(Photo courtesy of Zach Foley)
By Kieran Wilson
The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox have been playing some of their best ball of the season, and with the playoffs looming, that could not come at a better time. They extended their winning streak to three games with a victory over the Orleans Firebirds on Sunday night, totaling eight runs on 13 hits. During this streak, the Red Sox have outscored their opponents 26-7 and outhit them 38-20. The win moves Y-D to 20-14-1 and gives them a healthy seven-point lead over Orleans for first in the East Division.
Jackson Kent worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, and the offense secured some run support for their starter in the second. With Braden Montgomery on first, Zander Darby belted his third home run of the season into the right field bullpen, giving Y-D a lead they would not relinquish. Casey Cook followed with another single to the outfield but the ball got under the glove of the left fielder, allowing Cook to make it to second. He stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dub Gleed, giving Y-D an early 3-0 lead.
Y-D struck again in the fourth, after they loaded the bases with a Montgomery walk, a Darby single, and Cook reached on an error by the pitcher. Gleed reached first on a 6-4 fielder’s choice, which scored Montgomery and extended the lead to 4-0. Ryan Jackson also reached on a fielder’s choice and drove home Darby for a 5-0 lead.
Kent gave up his only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth after a single by Brandon Stahlman. He advance to second on a wild pitch, to third on a sacrifice fly, and he scored on a single by Hunter Henry. Kent walked Jo Oyama, and was replaced by Ryan Delgado. With two outs, Delgado hit the first batter he faced to load the bases, but escaped after striking out Jack Penney.
Ryan Jackson gave Y-D a bit more breathing room with a solo homer to left field in the seventh inning.
Pinch-hitter, Garret Ostrander, walked to begin the ninth inning. Ryan Stafford singled and Ostrander moved over to third on the hit. Montgomery recorded an RBI with another single, giving Y-D a 7-1 lead. Darby followed with his fourth hit of the game, a single to center field, to load the bases for the Red Sox. Stafford scored on a walk by Gleed, giving Y-D their eighth run of the night.
Orleans scored in the bottom of the ninth on an error by Y-D, but Y-D proved victorious by a final score of 8-2. All told, Jackson Kent and Ryan Delgado gave up two runs, only one of which was earned, and struck out ten Firebirds. Field manager Scott Pickler spoke glowingly of his pitchers: “Jackson really battled, and Delgado really came in and pitched…he had everything working and it was awesome to see him do that.”
With the season winding down, Y-D looks to stick to their winning ways as they try to sew up first place in the East and clinch home field advantage in the playoffs. Pickler said he hopes to see his team “keep playing hard, play right through it, play every day, and you know, just see what happens.”
The Red Sox will be back and playing hard again on Monday as they take on Orleans for a second straight game on Monday at “Red” Wilson Field.