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Game 9 Preview: Falmouth at Chatham

by Andrew Crane, 06-29-2021

Game 9 Preview: Falmouth at Chatham

Chatham nearly escaped with its first road win of the season against Bourne on Monday, but allowed three hits in the ninth inning to tie the game. The Anglers escaped with their second tie in the first eight games of the 2021 Cape Cod Baseball League season after tying six times over the last five seasons combined. With a new league rule eliminating extra innings this year, that number could rise more throughout the season.

They now return home to Veterans Field for the first time since Saturday, hosting Falmouth for the second time this season at 7 p.m. The Commodores also tied their second game of the season on Monday, finishing a 3-3 draw with Wareham when neither team scored after the second inning. Falmouth and Chatham tied in the season-opener for both teams’ first.

Probable pitchers

Alex McFarlane (Miami) makes his first start of the season for Chatham, and he’ll be followed out of the bullpen by Chase Hampton. Against Brewster, McFarlane threw three innings in relief of Sebastian Keane (Northeastern) and picked up the win, allowing no hits, no walks and striking out three.

McFarlane dropped his season ERA with the Hurricanes from 5.25 to 4.50 between his shortened freshman and redshirt freshman seasons, and he made four starts in each year while entering out of the bullpen for the other 12. His worst outing came against Georgia Tech on May 14, when he allowed seven earned runs on eight hits in 2.1 innings, but he recovered to allowed just three hits over the final four innings he pitched in 2021.

Trey McLoughlin opposes McFarlane as the Commodores’ starting pitcher, as the Fairfield right-hander makes his CCBL debut. He appeared in just five games during the Stags’ 2021 season, going 2-0 with a 4.94 ERA, and twice struck out 11 batters against Cansius. It followed up a 2020 season where he made just three starts before COVID-19 shortened his third campaign at Fairfield, but to close the previous season, he threw the best postseason performance in program history — a three-hit, 14-strikeout complete game shutout against Canisius in a conference tournament elimination game.

Chatham players to watch

After Caden Grice (Clemson) leaves for a stretch with Team USA, Michael Brown (Washington) is poised to see extended time in Chatham’s lineup at first base. His swing has continually progressed since the first week of practice, when he spent time the first few days working with hitting coach Mickey Tettleton, and his latest round of batting practice before the tie against Bourne consisted of line drive after line drive to the gaps. He’s only 1-for-4 this season for the Anglers, with two walks and an RBI, but perhaps the most promising stat is that he’s struck out just once — something he did 43 times in his 105 at-bats for the Huskies this past season.

Seth Stephenson (Temple College) became Chatham’s most consistent hitter from its No. 9 slot with three hits and finishing a home run away from the cycle at Bourne. He’s rotated around the infield with Matt Garcia, splitting time at second base while the Anglers search for consistent answers there and at third, but now Stephenson has the highest average among active Chatham players with .357 through 14 at-bats. His slugging percentage is now just .018 behind Caden Grice’s, too.

Falmouth Players to Watch

Jake Dukart has become a key piece for the Commodores over at third base, leading them in batting average at .389 while also slicing two doubles and driving in seven runs. He wasn’t in the lineup on Monday against Wareham, which means he could return to the middle of the order at Veterans Field.

In the outfield, Jace Bohrofen has started all seven games for Falmouth and drove in two runs the first game against Chatham with his double and sacrifice fly. His 10 RBI rank first in the CCBL, adding to the 18 he drove in while appearing in 29 games for Oklahoma this season.

Stat to Know — 47

Falmouth’s offense, through seven games, sits tied for first in the CCBL with 47 runs scored, including seven or more in four games. Chatham hasn’t reached that mark since the season-opener, though, but its 34 runs are fourth in the league behind Bourne and Cotuit who are both tied with the Commodores at 47.

Last Time they Played

Kevin Parada’s RBI infield single in the top of the ninth inning erased a late Chatham deficit, and Daniel Federman returned out to pitch a scoreless ninth, but with no extra innings the game ending there, at 7-7, to open the 2021 CCBL season. In his start, Victor Mederos struggled with fastball control and spiked wild pitches past Parada, although a Lyle Miller-Green home run to right-center field briefly gave the Anglers the lead.