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Game 35 Preview: Orleans at Chatham

by Allie Kaylor, 07-31-2021

Game 35 Preview: Orleans at Chatham

For the second time in three games, the Chatham Anglers will take on the Orleans Firebirds, this time at Veterans Field to start a home-and-home series. In between the games, Chatham faced the Harwich Mariners, losing 8-4 to officially eliminate them from playoff contention. The Firebirds, too, were mathematically eliminated after losing 5-1 to the Red Sox to keep them in last place behind the Anglers.

Although the game is meaningless for playoff contention, coaches and players from both teams continue to stress that the season is about player development, not wins and losses. As several players return to their home colleges for fall camps, these games are some of the last chances for the players to showcase their talents against the best in the country.

Probable Pitchers

Alex McFarlane had his best appearance of the season a week ago when he held Bourne hitless for four innings of relief while walking only three batters. He kept a 2-1 game close to back up one earned run in four innings by Tanner Witt, although that final score stuck. Most of his numbers this season are inflated by allowing five runs in the first inning of his first start. Remove that one inning, and his ERA drops from 3.63 to 1.10. He has also struck out 24 batters in 17.1 innings this season, one of the highest rates this season on the Anglers.

Max Rajcic pitches against the Anglers for the first time since the home-opener. The UCLA freshman, who spent this season as a reliever, threw three scoreless innings while allowing one hit in that appearance. Since then, he’s allowed nine runs in his last three appearances while striking out 15.

Chatham Players to Watch

Jake DeLeo spent the middle part of the season in a slump, but he has five hits and four RBI in his last two games, including his first CCBL home run. After struggling for a large portion of the season, he found his stride again and has numbers approaching closer to his .254 average at Georgia Tech, as well as his high school rating as one of the best outfielders in the country.

Josh Rivera has a five-game hitting streak right now with two doubles and three walks in that ?span. Once the team’s strikeout leader, his current .319 on base percentage is the second-highest among qualified hitters on Chatham’s roster.

Orleans Players to Watch

In the first two meetings between these two teams, there were several Orleans players that found continued success against the Anglers, but none of them are currently rostered. Tyler Locklear, however, perhaps did the most damage against the Anglers the other day. He had two hits, tied for most on the team that day, including an RBI double in the seventh that brought the Firebird run total to five, paving the way for a two-run eighth and three-run ninth. Locklear leads the league in home runs and has the most RBI on Orleans as well.

Peyton Chatagnier has been a constant at the top of Orleans’ lineup this season, getting on base at a .359 clip. In terms of average, he’s second on the team among players with at least 75 plate appearances, and he scores almost a run per game with the Firebirds.

Stat to Know — 32

Orleans currently leads the league in home runs, and they’re the one of three teams to eclipse the 30 mark. Falmouth and Chatham sit tied for second at 30. What’s different about the Firebirds’ power is how condensed it is — Locklear and DeLauter combine for over half of those, and they lead the Cape Cod Baseball League with nine each. The Firebirds have hit three home runs in three games against Chatham, right on par with their just over one-home-run-per-game.

Last Time They Played

The Anglers put on a power clinic on Wednesday, hitting four home runs and scoring a season-high 13 runs at Eldredge Park. They once led 13-2, but several late-inning defensive mistakes and missed spots by pitchers helped the Firebirds stage a comeback. They even brought the winning run to the plate with one out in the ninth, but ended up losing 13-10. The Anglers won three games in a row for the first time this season before losing to Harwich yesterday.