(3) Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (2-0) vs. (1) Orleans Firebirds (2-1)
Dates | Times: Thursday, August 6, 2015-Saturday, August 8, 2015 | 7 p.m./4 p.m./7 p.m.
Location | Forecast: Orleans, Mass. (Game 1, Game 3 if nec.)
South Yarmouth, Mass. (Game 2)
Game 1: Mostly Sunny, 78 degrees, Chance of Rain: 0 percent
Game 2: Partly Cloudy, 77 degrees, Chance of Rain: 10 percent
Game 3 (if nec.): Overcast, 75 degrees, Chance of Rain: 60 percent
Live Audio/Video: Y-D Red Sox Network (audio-only games 1 and 3; audio and video game 2)
Social Media: @YD_RedSox ? | @FirebirdsCCBL ?| @Official_CCBL
Probable Starters: TBA
How They Got Here: Y-D swept Brewster in the Eastern Division Semifinals with 3-2 and 7-3 victories on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Orleans split its first two contests versus Chatham, with the Firebirds clinching the series on Wednesday after taking a 10-1 decision.
Series Notes: This is the fifth time since 2010 that the Red Sox and Firebirds have crossed paths in the Cape League postseason. In that timeframe, 2013 was the only season in which the teams did not meet.
In the seven total series prior to 2015, Yarmouth-Dennis came out on the winning end on five occasions. Orleans captured East Division crowns over the Red Sox in 1988 and 2002, with Y-D reaching the same feat in 1990, 2010, and 2012.
In addition, Y-D advanced to the East Finals with victories over Orleans in 2011 and 2014.
The Red Sox defeated Orleans once during the 2015 regular season?a 5-0 shutout in which Brandon Bailey (Gonzaga) earned the win at Red Wilson Field on July 10.
About the Orleans Firebirds: Returning third baseman Bobby Dalbec (Arizona) continues to pace the Orleans Firebirds? offense after carrying the load last summer. The rising junior led the league this year in regular season home runs (12) and also played for the U.S. Collegiate National Team earlier this summer.
Starters Mitchell Jordan (Stetson) and Eric Lauer (Kent State) highlight that portion of the Orleans pitching staff. Jordan boasted a league-best 0.21 ERA entering the postseason, garnering honors as the Cape League?s BFC Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher. Lauer tallied wins against Y-D on June 11 and June 17.
Manager Kelly Nicholson led the Firebirds to a Cape League Championship in his first season at the helm (2005) and a runner-up finish in 2013. Nicholson previously served as the ?Birds pitching coach from 2001 to 2004.
Red Sox Sweep Brewster to Advance: After clinching a playoff spot on the regular season?s final day, Y-D moved on to the East Division Finals following two straight wins over the Brewster Whitecaps.
Fresno State product Ricky Thomas tossed six shutout innings in Game 2 Tuesday, earning the win after striking out seven Brewster hitters. He has not lost since arriving on the Cape.
Newcomers Come Through In Clutch: In just his second game with Y-D, right fielder Tyler Houston (Butler) one of three eighth inning runs en route to the Red Sox? 3-2 Game 1 win over Brewster on Monday.
Dallas Carroll (Utah), who debuted on July 23, also singled in the eighth to drive in Tommy Edman (Stanford).
Bennie and the (Sox): Entering in relief Monday, Vanderbilt?s Ben Bowden turned out another stellar performance as the Red Sox secured a win over Brewster Monday.
The southpaw and Lynn, Mass. native scattered four hits over 4.2 innings and kept his 0.00 ERA intact.
#NoGlovesNoda Homers to Seal Series: Ryan Noda (Cincinnati) clubbed his fourth Cape League home run Tuesday to provide Y-D some insurance en route to the Red Sox? 7-3 win and 2-0 series sweep.
Noda also hit a two-out, two-run double in the second inning of Game 2 to give Y-D its first two runs of the contest.
You?re a Shining Star: Five Red Sox players received All-Star honors in July: Donnie Walton (Oklahoma State); Cole Billingsley (South Alabama); Gio Brusa (Pacific); Tommy Edman; and Ricky Thomas.
Pick?s Playoff Push: At the helm of the Y-D Red Sox since 1997, this is Scott Pickler?s 12th playoff appearance with the Red Sox.
Pickler has helped Y-D capture four Cape League titles (2004, 2006, 2007, 2014) and runner-up finishes in two others (2010, 2012).
Around The Cape League: The winner of this series will advance to the best-of-three Cape League Championship, facing either Hyannis or Bourne.