ORLEANS — The Firebirds, seeded second, swept their playoff series with number 3 Harwich to advance to the East Division Finals this week, where they took game 1 against top-seeded Yarmouth-Dennis on Monday night at Red Wilson Field. It’s the first time since 2017 that Orleans has advanced to the playoff semifinals.
Jack Penney (Notre Dame) has had the hot bat in the playoffs, hitting .500 through 3 games with 2 RBIs. Matt Halbach (UC San Diego) is batting .333 with an RBI and a run scored.
Ivran Romero (UC San DIego) and Greysen Carter (Vanderbilt) were strong in both their starts. Both went 6 innings and combined to give up just 7 hits and 3 runs. Carter struck out 8 — the most by a Firebird pitcher this season — in game 1 against Harwich. Romero tallied 6 strikeouts in game 2.
Evan Truitt gave up a pair of home runs in his start against the Red Sox but limited the damage to 3 runs in 4 innings.
The Firebirds-Red Sox game 2 on Tuesday was rained out and was rescheduled to Wednesday.
Game 1: Firebirds 2, Mariners 1
Jack Penney delivered a hit on a full count to lift Orleans to a 2-1 walk-off victory over Harwich at Whitehouse FIeld on Friday night in game 1 of the East Division playoffs. The Firebirds scored both runs in the bottom of the ninth. Greysen Carter gave up only the solo home run that put the Mariners ahead 1-0.
The Firebirds weren’t without their chances to tie the game after Ali Camarillo (Texas A&M) took Carter deep to left-center field in the sixth. They stranded Eddie King Jr. (Louisville) at third in the seventh. They loaded the bases in the ninth when King reached on a walk, Brandon Stahlman (UNC-Charlotte) got a hit, and Owen Carapellotti (Georgetown) laid down a perfect bunt single. Colin Tuft (Virginia) struck out on a checked swing, and Jo Oyama (UC Irvine) also went down on strikes. But Justin Rubin (Virginia) chopped into the outfield to tie the game. Penney then connected on a 3-2 pitch to give the Firebirds the win.
Game 2: Firebirds 4, Mariners 2
Orleans scored 3 runs to erase a one-run deficit en route to a 4-2 series-clinching win over Harwich on Saturday at Eldredge Park. The Firebirds held a 1-0 advantage early when Eddie Micheletti Jr.’s (George Washington) single to center field drove in Jack Penney. Kevin Keister (Maryland) hit a sacrifice fly off Firebirds starter Ivran Romero to tie the game before Ethan Anderson’s (Virginia) RBI gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead.
Matt Halbach’s single to right field put runners at the corners and Micheletti delivered again to score Justin Rubin to make it 2-2. With Halbach on third, Eddie King Jr. fought through an extended at bat of nine pitches, and his sacrifice fly put Orleans ahead 3-2. Penney added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, which set up the best closer in the league, Sean Matson (Harvard), to finish the game out and send the Firebirds into the next round.
Game 1: Firebirds 8, Red Sox 4
Fenwick Trimble (James Madison) hit a grand slam to lift Orleans to an 8-4 victory over Yarmouth-Dennis in game 1 of the East Division Finals at Red Wilson Field on Monday. The Red Sox took a 3-1 lead thanks to a pair of home runs on either side of a Skylar King RBI. Brady Day and Zander Darby each left the park against Evan Truitt (College of Charleston). Hunter Hines took Everett Catlett (Georgetown) deep to make it 4-1 Red Sox in the sixth.
But the Firebirds didn’t allow a run after that. Oyama drove in a run and then scored on a wild pitch to get Orleans within 4-3. It was Trimble’s turn to produce the heroics when he hit his grand slam to left field, giving the Firebirds a 7-4 advantage. They addded a run in the eighth.