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One big swing costs Orleans in 5-2 loss to Cotuit

By Brendan Nordstrom

Three Kettleers stood off to the right of home plate with their arms wrapped around each other, waiting for their third baseman Ryan Galanie.

After Orleans’ Cam Leiter issued a hit and two walks to load the bases, Galanie faced off against a fresh arm in Nate Ward. Galanie cracked the 2-1 pitch 416 feet.

“You can’t walk guys, you can’t give a good team like Cotuit extra baserunners and expect to come out on top,” manager Kelly Nicholson said. “That’s exactly what we did.”

Galanie joined his teammates at home, bumping helmets as he pushed a pitcher’s duel into a 4-0 blowout.

The Firebirds (6-8) battled back in the eighth inning but fell short to the top team in the West, dropping the contest 5-2 to the Cotuit Kettleers. The loss followed a neck-and-neck 5-4 extra innings win in Y-D yesterday.

“They played better than we did tonight. They deserved to win,” Nicholson said. “We didn’t deserve to win that game tonight.”

The first six and half frames showcased lights out pitching from both sides. Orleans’ Dylan Jacobs worked well and worked efficiently.

Jacobs allowed four hits across the first three innings, but stayed true to what was working — his fastball and changeup — eliminating any threats. The Stetson right-handed pitcher only recorded one strikeout, however, he was able to induce weak contact throughout his five innings of work. He said he was most happy with the zero walks given.

“I just felt loose out there, comfortable. I was confident the whole time,” Jacobs said. “I was just hitting my spots and missing barrels.”

Jacobs only threw 46 pitches in his outing, including a four-pitch fourth and a five-pitch fifth inning. He said it was the first time having that type of game. Jacobs was ready for another, but Nicholson had him capped at five innings.

“He had really good command. He was dominating tonight,” Nicholson said. “It’s as well as I’ve seen DJ throw the ball.”

Cotuit starter Camron Hill was also impressive in his four innings on the bump, pitching a perfect game with four strikeouts. Lefty Rafe Schlesinger sat down five on strikes in his three innings.

Strikeouts were a problem for Orleans as they struck out 12 times, not walking once.

In a dead-locked 0-0 game heading into the bottom frame of the seventh, Galanie took one big swing and changed the game’s narrative.

“That happens, it’s baseball,” Jacobs said.

The Firebirds showed resiliency in the eighth inning starting with center fielder Eddie King Jr., who showed off his speed for an infield single. It was King’s first multi-hit game of the season as he used his wheels again to steal second. Catcher Owen Carapellotti ripped a single through the right side to score Orleans’ first run.

Oyama reached on a fielder’s choice, moving to second on Jake Casey being hit by a pitch. The team leader in RBIs, left fielder Eddie Micheletti Jr., earned his eighth on a line to left.

Shortstop Andy Blake followed it up with a single smoked to left field. Casey got the green light to round third, with the ball just narrowly beating him to the plate. It was a close play that Nicholson disagreed with.

“I thought his hand got in there, and he tagged him high,” Nicholson said. “Sometimes you’re gonna get those calls, and other times you’re not, and we didn’t get that call. But that’s not why we lost the game.”

A sac-fly in the bottom of the eighth gave Cotuit another cushion as they closed out a 5-2 victory.

The Firebirds will look to bounce back on Tuesday against the Brewster Whitecaps at Stony Brook Elementary for a 5:00 p.m. first pitch. Chad Gartland is set to take the mound for Orleans, with the Whitecaps pitching Patrick Forbes.

“We’ll flush it and get one tomorrow,” Jacobs said.

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