Lone home run all Birds can muster in 12-1 loss to Anglers

Art or Photo Credit: Sophia Soropoulos

(Above photo by Sophia Soropoulos)

The Firebirds welcomed the Chatham Anglers to a jam-packed Eldredge Park for the second time this summer, hoping for a different result from their initial meeting, a 2-1 loss.

It quickly became apparent, however, that it just wasn't going to be the Birds' night. A ground ball heading straight toward Jack Gurevitch (San Diego) on first base deflected off the bag and over into the infield, loading the bases for Chatham.

After Matt Ager (UC Santa Barbra) struck out Aiva Arquette (Washington) he was just one out away from escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam. Unfortunately, Ager walked the next Angler, sending Austin Overn (USC) home to give Chatham its first lead of the night.

The Anglers quickly built onto their lead, as Kyle Lodise (Augusta) followed Cantwell's walk with a fly ball to center field that cleared the bases, and gave Griffin Herring a four-run cushion before he even stepped on the mound.

Eager to respond to the Anglers' four-run first frame, the Birds worked the counts early, with Landon Moran (Stetson) and Khadim Diaw (Loyola Marymount) earning consecutive walks.

A wild pitch from Herring quickly put the two in scoring position, where a strikeout and double play would strand them.

Following Chatham's four-run explosion in the first inning, pitching took over, as neither Ager nor Herring allowed a run the next four innings.

Come the bottom of the fifth, the Firebirds' offense showed its first signs of life, after Dan Bucciero (Fordham) swung at the first pitch he saw, sending it 384 feet over the left field fence to give Orleans its first run of the night.

After the A's drove in another run, and with seven hitters out of the Anglers' order being lefties, manager Kelly Nicholson went to his lefty specialist, Miles Gosztola (Gonzaga), out of the bullpen.

Gosztola quickly found himself in a situation reminiscent of the one Ager found himself in the first frame of the night — a bases-loaded, one-out jam. Thankfully for the Firebirds' hopes of a late comeback, he managed to escape it.

A pair of two-run home runs and a wild pitch that brought in two runners of its own ballooned the Chatham lead up to 12-1, giving Orleans its worst loss of the summer.

The Firebirds will have a chance to bounce back against the Anglers at their house Thursday night, under the Fourth of July lights at Veterans Field.

First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.