By Jack Loder
Baseball is a streaky game. Hitting especially. For much of the past three weeks, the Orleans bats have been subpar, consistently putting up lackluster performances and failing to supplement strong outings by the pitching staff. On Wednesday night, however, the lineup officially recovered from its weeks-long battle with the Bird Flu, as Orleans exploded for seven second inning runs on its way to a 9-3 victory over Harwich in front of a capacity crowd at Eldredge Park.
“That was fun man, how fun was that? That was just awesome,” Kelly Nicholson said. “Hey, their guy had a little command issues and we were able to take advantage. Everybody played well tonight, good win and good to bounce back.”
Coming into this game, Orleans hadn’t scored more than six runs in any game this summer. By the time the second inning was mercifully ended, they’d brought 12 batters to the plate and scored seven. Jacob Stinson was hit in the foot to lead off the frame, and was then hit in the same foot his next time up in the same inning. The most noteworthy devastating uppercut in an inning that featured many came off the bat of Garret Guillemette. The former USC Trojan turned Texas Longhorn sat on a hanging breaking ball and launched it to deep left field, a three run shot that made an already crooked number resemble San Francisco’s Lombard street.
“I think being here for a second summer has really helped my eye and my discipline,” Guillemette said. “I’m limiting the chases and really understanding how I’m being pitched to. I’m limiting the chases and hitting fastballs and things are going real well right now.”
The Birds added another run in the inning following Guillemette’s two out blast. Two walks and Cam Jones’ second single of the inning drove in the eighth run. An offense that has looked almost completely incapable for the last two weeks of the summer suddenly came to life in front of a capacity crowd at Eldredge. Travis Honeyman started the scoring with a two run single, while Nate Furman and Cam Jones each collected multiple knocks. Furman had two and Jones had three. With the departure of Kevin Sim, Cam Jones will likely see more time in the lineup as a right handed bat with power potential.
Bryce Warrecker isn’t used to having to wait almost a half hour between pitches, but the Cal Poly right-hander hardly seemed to mind. He followed up his first two stellar innings with three more shutout frames following the welcome long layoff. He’s given up one earned run in five outings, and has cemented himself as the ace of a staff that features many reliable candidates. He’s given up one run in 22 innings, a jaw-dropping 0.41 ERA. His change up makes Cape League hitters look like JV bench players. If there’s a better pitcher in the league at this time, it’s not showing up in the numbers.
“I look forward to catching him, I get excited when he takes the mound,” Guillemette said. “He is executing each of his pitches at a very high level. He’s not going to sell himself short and he’s going to bring it with every pitch he has. He’s the best pitcher on the Cape right now and it’s obvious.”
Orleans goes on the road on Thursday, traveling to Cotuit to take on the Kettleers for the final time in 2022.