By Jack Loder
If it is a day of the week that ends in Y, Orleans’ pitching staff likely spun another gem. On this Friday night, things were no different. The Cape Cod league always plays as a pitcher’s league, and that has especially been the case in 2022. Low scoring games are a dime a dozen, making a team’s ability to come out on top in those tight contests of vital importance. The Birds have seen their fair share of both outcomes this summer, on Friday night it was the pleasant outcome, as they cruised to a 2-0 victory behind dominant pitching (surprise surprise) and one scoring inning.
The only runs of the contest came around to score in the home half of the third inning when Orleans put together a two out rally to get on the board first. Jacob Stinson walked with one out before Nik McClaughry drilled a line drive single to left field. Nate Furman then rolled a single through the right side, loading the bases for Luke Keaschall. Keaschall gave Birds fans a scare, bouncing a 2-1 fastball towards short, but the Arizona State bound utility man was able to beat out the potential double play ball, allowing Stinson to score on the play.
Although the one run would have ended up being enough, Cam Jones wasn’t satisfied. He laced a single up the middle to score McClaughry easily from third.
“It’s a good thing when you can piece singles together when you’re not getting extra base hits,” Max Fecske said. “Guys were moving guys over, giving tough at bats and doing it with two strikes.”
Kyle Carr made his second straight dominant start, going 4.1 innings and striking out four. His velocity has been up, as he’s touched 94 and consistently sat at 92-93 with the heater. He compliments that with a devastating change up, something he’s been working on tirelessly with pitching coach Jim Lawler.
“Lawler and Kelly have both been really emphasizing the change up, it’s been a really good pitch for me this summer,” Carr said. “I’m trying to do the same thing each outing, each time I throw I feel better. Coach Lawler has been giving me a lot of confidence in my stuff.”
Cole Stallings, Sam Conte, Ryan Bourassa and Tommy Hopfe combined for 5.2 innings of gorgeous relief to complete the team’s second straight shutout. Bourassa, a new arm from South Dakota State, was impressive in his second outing working 90-92 with a disgusting split. He’ll be seeing a lot more innings in the absence of AJ Blubaugh and Cooper McKeehan.
Orleans will look to make it four in a row as they host Hyannis on Saturday night at Eldredge.