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Andrew Benefield homers for 2nd time in 5 games as Chatham falls to Brewster, 9-1

by Allie Kaylor , 06-30-2021

Andrew Benefield homers for 2nd time in 5 games as Chatham falls to Brewster, 9-1

BREWSTER — With a 1-1 count on Clayton Owens, Chatham pitching coach Dennis Cook decided to make a change. He pulled David Falco for the left-handed Adam Scoggins with one out and a runner on first in the seventh. Scoggins walked Owens but reset up a double play after the runner advanced on a wild pitch.

But when Cooper Weiss came up to the plate, a ball soared over the head of centerfielder Caeden Trenkle and landed in the outfield grass. The umpire motioned for a home run, letting all three runners score. When Weiss touched home plate, manager Tom Holliday came out of the Chatham dugout arguing that it was a ground rule double that should’ve only scored one batter. After monologuing about the call, he took three steps toward the dugout and was ejected after walking away.

The umpires reconvened and upheld the call. Boos emitted from the visiting crowd, and, when asked all eight fans sitting in left-center field agreed it bounced on the field before tailing over the wall.

“The fact that one of them didn’t see a ball that bounced 20 feet before the fence go over the fence is just bad,” Chatham left fielder Jake DeLeo said.

Scoggins made it out of the inning, but the home run was the final nail in the coffin for a Chatham team that, up until that point, was just a hit away from tying it up. The Anglers kept pace with the Whitecaps in the hits column — behind 10-8 when the game was called in the ninth due to darkness — but only one runner crossed the plate in the 9-1 loss, Chatham’s second straight and third in four games.

“Just a couple more two-out hits and we’re there, that’s honestly all it is,” Chatham first baseman Michael Brown said.

Bryce Osmond took the mound for the Anglers to start the game. It was his Cape Cod Baseball League debut, but he was already familiar with Tom Holliday — pitching for him last summer with the Tulsa Drillers where he was named team MVP and North Division Pitcher of the Year. He gave up six runs in 23.2 innings for the division champions and held batters to a .117 average.

But his first inning was more in line with his freshman season at Oklahoma State where he had a 7.42 ERA. His night started with a double down the line on the first pitch he threw, and the next two batters reached. Another walk brought home a run and a flyout to center brought home the second.

But once he settled in, Osmond was nearly unhittable. A leadoff single in the second was the last hit he gave up in his three innings of work. After walking a batter with two outs in the third — his fourth of the night — he started the next plate appearance with a ball to Kurtis Byrne. Pitching coach Dennis Cook and catcher John Michael Faile walked up to the mound to talk to him, but he stayed in the game.

Faile tapped Osmond on the shoulder with his glove and jogged back behind the plate. His next three pitches were a looking strike, a foul ball, and massive swing to end the inning with Osmond’s third strikeout of the inning and fifth of the night.

Z“He had a major tailspin toward the end of the college season and he’s up here to correct that,” Holliday said before the game. “Hopefully we can aid in that and get him to where he can help Oklahoma State reach their goals.”

Chase Hampton relieved Osmond after that, striking out the first batter he saw and retiring the next batter. He started the fifth with a ground rule double — the first of three for Brewster on the night — that bounced down the left field line and rolled into the trees in foul territory. Like Osmond, he struck out five batters total to limit the damage to the first inning.

The Anglers spent the entire game playing from behind, but an offensive breakout seemed imminent — Brewster allowed runners in six innings, though they never found a way to score. Andrew Benefield beat out an infield single in the fifth on a missed throw by shortstop Zach Neto, and Michael Brown advanced him to third on a one out single. Chatham, trailing 2-1, had two outs remaining to bring the runners home. Instead, a strikeout and foul popup stranded them.

In both the second and fourth innings, Lyle Miller-Green reached on a four pitch walk. David Mendham followed both of those walks with a double play — one a chopper to the pitcher and another one a grounder to second.

DeLeo, who entered the game with one hit in his last six games, went 3-for-4 with three singles. He was caught stealing in the third and picked off in the sixth after Michael Porsecky tried to pick him off seven times. After the game, Brewster’s Dylan Carter approached DeLeo and they both laughed about how DeLeo was easily safe on both plays, they thought.

By the time the seventh inning rolled around, no one had scored since the second despite multiple threats from both teams. That’s when the game blew open — Falco allowed a run after Colin Davis walked, stole two bases and scored on a single. Then Scoggins allowed the home run and struck out the final batter of the inning. But that four spot seemed all but insurmountable for the Anglers.

A dark cloud took over the dusk sky after a three run eighth by the Whitecaps, ending the game early due to darkness. As the teams left the field and chatted with teammates on the way out, players on both teams could agree on one thing: It was a ground-rule double.