Mason White impresses in loss to Orleans

The Harbor Hawks' road woes continue
Screen Shot 2024-07-06 at 11.22.29 PM Samuel C

ORLEANS, Mass — Not very often does a baseball game end just minutes after you hear "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch.

That was reality for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks on Saturday night, as hazy rain caused slippery playing conditions and difficulty seeing the ball, forcing the umpires to call the game in the bottom of the seventh when Orleans was leading, 3-1.

"Tough, tough conditions [Saturday]," head coach Mitch Karraker said. "We just didn't do enough offensively, things got a little ugly and we had some trouble seeing the ball, slipping on the mound. Just didn't think the risk was worth it to keep playing."

The Firebirds (5-13) got on the board first on Saturday night when Luke Nichols (Louisiana Tech) delivered a fastball to Austin Smith in the bottom of the second. The San Diego product snuck a solo home run just over the right field fence — the ball went a crisp 340 feet for a left-on-left crime.

Both starting pitchers were up to the task at Eldredge Park on Saturday, turning in solid outings. Nichols twirled his best game of the season for Hyannis (10-7-1), the southpaw walked just one Firebird, struck out three and let in a trio of runs across 4 2/3 innings of work.

On the other side, Orleans righty Callan Fang was dominant. The Harvard product picked up his second win of the season, after carving Hyannis with six innings of one-run ball. Fang fanned seven while walking one, his ERA is now a stout 1.69 this summer.

In the top of the fourth, Mason White (Arizona) answered Orleans with a round-tripper of his own. The Wildcat tied the game by depositing a fastball the same way Smith did two innings prior. White’s second home run in three nights clocked in at 103 mph off the twig, contributing the Hawks' only run of the contest.

"I've just been trying to pick up where I left off at [Arizona]," White said. "I feel like I'm seeing the ball well right now, getting really good wood on it, and am just happy to try and help us win games. [Saturday] was a tough one, but we know what we're capable of as a team."

White has started to play with some fire as of late, the left-handed hitter now carries an OPS of .771. Once qualified, he should be among some of the CCBL's best in the statistical category.

Hyannis and Orleans found themselves knotted at 1 until the bottom of the fifth. Firebird hitters Lorenzo Meola and Michael Mancini strung together back-to-back RBI doubles down the left field line with two outs in the frame. These clutch line drives made the difference in the shortened ballgame.

"I don't think we played terrible," Karraker said. "It was just a tough night for us. A good swing from [White], great pitching by [Stone Cushing] out of the bullpen, but we couldn't find that big inning or consistently put pressure on [Orleans]."

Cushing (BYU) was a firecracker out of the Hyannis 'pen on Saturday, the flamethrowing closer kept the Harbor Hawks in the game, but weather stood in the way.

"I felt good other than my spikes slipping and the mountain of mud that was building every time I threw," Cushing said after the game. "I couldn't get a lot of traction so I had to kind of work with my movement instead of my velocity. I had to slow some stuff down to try and hit my spots."

Despite the damp mound, Cushing fired two scoreless frames of baseball at Eldredge Park and looked sharp while doing so. The Salem, Utah, native wasn't shy to showing emotion on the mound, slapping his glove and getting fired up.

"I'm just playing the game I love," Cushing said. "I've shown emotion my whole pitching career. Whether it's high school, JUCO, BYU or here, I've just done it. I've always been a guy who likes to work at a fast pace. I like to be intense out there because if I'm not it feels like the hitter has the advantage."

The Harbor Hawks will need a short memory after Saturday's two-run loss. The team travels back home to face rival Cotuit at 6 p.m. at McKeon Park on Sunday.

"We've just got to keep playing the same game we've been playing these past few weeks," White said. "We have a lot of fun doing it, just have to keep the energy high and hopefully beat [Cotuit]."

Sam Fosberg can be reached at and followed on Twitter/X @discussbaseball