By: Cole Bradley
FALMOUTH, Mass- A long trip to one of the furthest reaches of the Cape proved to be a tough way to start the week for the Orleans Firebirds. Especially after right-hander Dawson Netz (Arizona) and Hayden Thomas (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) finished their work against the Falmouth Commodores, leaving something to be desired on Monday night.
“Gotta love a quick game from a pitching standpoint, it means you’re probably doing a good job,” Thomas said. “It felt great to be back on the mound, I was itching too.”
The two combined for five scoreless innings, only allowing three men to reach, but it wasn’t enough as Falmouth notched their first win at home by a final of 1-0. The Commodores came in with an (0-7-1) record at Guv Fuller Field, snapping that skid in their first tilt with Orleans.
The Netz/Thomas combo totaled seven punchouts in the effort as well, aided by a firm breeze when the ball was put in play.
“We were both talking in the pen after I went out there first and it was cool just to be able to help each other out,” Netz said. “Moving the ball around and throwing the off speed early was really keeping them off balance and on their toes.”
Falmouth starter Tyler Tuthill (Appalachian State) also dealt, going six innings while only allowing two hits and striking out five. With stellar pitching and defense throughout, the contest was brief, barely exceeding the two-hour mark.
There were a combined six hits between the two clubs, only one of which went for extra bases.
“I told someone earlier that one run was gonna win the game and it did,” Head coach Kelly Nicholson said. “Our guys threw the ball really well, and both Hayden and Dawson played at a really high level tonight.”
That lone two-bagger came in the seventh from Commodore third baseman Bennan Milone (South Carolina), who came around to score the only run of the ballgame moments later on an RBI single from Kodie Kolden (Washington State).
The Birds threatened to score in the eighth and the ninth, getting a runner to third in both frames with two outs, failing to capitalize both times. Good outfield defense, highlighted by a fantastic running play in leftfield by Anthony Hall (Oregon) to save what would’ve been the tying run for Orleans in the ninth.
“We fought to the very final pitch,” Nicholson said. “I told our guys tonight, ‘Just stay with the process, just keep playing well and we’re gonna get good results.’”
Orleans is now (7-7-2), they will get a second crack at the Commodores on Tuesday at home, first pitch is slated for 7:00 pm.