'I've never seen anything like this': Birds' chaotic trip to Guv Fuller Field ends in confusion

Art or Photo Credit: Sophia Soropoulos

(Photo credit to Sophia Soropoulos)

For the second time this summer, the Birds traveled to Guv Fuller Field, and for the second time, they were met with fog.

Coming off a narrow 4-3 loss to Brewster, the Firebirds offense, which has slowly begun to see hitters break out of their early season slumps, was looking for its first strong collective performance from the plate.

In its final trip to Guv Fuller of the summer, the Firebirds offense came alive and showed the potential it's capable of from the very first at-bat.

After Hudson Shupe (Gonzaga) led off with a single and was moved to second following Bennett Markinson's (Northwestern) walk, Jack Gurevitch (San Diego) continued his effective play from the plate with a dribbler that brought Shupe home.

Falmouth quickly responded with a run of their own to knot the game at 1 in the bottom of the first, but in true back-and-fourth fashion, the Birds only needed to see one pitch to punch back.

The starting Commodore arm on the mound, Francis Ferguson (Eastern Nazarene), delivered his first-pitch fastball to Firebirds leadoff man Evan Griffis (Stetson) and could only watch as Griffis sent it 402 feet back, and over the center field wall.

The Stetson product's 402-foot bomb may have come out of thin air to some, but came as no surprise to Orleans bench coach Jay Banfield, who made a pregame guarantee: a Griffis extra-base hit. It wasn't just any ordinary base hit, however, or homer, for that matter, as Griffis' 402-foot homer was the longest of the season for the Birds.

In contrast to most, if not every Orleans Firebirds game this summer, pitching on both sides had taken a backseat to fireworks being put on at home plate.

A quick two-run response to Griffis' solo shot put Falmouth back in front, 3-2, but Orleans was once again quick to strike back.

Further building his case for Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) Player of the Week, Jack Gurevitch recorded his second RBI of the night, third in his last two outings, with a perfect bunt to bring Khadim Diaw (Loyola Marymount) home to tie the game.

Orleans continued to look poised and confident on offense and ballooned its lead to 8-3 in the bottom of the fourth.

The 'Dores weren't done fighting, however, as they stormed back to bring the game within two in the bottom of the sixth with the fog starting to worsen.

A two-run frame from the Birds gave them a 10-6 cushion, which brought the game into the bottom of the seventh for chaos to ensue.

Falmouth recorded three quick runs off the arm of Luke Jackson (Texas A&M) and shriveled the Orleans lead to 10-9.

Art or Photo Credit: Sophia Soropoulos

With runners on the corners, Falmouth's Jayson Jones (Arkansas) hit a pop fly right toward Colin Tuft in the outfield, but due to the intense fog, Tuft couldn't locate the ball, allowing Jones' pop fly to drop for a two-run double.

Orleans manager Kelly Nicholson was quick to point out the fact that Tuft was unable to make the play solely due to the conditions, which sparked a back-and-forth with home plate umpire Joe Cruz.

Tuft himself, even telling his Firebirds teammate Shupe that he "just heard wood and tried to guess where it was at."

The finale of Nicholson and Cruz's debate came when Cruz suddenly took the players off the field for a 30-minute delay and left the field with his fellow umpires for an extended period of time.

The game would wind up being called about 25 minutes after the delay began, but that sparked even more confusion.

While Section B, Article 3 of the NCAA Rulebook states that Jones' two-run double should be treated as a walk-off, resulting in a Falmouth win, there is no language to that effect in the CCBL Handbook.

With the result of the game to still be determined, discussions involving league officials and commissioner John Castleberry on how to go about the chaotic final moments in Falmouth are sure to be had.

The Birds look to carry their offensive firepower through an off day, and back to Eldredge for a 6:30 p.m. showdown with the Harwich Mariners.


In a final ruling sent out by Castleberry on Tuesday night at approximately 8:30 p.m., the final score on the field will stand: Falmouth 11, Orleans 10.

All statistics from the game will be held accountable.