Orf Plays All Nine Positions, as 'Tees Lose Finale
VIERA, Fla. - Even though the Brevard County Manatees lost their season finale to the Dunedin Blue Jays by a final score of 7-3 on Sunday at Space Coast Stadium, the afternoon was a memorable one for Nathan Orf. The Manatees infielder played every position on the field in the final ballgame of the 2014 season.
Orf began the game in as the team's catcher, a position he has not played since his collegiate career at the University of Illinois-Chicago. From there, he changed positions every inning: first base in the second, second base in the third, third base in the fourth, shortstop in the fifth, left field in the sixth, center field in the seventh and right field in the eighth.
Finally, in the ninth inning, Orf took the mound for the first time in his professional career. Orf faced one batter, Nick Baligod, and retired him on a ground out to third baseman Greg Hopkins.
After the out was recorded, Manatees manager Joe Ayrault came out of the dugout and pulled Orf from the ballgame to end his historic afternoon. As he left the field, the Space Coast Stadium crowd gave Orf a standing ovation, to which the utility man doffed his cap.
Orf finished the game 0-for-2 at the plate with a walk. He made four defensive plays at three different positions.
Outside of the monumental display by Orf, the Manatees (37-32 second half, 73-62 overall) had a tough time against the Blue Jays (31-38, 77-61). Dunedin scored five runs in the first inning off of Brevard County starter Jorge Lopez. The D-Jays slammed five hits in the inning, including a two-run single by Marcus Knecht and a two-run double by L.B. Dantzler. Jorge Saez later tacked on another with an RBI single.
Dunedin added a run in the third on an RBI single by Mitch Nay and plated one final run against the 'Tees bullpen. Dantzler capped the scoring for the D-Jays when he hit his third Florida State League home run, a solo shot against Tyler Spurlin in the seventh.
Brevard County scored its first two runs in the third inning. With Orlando Arcia on third base and two outs, Alfredo Rodriguez surprised the Blue Jays defense with a bunt toward third. Arcia scored easily and Jays third baseman Mitch Nay made a wild throw to first that helped Rodriguez move up to second base. Rodriguez was credited with an RBI bunt single and advanced an extra base on the throwing error. One batter later, Parker Berberet sent Rodriguez home with an RBI single.
The 'Tees scored their only other run in the eighth and once again Rodriguez played a hand. After Victor Roache doubled to start the inning, Rodriguez drove him home with a two-out, run-scoring double. Rodriguez finished the game 3-for-4 with a team-best two RBI and a run scored.
Dunedin reliever Kramer Champlin earned the win. Champlin (4-2, 2.70 ERA) was the first man out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits over two innings.
Lopez (10-10, 4.58 ERA) took the loss. He gave up six of the Blue Jays' runs on nine hits through four innings of work. Lopez struck out four men and walked three.
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