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Chatham pitchers throw 1-hit gem as bats stay silent in 4-0 win over Hyannis

by Allie Kaylor , 06-26-2021

Chatham pitchers throw 1-hit gem as bats stay silent in 4-0 win over Hyannis

Chatham manager Tom Holliday doesn’t usually stray from strategies that have worked for him. His runners steal more often than not. Three pitchers a game pitch three innings each, at least to start the season. But when Garrett Crowley (Fordham) took over for Daniel Federman (Miami) with two outs in the fourth, it was just the second time this season that an Anglers pitcher lasted longer than three innings in a game.

The left-handed Crowley stepped to the mound as Hyannis’ Luke Mann stepped to the plate, the first of three-straight left-handed batters in the Harbor Hawks’ lineup. Mann, the cleanup hitter, watched a pitch and fouled two behind him before swinging and whiffing on the fourth. Crowley struck out his sixth batter of the season, building on a dominant one-run performance he threw in the season-opener.

In another game where the Chatham offense struggled, its pitching staff completely shut down the Harbor Hawks, allowing one hit and striking out 11 in the 4-1 win. The three pitchers improved on their first performance where they, along with reliever David Falco, allowed seven runs to the Commodores in a season-opening tie, and bought more time for the Anglers while they still search for answers at the plate.

“I was just trying to stay away from hitters, get ahead, throw as many strikes as possible and kill them with my slider,” Crowley said. “Everything was working today.”

Victor Mederos (Miami) was originally expected to start, but Holliday swapped Mederos and Federman’s spot in the three-pitcher lineup to give the latter a chance to start in front of scouts, Holliday said. Earlier in the season, Federman closed out the game and was the only pitcher to not allow a run.

The 6-foot-3 senior started the game out strong, getting two-strike counts against and then retiring the first two batters before allowing a double to Jake Cunningham, the lone hit in the game and only baserunner allowed by Federman. A two-strikeout second inning followed, with Federman experimenting with his four-pitch mix and newly acquired curveball in front of a small group of scouts in the stands.

To start the fourth, the inning Crowley would usually enter the game, two straight right handed batters came to the plate. That’s why Holliday left Federman in — play matchups, and let Crowley face the three left handed batters in the four, five and six spots in the order. He retired the first two batters out with ease, setting Crowley up to record the final out of the inning, a four-pitch strikeout.

“You like to think three innings is about 50 pitches,” Holliday said. “(Federman) was only 38 pitches (through three). So why not let him just go and play the percentage, and we did, and we literally stayed out of our bullpen.”

When Crowley returned to the mound in the fifth, he stared down every batter, nodded at the sign from Kevin Parada (Georgia Tech), before proceeding to throw nine strikes and no balls and induce just four swings — a leadoff groundout, a swinging strike and two foul balls.

Crowley made his pitches impossible to hit. A slider would appear high before falling into the zone at the last second. It would seem right down the middle before breaking inside — causing several batters to swing at pitches that nearly hit them. In total, Crowley threw 19 balls that Hyannis batters didn’t swing at. Just seven were outside the zone.

20210626_ChathamvsHyannis_WillFudge_043
Victor Mederos (Miami) extended Chatham's streak of not allowing a Hyannis hit to 8.1 innings. (Will Fudge/Chatham Anglers)

 

During a Chatham Athletic Association luncheon honoring members of the organization earlier in the day, Holliday mentioned that MLB had moved the draft to mid-July, meaning several players currently on the roster would be gone in two weeks. He added that he believed every eligible Angler was fully deserving of getting the call. The senior Federman and junior Crowley showed today that they could be part of that deserving bunch, one of the thousand or so players that earned the chance to play professional baseball.

On Tuesday, the Anglers offense couldn’t find the hits against Yarmouth-Dennis to back up the three-run pitching performance, where the Red Sox were shut down for seven of eight innings. But Saturday, the Anglers mustered just enough to back up the shutout its three pitchers maintained.

The box score shows four runs on three hits, but just one of those hits scored, and only one was an RBI — a home run to deep left by Lyle Miller-Green to score Kevin Parada, who reached on a walk. David Furtado, the pitcher that gave up the blast, also struck out four Chatham batters over three innings, for a total of 10 on the evening, as the Anglers extended their league-leading strikeout total to 64.

The only other scoring threat came in the bottom of the sixth, when Tommy McCollum walked three straight batters, with the first two on four pitches. Two of the walked batters scored after Jonah Scolaro took the mound and proceeded to walk a batter and hit another. Chatham shortstop Josh Rivera grounded into a double play to end the scoring threat.

Despite the 4-0 final score, the Anglers’ three hits were a season low, and only one of the three came with a runner in scoring position — a first-inning infield single by Caden Grice that didn’t advance a batter.

Not every opposing pitcher will be a Division II underclassman on a bad night, or a freshman reliever making his first Cape League appearance. When the draft-eligible, College World Series starters step up to the mound, hits and walks will be harder to come by, and an offense that has relied on the home run ball for its first six outings may find itself left behind.