ORLEANS — The Orleans Firebirds had four players named to the 2021 Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Team. Outfielder Chase DeLauter (James Madison U.) and utility player Peyton Chatagnier (Ole Miss) were honored, while pitchers Hayden Thomas (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) and Nick Wallerstedt (Arizona State U.) also made the cut.
The Firebirds (11-13-4) have plenty of star power in their bats this year, as the team leads the league in home runs with 31 and has scored 149 runs through 28 games, averaging 5.3 runs per game.
Third baseman Tyler Locklear (Virginia Commonwealth U.) holds the individual league lead in home runs with nine, while DeLauter is in second place with eight.
That great hitting hasn’t translated into enough wins to keep the team above .500, however. The Birds are currently in second-to-last place in the East Division, six games behind the first place Brewster Whitecaps.
The pitching staff for the Birds has allowed 145 runs this season, which might be part of the problem. Compare that to the Bourne Braves (21-5-3), the league’s best team, which has allowed only 93 runs.
But it was the Birds who outplayed the Braves at both the plate and on the mound on Monday night with a convincing 10-5 victory over the first-place squad.
Orleans pitcher Nathan Florence (U. of Hartford) threw four shutout innings to start the game for the Birds, while Locklear added his ninth home run of the season and the team led 3-0.
Orleans first baseman Trae Harmon hit a three-run shot over the left field fence to put the Firebirds up 6-0 in the sixth. Up until that point, no team had gone up six runs against the Braves this season.
The Braves made an effort at a comeback, narrowing the lead to 6-4 in the top of the seventh. But some well-timed hitting allowed the Birds to score another four runs in the bottom of the inning.
Orleans All-Star Nick Wallerstedt entered the game as a closer in the eighth inning and allowed one run before finishing off the ninth. Wallerstedt has pitched 14.2 innings for the Birds this summer, mainly as a closer, and allowed just two runs while totaling 18 strikeouts.
The win against Bourne was a huge one for Orleans. At press time, the Firebirds had just eight games left in regular season play. The team will need to make up some ground in order to earn a spot in the playoffs.