ORLEANS, MA: After Wareham took an early 2-0 lead, Orleans scored five unanswered runs and defeated the Gatemen, 5-2, on Monday night at Eldredge Park.
The Firebirds improved to 19-18 and moved into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Division. Orleans has now won six straight games, tying Chatham for the longest winning streak of the summer.
Wareham entered Tuesday playing some of its best baseball of the summer. In their last three games, the Gatemen had two wins and a tie. Wareham started out strong against the Firebirds as starting pitcher Trey Killian (Arkansas) retired six in a row after surrendering a leadoff single to Orleans left fielder Ross Kivett (Kansas State). At the plate, the Gatemen struck first when designated hitter Bradley Roney (Southern Mississippi) ripped a single to center field and scored right fielder Sean McMullen (LSU), who slid under the tag at home plate.
In the top of the third inning, center fielder Cole Sturgeon (Louisville) led off the frame by blasting a solo home run to right-center field for his first long ball of the summer. Wareham, which had just two home runs through its first 34 games, has three round-trippers in the last three games.
The Gatemen held that 2-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fourth inning as Killian continued to cruise. At one point in the first and second innings, Killian struck out four straight Firebirds. In the fourth, however, Orleans right fielder Jordan Luplow (Fresno State) led off with a single up the middle. The next batter, designated hitter Chris Marconcini (Duke), reached on an infield single that could have been a potential double-play ball for the Gatemen. Luplow then scored when third baseman Austin Davidson (Pepperdine) grounded out to third base.
Killian struck out the final two batters of the inning — and the first batter of the fifth — as part of his seven-strikeout performance.
The Firebirds tied the ballgame in the home half of the sixth. Second baseman Will Fulmer (Montevallo) led off with a double down the left-field line and scored two batters later when Marconcini grounded into a double play.
The game remained deadlocked at two until the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Luplow and Marconcini smacked back-to-back doubles and Davidson and Betts walked before catcher Riley Moore (Arizona) ripped a ground-rule double to left field to give the Firebirds a 5-2 advantage.
Orleans right-hander Trevor Kelley worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the victory over the Gatemen.
Wareham is back in action Tuesday with a doubleheader against Falmouth at Spillane Field. The first game begins at 4 p.m., and the second begins either a half-hour after the first ends, or at 7 p.m. Both games will be in Wareham, and the Commodores will be the home team for the first game and the road team for the second matchup.
As always, you can watch the live stream of the games by accessing our “Gatemen Pressbox” page. The pre-game show will begin for the first game around 3:45 p.m.