ORLEANS — The Firebirds (24-19) secured a berth in the Cape Cod Baseball League playoffs with a win over Falmouth on July 26. The team has a shot at the East Division championship. A win on Wednesday over Chatham or a Yarmouth-Dennis loss to Wareham would give the Firebirds the title. Orleans is 7-3 in its last 10 games and has been building momentum with four straight wins.
Besides the Red Sox and Firebirds, Harwich and Brewster both clinched spots in the postseason from the East. On the other side of the line, Cotuit locked up the West Division title and will be joined by Hyannis, Falmouth, and Bourne in the playoffs.
Firebirds 8, Anglers 7
Orleans beat Chatham at Veterans Field on Friday. The Firebirds saw a 5-2 lead slip away as Chatham scored 3 runs in the fifth inning before play was halted by fog. When it resumed, Greysen Carter (Vanderbilt) threw just one pitch on a 3-2 count to end the inning. Jo Oyama (UC Irvine) broke the tie with an infield single, but the Anglers responded with two runs in the bottom half of the sixth to take a 7-6 lead.
Eddie Micheletti Jr. (George Washington), who has provided clutch hits at big moments all season, delivered on 1-0 pitch to drive in Jack Penney (Notre Dame) to tie the game. Matt Halbach (UC San Diego) then crossed home plate on a passed ball to put the Firebirds ahead. Sean Matson (Harvard) came in for the save, stranding a runner in scoring position.
Jack Penney (Notre Dame) was 2 for 5, including a 3-run homer. Carter got the win, pitching 4 2/3 innings and allowing only 2 hits and 2 runs.
Anglers 5, Firebirds 4
Orleans’s comeback bid fell short in the second game of an abbreviated double-header at Veterans Field on Friday. The Firebirds trailed 5-2 after the Anglers pushed across three runs in the home half of the sixth inning, sparked by Kyson Donahue’s (Hawaii) two-run home run. It was the first batter that Cole Glassburn (Keiser) faced, having come in in relief for Colton Sundloff (Oklahoma).
Orleans fought back and got within 5-4 on Halbach’s 2-run single in the eighth, but the Firebirds went down 1-3-4 in the top of the ninth, leaving a runner on first.
Firebirds 10, Whitecaps 6
Halbach hit 2 home runs to spark the Firebirds’ win over Brewster at Eldredge Park on Saturday. Halbach’s 3-run shot in the first was followed by a Jack Penney single that drove in Jo Oyama to wipe out Brewster’s early lead. The Firebirds put up 4 more runs in the third.
Halbach hit his second blast of the night — a two-run shot in the sixth — to make it 10-2.
Brewster responded with 3 runs in the eighth, but Sean Matson came in to close out the win with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Starting pitcher Sam Hliboki (Vanderbilt) went 3 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and 3 runs. Matson improved to 3-0 in his eighth appearance without surrendering a hit. Halbach was 3 for 5 with 5 RBIs.
Firebirds 11, Harbor Hawks 7
The Firebirds built an 11-0 lead through eight innings on Sunday before holding off a late rally by the Harbor Hawks. The Orleans bats exploded for 13 hits in the win, while seven batters reached via walks. Eddie King Jr. had three hits in a game for the third time this season, driving in a run and scoring two. Oyama, Fenwick Trimble (James Madison), Micheletti, and Colin Tuft (Virginia) all had two hits. Ivran Romero (UC San Diego) pitched six scoreless innings to secure his first win.
Firebirds 2, Mariners 1
Orleans made it three straight wins with a 2-1 walk-off victory over Harwich on Monday. The Firebirds and Mariners combined for 11 hits and 16 runners left on base in the pitcher’s duel at Eldredge Park. Derek Clark (Northwood) pitched 7 innings before Matson closed out the visitors with 2 scoreless innings. Penney and Jake Casey (Kent State) each had RBIs when runs were at a premium.
Firebirds 11, Red Sox 4
Orleans had a 5-run fourth inning to pull away from Yarmouth-Dennis on Tuesday in a win that put the Firebirds a half game ahead in the standings in the race for the East Division crown with one game remaining. Trimble broke a 3-3 tie with a single that drove in Henry Hunter (Alabama Birmingham) before hits from Halbach and Micheletti, who pushed across 2 runs with a double, and a bases loaded walk made it 8-3. The Firebirds added three more runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach.
Halbach went 4 for 6. Mauricio Rodriguez (Rice) earned the win in his third appearance for the Firebirds. Ryan Rissas (UC San Diego) pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings with 4 strikeouts before Nate Scott (Fordham) came on to close the game out.