A few notes on the Orleans at Wareham game from Friday night:
The pitching matchup had Kurt Heyer (Arizona) going for the Firebirds and Barrett Astin (Arkansas) throwing for the Gatemen. Both pitchers had only worked 13.1 innings this summer so it didn't seem likely that either would be around late in the game.
Heyer, making his fourth start, lasted just 3.2 innings allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and 3 earned runs. Astin gave manager Cooper Farris more than he could have hoped for. Making just his second start for Wareham, Astin tossed 8 innings and gave up only 4 hits, 2 walks and one earned run while striking out 7. Astin is now 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA. Heyer is 1-1; 4.24.
Wareham's Daniel Palka (Georgia Tech) drove in a run in each of his first three at-bats. Palka finished the evening 2 for 4 and is now batting .286.
UConn's John Andreoli singled 3 times and was driven in by Palka each time. Andreoli is batting .362.
It was a tough night for Steve Selsky. The Orleans rightfielder was 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts.
Michael Fischer (Columbia) got the start behind the plate for Wareham. Fischer was appearing in just his fourth game and was hitless in 8 official plate appearances before singling in the eighth inning. He got a nice ovation from his teammates.
Wareham scored their fifth run in the sixth inning, aided by Orleans' miscues. Jeff Reynolds (Harvard) started the inning by getting hit by a pitch from Tyler Johnson (Stony Brook). Reynolds wound up on third when an errant pickoff throw by Johnson ended up foul territory. One out later, Mott Hyde (Georgia Tech) walked. Hyde wasted no time taking off for second and Reynolds scored when Orleans catcher Ronnie Shaeffer (UC-Irvine) threw the ball into centerfield.
Four starters in the Firebirds lineup finished the evening with averages of .200 or lower. Anthony Gomez (Vanderbilt) and Shaeffer are at .200 while Tarran Senay (North Carolina State) is batting .170 and Jake Stewart (Stanford) sits at .146.
Trailing 6-3 entering the ninth, Orleans mounted a comeback that fell just short. Baylor's Dillon Newman came on in relief of Astin and only recorded one out as the Firebirds loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Daniel Feehan (UConn) took over for Newman and Orleans manager Kelly Nicholson countered by sending Ben Waldrip (Jacksonville St.) up to pinch-hit for Stewart. The league's homerun leader promptly roped the first pitch he saw for a single to center to score two and make the score 6-5. With runners on first and second, Feehan induced Matt Duffy (Long Beach State) to hit a sharp grounder to third where Reynolds started a 5-4-3 doubleplay to end the game.
With the win, Wareham has won 5 of their last 6 games. The Gatemen have won 3 in a row, all by 6-5 scores. On the flip side, Orleans has now lost 5 of their last 6 games. Wareham took 3 of the 4 games in the season series. The Gatemen are 7-4 in one-run games.