story by Steve McCarthy
July 26, 2010
ORLEANS – Kolten Wong did a little bit of everything for the Orleans Firebirds Monday night. The Hawaii second baseman hit a two-run double, an RBI single, legged out a bunt single, stole two bases, and made several plays with his glove as the Firebirds shut out the Cotuit Kettleers 6-0.
Wong went 3-for-4 with three RBIs as the Firebirds (18-18-1) got back to .500 with their third straight victory. They trail Harwich by one point for third place in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Eastern Division standings.
“I played really well tonight and I just try to do everything for the team,” Wong said. “We’re kind of hot right now, so I’m trying to do whatever I can to help the team keep winning.”
Cotuit (17-15-2) maintained its lead in the West by two points as second-place Bourne also lost. The Kettleers will play a make-up game against Wareham on Tuesday at Lowell Park.
Matt Koch (Loyola Marymount) also had three hits in support of Orleans starting pitcher Matt Sisto (2-1, Hawaii), who surrendered Cotuit’s only six hits over six innings. Sisto walked just his second batter in 37 innings pitched this summer.
The 6-foot-5 righthander allowed a one-out baserunner in five of his six innings but pounded the strikezone with 56 strikes of 86 total pitches and allowed his error-free defense to work for him.
“Once I got a runner-on, I really got focused,” Sisto said. “I didn’t want to give up any runs tonight. It was kind of a close game for a while, so I had to bear down.”
The offense which exploded for 12 runs Sunday against Brewster escaped the Kettleers as well as their torrid baserunning. Cotuit was successful on just two stolen base attempts Monday.
“We try to disrupt their timing because we know they like to run a lot,” Sisto said.
Orleans produced 10 hits in the game but fanned eight times against Cotuit starter Matt Murray (2-1, Georgia Southern). Murray did not walk a batter and needed 80 pitches to get through five innings but was dealt the hard-luck loss.
Wong’s two-out double opened the scoring in the third inning as he plated Koch and Shon Roe (Loyola Marymount).
“I was just trying to get something going,” Wong said.
A fielding error by Cotuit third baseman Levi Hyams (Georgia) allowed Matt Newman (Arizona St.) to cross from third in the fourth inning before Murray struck out two of his final three batters faced.
The Firebirds rallied for their final three runs in the seventh inning on four hits. Wong and Roe each drove in one with singles and Jayce Boyd (Florida St.) lofted a sacrifice fly to center to push the last across.
Cotuit reliever Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) was responsible for the final three runs after leaving two baserunners for Matt Andriese (UC-Riverside) with one out in the seventh. Andriese finished the game.
Nolan Belcher (South Carolina), Jack Leathersich (UMass-Lowell), and Kenny Long (Illinois St.) each worked an inning out of Orleans’ bullpen.
Deven Marrero (Arizona St.) had two of Cotuit’s hits.