Without Pre-Game BP, Bats Put On A Show

By Greg Joyce

The Firebirds did not take batting practice before their game Saturday night, but you never would have known it, as Orleans won its fourth straight game in a 10-2 win over the Bourne Braves at Eldredge Park. Andrew Gomez (Vanderbilt), Matt Duffy (Long Beach State), and Ben Waldrip (Jacksonville State) each recorded three hits apiece on the night, while Matt Boyd (Oregon State) impressed on the mound in his first start of the summer.

Gomez got the offense going in the first inning, when he lifted an opposite field blast over the right field fence for a solo home run to make it 1-0. The round tripper was Gomez’s first of the year.

Meanwhile, Boyd held the Braves hitless through the first three innings, and made it through the fourth without allowing any runs. His night ended after the fourth though, as he hit the 65-pitch limit that his coaching staff had set for him before the game.

Though he did not last long enough to record the win, Boyd threw an important four innings, as he kept Bourne off the scoreboard and cleared the way for his team to jump on the Braves offensively.

“It always starts with starting pitching,” field manager Kelly Nicholson said.

In their half of the fifth inning, the Firebirds put up a four-spot to extend their lead. Gomez led off the inning with an infield single to deep shortstop, followed by another single from Duffy to right field.

Waldrip came up next and lined a pitch down the left field line, good for a ground rule double that scored Gomez.

One out later, Jayce Boyd (Florida State) hit a ground ball to the shortstop, who threw home to get Duffy, but his throw was off and everybody was safe, with Orleans now up 3-0.

Jake Stewart (Stanford) kept the rally going with a single to left-center field, which scored both Waldrip and Boyd.

With the 5-0 lead, Nick Mutz (Western Oklahoma) retired the side in order in the sixth inning, leading to the next offensive splash by the Firebirds.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Gomez and Duffy hit back-to-back singles before Waldrip hit a RBI single to left field to make it 6-0.

After Steve Selsky (Arizona) hit an infield single to deep shortstop, Boyd hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Duffy.

Then, Stewart came up again and recorded his third RBI of the night with a single to center field that gave Orleans the 8-0 lead.

Mutz allowed two solo home runs in the next inning, but that was the only offense the Braves could muster on the night.

But the Firebirds weren’t done scoring, and tacked on two final runs in the bottom of the seventh. Pinch-hitting with one on and one out, Matt Lowenstein (Loyola Marymount) smacked a single through the right side, followed by a walk to Gomez.

Rudy Flores (Florida International) then hit a sac-fly to center field to score Ronnie Shaeffer (UC Irvine), the ninth run of the game.

On the next play, Tarran Senay (NC State) hit a deep fly to left-center field that the left fielder tracked down, but he was unable to make the catch, and Lowenstein scored. That notched the tally at 10-2, the way it would end.

Kenny Long (Illinois State) and Tyler Johnson (Stony Brook) each made scoreless appearances out of the bullpen, preserving the Firebird lead.

As the 2-4 batters in the Orleans lineup, Gomez, Duffy, and Waldrip combined for nine hits and seven runs, making a huge impact in the game.

“Those guys did a really good job tonight,” Nicholson said. “They got good pitches to hit, and they capitalized.”

With 14 hits and 10 runs on the night, the Firebirds put on an offensive showcase, all without batting practice prior to the game. Regardless, Nicholson was pleased with the outcome

“Kind of a crazy game,” he said. “We don’t take BP and we score 10 runs. Go figure.”

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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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