By Brendan Nordstrom
Chatham left fielder Carter Trice hit a pop fly drifting foul.
Orleans right fielder Jake Casey, completely losing the ball in the fog, stood at the foul line trying to judge where it would land. The ball landed out of play, but the obscured vision was enough evidence for the officials to put Wednesday’s game between the Orleans Firebirds (10-10) and the Chatham Anglers in a fog delay, and eventually a postponement.
The game will resume on July 28 as part of a double-header at Veterans Field at 5 p.m. with the scheduled contest to follow at 7 p.m.
When the game was officially postponed, it was the bottom of the fourth in a back-and-forth slugfest. The game was tied at five apiece, while the Anglers had runners at first and second with two outs and a full count. The continuation will begin with those same circumstances for what will surely be a long-anticipated payoff pitch.
The Anglers struck first in the bottom of the first when shortstop Deric Fabian reached on a fielder’s choice. Then, Trice took Orleans starting pitcher Evan Truitt deep, as left fielder Eddie Micheletti Jr. could only watch it sail over the fence for a 2-0 lead.
The Firebirds nearly responded in the top of the second with runners on the corners — designated hitter Matt Halbach on a walk and Micheletti on a single chipped down the right field line — and catcher Owen Carapellotti up. Carapellotti laid down a bunt to score Halbach and beat out the throw at first, however, Chatham manager Tom Holliday asked the umpires to discuss runner’s interference.
After a huddle, Holliday and the Anglers got the call, putting Halbach and Micheletti back to their original base, and putting Carapellotti on the bench for the second out of the inning. Orleans manager Kelly Nicholson argued the call to no avail.
The Firebirds got their payback in the third when Johnny Olmstead’s one-out single to advance second baseman Jo Oyama to second got Anglers starter Miles Langhorne pulled. This brought in lefty Zander Sechrist. Third baseman Jack Penney then hit his second home run of the summer — and his second clutch home run of the season — softly over the right field wall on the fourth pitch of Sechrist’s outing.
Halbach followed it up with a single lined through the five-hole. Center fielder Eddie King Jr., who has found his swing as of late, hit his first long ball of the season into the forest in left for a 5-2 advantage.
The Anglers battled back in the bottom of the fourth with an additional two runs to even up the game after Orleans reliever Konner Eaton let up two hits and three walks to no outs in his outing. Left-handed pitcher Greyson Carter dialed it up to 99 mph, getting the second out of the inning. With two on and a 3-2 count on Trice, the fog postponed the game.
With an off day tomorrow, the Firebirds' next game will be Friday in Harwich at 6:30 p.m. for the fourth meeting between the two East division teams. The Mariners have won every meeting so far.