(Photos Courtesy of Zach Foley)
By Ben Strober
The top of the eighth inning had an eerie feeling to it for Yarmouth-Dennis. The Red Sox held a 4-3 lead, but Orleans slowly creeped its way back from a 4-1 deficit.
With Boston Mabeus on the mound, Orleans put the left-hander into trouble with a pair of base hits and a walk. With the bases loaded, Mabeus had to face the Firebirds’ power threat in Fenwick Trimble.
Trimble worked the count to 2-0, then changed the complexion of the entire series. Trimble hammered a two-out heater over the scoreboard for a mammoth, go-ahead grandslam.
Game one, which was completely in Y-D’s control following Jason Doktorczyk’s exceptional start, morphed into the unthinkable.
Orleans’ late inning heroics sent them to an 8-4 win — sending Y-D back to the brink of elimination.
Orleans improves to 3-0 on the postseason — all wins coming by way of comeback efforts in the seventh inning or later.
After two-straight Y-D wins to even get to this game, they go right back to where they were for game two in the Brewster series.
The action picked up in the second, with Doktorczyk getting into trouble with two walks. He then induced a 6-4-3 double play to get two gone, but a two-out single from Henry Hunter put Orleans on top.
The two-out scoring theme continued in the back half of the second, and Brady Day launched his second homer of the summer to tie the game.
Y-D manufactured a lead for itself with perfection in the third.
Casey Cook and Theo Hardy ripped back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners.That made it simple for Skylar King, whose grounder brought in Cook to put Y-D in front.
Doktorczyk kept dealing, so the bats kept up. Again, with two-outs, Zander Darby lofted a solo homer to extend Y-D’s lead to 3-1.
A two-out error in the sixth put runners on the corners for Orleans. Doktorczyk didn’t succumb to the pressure, getting a pivotal strikeout to end the inning.
Doktorczyk’s escape from the jam ignited energy into the bottom of the sixth, and Hunter Hines used that energy to destroy one out of Red Wilson for his first postseason homer.
Pablo Torres came in from the pen and Orleans got one back. Jo Oyama made his presence felt with a run-scoring single to cut Y-D’s lead to 4-2. The blood kept on rushing. Later, Torres uncorked a wild pitch to bring in another Orleans run.
The tying run would have come in to score if it weren’t for an incredible diving stop and throw from Hardy at the hot corner.
For the eighth, Pickler gave the ball to Mabeus, who came in on two days’ rest. Two hits and a walk loaded the bases for Fenwick Trimble.
Trimble’s grand slam turned the game on its head, and put Orleans ahead 7-4 — their first lead all game. Blake Aita entered following the blast and Matt Halbach’s roller to the right side was too tough a play to prevent another Firebird run from scoring.
The five-spot eighth from Orleans gave them a four-run advantage heading into Y-D’s final six outs.