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Game 17 Preview: Chatham at Harwich

by Andrew Crane, 07-10-2021

Game 17 Preview: Chatham at Harwich

Chatham managed just one hit against Wareham in its 4-4 tie last night, but that one hit — a Lyle Miller-Green grand slam — nearly was enough to lift it to just its second win in five games. Instead, the Anglers search for that elusive win and a chance to inch back up the standings when they travel to Whitehouse Field and face Harwich at 5:30 p.m.

The Mariners sit above the Anglers in the East Division standings, even at .500 after a win over Yarmouth-Dennis on Thursday, and have earned at least one point in five of its last six games. They’re not a power-hitting team, notching the third-fewest home runs in the league with nine, but have still scored double-digit runs in three games, a number that Chatham hasn’t reached at all this season.

Probable Pitchers

Adam Tulloch makes his second start for Chatham after cruising past Hyannis to the tune of four scoreless innings, eight strikeouts, and just four baserunners allowed. The left-hander from West Virginia extended his scoreless streak to 11 innings, and his two walks were his first two of the season.

Billy Seidl returns to the mound and makes his third start of the season for the Mariners. He’s compiled a 2-0 record, not allowing an earned run, and surrendered only five hits in eight combined innings against Bourne and Hyannis. In his first active season at Duke, he threw 25 innings with a 6.12 ERA but still finished with a 4-0 record. His final two appearances were the only two that lasted more than three innings, and he struck out 10 batters — his most over a two-game stretch — in a win versus Florida State and a no-decision against Liberty.

Chatham Players to Watch

Johnny Castagnozzi was activated on Saturday after he took a pitch to the hand on June 23, and now could return to the Chatham lineup as soon as its game against the Mariners. Castagnozzi reached base safely in all four games he played and hit a pinch-hit home run against Orleans in the Anglers’ home-opening win. Andrew Benefield has taken over his spot at third base, but Benefield has also worked at first base and could slide back across the diamond — prompting the return of Miller-Green to the outfield.

Jacob Watters, scheduled to throw after Tulloch for the Anglers, enters off his best performance of the Cape League season. A teammate of Tulloch at West Virginia, Watters threw three scoreless innings in Chatham’s last meeting against the Harbor Hawks, touched the high 90s with his fastball, and struck out five batters without allowing a hit.

Harwich Players to Watch

Carter Putz ranks second on the Mariners with 12 hits, and he’s also recorded the second-most RBI on Harwich behind team-leader Brock Wilken, who has 13. He played his junior season at Notre Dame this past collegiate season, starting all 47 games for the Fighting Irish while batting .305 with 57 hits — tied for first on Notre Dame.

Tatem Levins serves as the third member of Harwich who’s recorded double-digit hits through their opening third of the 2021 Cape League season, but he’s also just one of two Mariners to record double-digit walks. He’s a catcher and first baseman, one who spent his first three seasons at LaSalle University and has now transferred to Pittsburgh, who finished with a .315 average and the same number of walks drawn (27) as strikeouts.

Stat to Know — 69

Harwich leads the CCBL in walks drawn this season, compiling more than Brewster (62) and 36 more than Y-D, which has earned the fewest in the league with 33. One issue plaguing the Anglers and their pitching staff throughout the season has been walks, as they’ve allowed the second-most in the league this season with 71. Tulloch has issued two walks this season, but Jacob Watters — scheduled to throw behind him — has handed out eight walks in six innings this season.

Last Time They Played

In a back-and-forth game that featured two grand slams, Harwich erased a 5-0 deficit after the top of the first inning and defeated the Anglers, 11-6, on June 27. Andrew Benefield, at that point a recent addition to the Chatham roster, hit a grand slam that handed Austin Vernon a lead before he even threw a pitch, but they placed just five runners on base over the final eight innings after five reached in the first inning.