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Game 30 Preview: Chatham at Falmouth

by Andrew Crane, 07-25-2021

Game 30 Preview: Chatham at Falmouth

Chatham opened its final quarter of the season with a 2-1 loss to Bourne on Saturday, and plays its first of fives games on the road this week when it travels to Falmouth. The Anglers and the Commodores last met at Guv Fuller FIeld to open the 2021 season, and since, both of their seasons have followed similar trajectories. Falmouth’s 11 wins are just one more than the Anglers, though its offense has manufactured 28 more runs than Chatham’s.

Since a 7-1 loss to Brewster, Falmouth has gone on a three-game winning streak entering the meeting with the Anglers — defeating Bourne, Yarmouth-Dennis and Cotuit — and brought them on the verge of leapfrogging Wareham for the second playoff spot. Chatham, unable to piece together a winning streak longer than two games this season, has sunk deeper into the East Division standings as the top two, Harwich and Brewster, start to pull away.

Probable Pitchers

Bryce Osmond makes his fifth start of the season six days after Wareham knocked him for four runs, three earned runs, on five hits in four innings. But the start before that was his best one, when he allowed just one run across four innings in a fog-shortened win against Brewster. From his first start until now, Osmond’s WHIP has dropped from 2.33 to 1.86, although his opponents’ batting average has risen to .308 — one of three active pitchers on the Anglers’ roster with a number above .300.

All three of Mason Pelio’s starts this season have ended in losses, including his last one — which also doubled as his longest outing of the season — when he allowed two runs on six hits across five innings against Hyannis. His 7.24 ERA is the fourth-highest on Falmouth, and he’s one of three Commodore pitchers with a WHIP over two (2.12). Pelio played his third season at Boston College in 2021 and finished 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA across 65 innings, nearly allowing as many runs (50) as the number of batters he struck out (54).

As a freshman, though, he was selected as Freshman All-American by Perfect Game and opened the season with a 1.64 ERA and 4-1 record through seven starts. Pelio ended the year 0-2 across his final six appearances and 1.64 jumped to 3.62, but the strong start put him on pace for most of the season to potentially set the ERA record with the Eagles.

Chatham Players to Watch

The Anglers activated Oklahoma State outfielder Nolan McLean on Sunday morning, and he’s eligible to slot into Chatham’s lineup as early as its game against the Commodores. With the Cowboys, McLean appeared in 39 games during his first season and batted .263 with eight home runs, nearly one every four games.

Josh Rivera, who was Chatham’s lone Cape League All-Star this season, recorded Chatham’s first hit against Bourne on Saturday when he lasered a pitch down the left-field line. He moved back up in the order against the Braves’ left-handed pitcher, closer to the leadoff spot where he’s batted at times this season, and made it seven games out of Chatham’s past 11 where he’s recorded a hit. In the previous two meetings this season between Falmouth and the Anglers, Rivera has recorded three hits, scored a run and struck out just once.

Falmouth Players to Watch

For the entire season, Jace Bohrofen has served as the most consistent bat in the Commodores’ lineup, hitting .322 with 29 hits and playing in all but one of their games. Those numbers ranks fourth and third in the Cape Cod Baseball League, respectively, and Bohrofen — who appeared in 29 games for Oklahoma during his freshman season and hit .252 — has recorded four multi-hit games this season, including two of those, and nine hits overall, in Falmouth’s past four games.

Michael Curialle, a middle infielder who’s appeared in every game for the Commodores, ranks second on the team with 15 RBI but first with 31 strikeouts. The UCLA outfielder, who also made four of his 49 starts at second base, is 4-for-9 this season against Chatham, driving in three runs and only striking out once.

Stat to Know — 8.62

Falmuoth’s pitching staff has managed to strike out only 224 batters this season across its 26 games, good for an average of 8.62 per game. The Commodores’ 224 are the fewest in the CCBL this season, and they’ll match up against a Chatham lineup that’s struck out 310 times at the plate this season — the most in the league and an average of 10.7 per game.

Last Time They Played

Falmouth handed Chatham its first home loss of the season when it scored four runs in the eighth and ninth innings to break open a close game and defeat the Anglers, 8-1, on June 29. Chatham manager Tom Holliday said after the game that some of Chatham’s players were “overmatched,” and the Anglers dropped the final game before Caden Grice, Kevin Parada and Brandon Sproat departed for Team USA.