, Jayce Boyd (Florida State) slapped a single into the gap in left to score Aplin and Duffy.

The Firebirds put up another two-spot in the third inning, which began when Jake Stewart (Stanford) connected for a triple to the left field fence. Duffy came up next and executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt. Stewart came breaking for home, and crossed the plate after Duffy laid a bunt down the third base line.

Later in the inning, Boyd came up and shot a double to center field for his second hit of the game. Steve Selsky (Arizona) followed with a RBI single to center field to stretch the lead to 4-0.

Bourne finally got to Hauschild in the fourth inning on a solo home run from Colin Moran (UNC).

From then on, it was all Braves, as they would score the four runs in the seventh and another in the eighth.

The run in the eighth came after a controversial play at third base. With a man on first and one out, Moran hit a single to right field, and the runner on first tried to take two bases on the play. Aplin’s throw from right field was a cannon, and got to Duffy at third a few seconds before the runner did. It appeared as though Duffy slapped the tag on the runner for the out, but the umpire said otherwise, leading to Orleans’ field manager Kelly Nicholson coming out for a discussion that ended in his ejection from the game.

The Firebirds had a few scoring chances late in the game, but could not push any more runs across the plate. The first opportunity came in the fifth, when Stewart led off with a double down the third base line. He moved over to third on a groundout by Duffy, bringing up Ben Waldrip (Jacksonville State). Waldrip hit a ground ball to the second baseman, who threw quickly to the plate to get Stewart for the out.

Another unsuccessful scoring threat came in the seventh inning for Orleans. Anthony Gomez (Vanderbilt) and Aplin started the inning with back-to-back singles to right field, They ended up at second and third when the Braves tried to throw out Gomez at third on Aplin’s single.

With one out, Duffy tried to put down another bunt with Gomez breaking for home, but he put it in the air long enough for Bourne’s pitcher Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina) to make the diving snag, and double up Gomez at third to end the inning.

The Firebirds’ 10 hits came off the bat of five players who each had two: Aplin, Stewart, Boyd, Selsky, and Gomez.

Kenny Long (Illinois State) was hit with the loss, after he relieved Hauschild and let up the triple to Jankowski, who scored the winning run.

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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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