SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. –Alex Gonzalez hurled a two-hitter over 6.2 innings and his Yarmouth-Dennis teammates exploded for an eight-run fifth inning to beat the visiting Orleans Firebirds, 10-3 in the first game of the best two-out-of-three Cape Cod Baseball League’s Eastern Divisional playoffs.
The 6’2”, 200-pound Oral Roberts right-hander struck out a personal-best eight batters, while walking two and hitting one batter.
Southpaw Jimmy Reed (Maryland College) started and took the loss for Orleans, allowing seven runs over 5.2 innings pitched.
After two scoreless innings, the Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on an RBI single by Carlos Asuaje (Nova Southeastern) and an error.
Y-D blew it open in the fifth inning when they took a 10-0 lead with several big hits and three costly errors by the Firebirds.
Alex Blandino ((Stanford) started things off with a single and came around on a two-run double by Justin Shafer (Florida) and finished things off with a two-run single.
Orleans finally got on the board in the ninth inning on a two-run homer by Cody Kulp (Shippensburg) and a solo shot by Kevin Brown (Bryant).
The Firebirds hope to even the series Tuesday night against the Red Sox with a 7 p.m. Game 2 contest at Eldredge Park.