Sometimes you just cannot stop the bleeding.
Despite leading 7-4 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, the Gatemen (3-2) saw the game slowly slip away from them. The Orleans Firebirds (3-2) ended up coming away with seven runs in the bottom of the 8th – including 5 with two outs – to take the lead and ultimately pull away with an 11-7 win over the Gatemen on Wednesday night at Eldridge Park in Orleans.
Coach Jerry Weinstein said at the end of the day the Orleans offense was just too much.
“They beat us with the bats, we give them the credit,” said Weinstein. “They ended up with I think eight hits in that eighth inning and it was not because we were falling behind hitters. Overall, we did not walk people, they did not have leveraged counts, and they just did a terrific job hitting the ball.
Early on it appeared as though the Gatemen were well on their way to winning their fourth game of the season.
Trailing 1-0 entering the top of the third inning, the Gatemen loaded the bases with one away. Orleans starter Cory Abbott was able to strike out Robbie Metz for the second out of the inning, leaving it up to Gavin Sheets to get the Gatemen on the board.
Sheets delivered, launching a grand slam well over the fence in right putting Wareham up 4-1 after two and a half innings.
The Gatemen extended their lead to as many as four in the top half of the fifth when Colton Sheets laced a base hit back through the box scoring Trevor Ezell to put the Gatemen on top 6-2.
Orleans, however, slowly chipped away as an RBI single by Justin Jones cut the Gatemen advantage to 6-3 after five innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Firebirds threatened once again. Adam Hasley led off with a double to left field, and Riley Adams worked a walk to put two on with none out. On 1-2, Keegan lined a base hit to right field that got by Gatemen right fielder Jonathan Engelmann, allowing Hasley to score and Adams to move all the way to third base.
Engelmann atoned for his error on the very next pitch. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Orleans seemed to be on the verge of tying the score. Will Golsan lined a rocket right at Engelmann that seemed bound for at least a sacrifice fly. Engelmann, however, had other ideas as he reeled in the line drive off the bat of Golsan and fired home to get a tagging Adams to complete the double play.
The Gatemen added a seventh run in the top of the seventh on a wild pitch that scored Trevor Ezell, but from then on the wheels slowly started to fall off.
Christopher Triano began the bottom of the eighth inning for Orleans with a fly ball single to left. Three batters later, McGovern scorched a single of his own into the left center field gap loading the bases with one out. Gatemen reliever Jake Matthys was able to retire Golsan with a strikeout, but the Firebirds made sure this opportunity did not go to waste.
Payton Squier dumped one into left centerfield for a two run single to cut the Gatemen lead to 7-6. Moments later, Drew Lugbauer was called upon to pinch hit, and Matthys got ahead of him 0-2. On the following pitch, however, Lugbauer roped one back through the box for an RBI single to tie things at seven-aside.
The Firebirds continued to apply the pressure, as Hurst dropped down a bunt single to load the bases once again before Mahan put the icing on the cake, launching a three triple just past the outstretched arms of Ezell in left centerfield, clearing the bases and putting the Firebirds on top for good.