By: Cole Bradley
HARWICH, Mass- The last time Jack Filby (UCLA) started a game was high school, but that all changed on Tuesday.
For the final time this summer, the Orleans Firebirds took on the Mariners at Whitehouse Field. The Birds pitched their way to a 2-2 tie, led by a Filby gem. Orleans went unbeaten against Harwich on the season, tying twice in both games at Whitehouse.
“I tried to have fun with it and give the Birds my best effort,” Filby said. “I really liked how I finished this summer and thought I got progressively better.”
In all, Filby went five innings of one-run ball — his only blemish coming on a wild pitch that plated a run in the first — striking out three. He had a good feel for his changeup, implementing it frequently.
“I think my biggest key was trusting [Justin] Miknis, he called a great game behind the plate tonight,” Filby said. “My changeup helped get me out of hitters counts and as we know they have one of the better offenses out here. I just had confidence and left it all out there.”
Michael Polk (Georgia) and Nicolas Luc (Adelphi) each made relief appearances lasting two innings before the end of the night, combining to give up just one run in those four frames.
Polk ran into trouble in his first inning, loading the bases on a trio of singles from Brock Wilken (Wake Forest), Dylan Phillips (Kansas State) and Jordan Beck (Tennessee). The Mariners grabbed the tying run on a sac fly in that sixth inning thanks to Josh Hood (Pennsylvania).
Harwich ran Beau Keathley (Cincinnati) out to start for the second time this summer, going four innings without allowing a run. He walked four batters but found ways out of trouble with ease, and it wasn’t until he was pulled that Orleans found their way on the board.
Thanks to RBI singles from Chase DeLauter (James Madison) and Trae Harmon (Stetson), Orleans jumped ahead in the fifth, taking advantage of sloppy execution from left-hander Dalton Smith (Georgia Tech).
DeLauter’s single was number 21 on the season, he also walked three times on the night, which he’s done more than strikeout this summer.
“I just came not knowing much about the Cape and I didn’t know what to expect,” DeLauter said. “I feel like I stuck with my approach well this summer. What I tried to come out here and do is be consistent, and I think I did just that.”
He will likely finish tied with Tyler Locklear (VCU) atop the regular season home run leaderboard. It’s no doubt been a good summer for the two, and their success has helped bring them closer together.
“I’ll be sure to keep tabs on Tyler,” DeLauter said. “I wouldn’t be surprised If we had a little home run competition this upcoming spring.”
The Firebirds had a golden opportunity to cash in extra runs with runners in scoring position a few times on the evening, the most noteworthy coming in the ninth when both Jared McKenzie (Baylor) and Garret Guillemette (USC) reached with less than two outs. They failed to capitalize late, a common hindrance for them this entire summer.
Nevertheless, Orleans has one game remaining against the Brewster Whitecaps, sealing the lid on the summer officially. First pitch for the season finale is slated for 4:00 pm at Stony Brook Field.