ORLEANS/SOUTH YARMOUTH – The chairs have all been collected off the hills, the scoreboard switched off, and the dugouts swept clean. Another summer has come to an end for the Orleans Firebirds, who fell in the playoffs to the Y-D Red Sox.
The Firebirds made a big rally in the bottom of the ninth inning on Aug. 2 but it wasn't enough to overtake the Sox, who went on to win the first game of the first round 7-6.
The home team Firebirds scored the first run of the game in the third inning when Shay Whitcomb brought in Julio Marcano, but the Red Sox answered with three runs in the fourth to take a two-run lead.
The visiting Sox then added insurance in the fifth with one more run, and then another in the eighth, capping off their scoring with two more runs in the top of the ninth.
Orleans, meanwhile, decided to have some fun instead of lamenting the sizable gap between themselves and their opponents, which almost worked in their favor. After Zach Kokoska led off with a walk, Eddie McCabe hit a single to put two men on with no outs. A single from Tanner Murray loaded the bases and a run scored when Trevin Esquerra was hit by a pitch, bringing in Kokoska.
A pitching change from the Red Sox didn't faze the Firebirds, with Jacob Hurtubise swinging into a single to left that scored McCabe and Murray as Orleans fans cheered. After Marcano drew the first out, Max Troiani hit a single to third to again load the bases. A strikeout from Whitcomb elicited frowns from fans, which turned to cheers when Esquerra was brought home after Zach Daniels was hit by a pitch.
After Kokoska's walk brought in Hurtubise, bringing the Firebirds within one, many fans were on their feet, but the game ended seconds later with an easy out.
The next night found the teams in South Yarmouth where they traded hits, each eventually earning 13, but it was two innings of three-run baseball that boosted the Red Sox to victory. Scoring for Orleans were Hurtubise in the first, Rob Emery, Josh Zamora, and Murray in the second, Marcano and Troiani in the fifth, and Murray in the sixth with a homer, the Firebirds' final run of the season.
Then it was time for tearful goodbyes and hopes of either seeing players again next season or finding out that they made it to the Majors. The Firebirds finished their 2019 season with an overall record of 23-17-4.