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Chatham drops 3rd straight game in 4-1 loss to Y-D

by Anish Vasudevan, 07-15-2022

Chatham drops 3rd straight game in 4-1 loss to Y-D

Ben Hampton stood in his usual contrapposto stance on the mound, pointing his right foot to home plate to start the fifth inning. The Anglers' most consistent pitcher had stayed sharp for four innings, not giving up a hit since facing Homer Bush Jr. to open the game.

But like countless games this season, Chatham’s starting pitcher struggled in the fifth. Jonathon Long smacked the first pitch he saw to center field, landing it over the fence to bring in two runs. Yarmouth-Dennis loaded the bases in the following inning, scoring twice more on a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly.

Jack Rubenstein answered in the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer to left-center, but that was the only run the Anglers scored in their 4-1 loss to Y-D. Hampton and Ben Peterson combined for 14 strikeouts, but the Anglers finished with their fewest hits since July 3.

Before Long’s home run, Hunter Haas got on base after a grounder hopped over Anthony Nunez's glove. Nunez was at shortstop for Marcus Brown, who is currently serving a two-game suspension.

Brown was suspended after Thursday’s loss to Bourne, when the Anglers gave up six runs in the bottom of the ninth. Carlos Rey came in for the final two outs against the Braves, but he was called for a balk with runners on second and third.

“(The umpire) said that (Rey) had to designate himself throwing out of the windup with a runner on third,” Chatham pitching coach Jay Powell said. “I’ve never heard of it. I’m not saying it’s not a rule, but I’ve never heard of it.”

Manager Tom Holliday was thrown out of the game after speaking to first base umpire Jason Klump, who made the call. Roc Riggio was tossed following the balk and Brown was ejected after the contest concluded on a walk-off grand slam.

Early against the Red Sox though, Thursday's confusion was a nonfactor. Hampton continued his season-long dominance on the mound, striking out six batters in the first three innings.

“He might be one of the best I’ve had here in terms of enjoying his art,” Holliday said. “He really enjoys pitching and he’s infectious.”

Hampton’s success carried into Peterson’s time on the bump, but Chatham’s offensive issues returned as well. The Anglers had three hits over the first six innings.

Jake DeLeo stole second base in the bottom of the first and reached third on a passed ball. Still, Chatham’s last three batters in the frame couldn’t bring him in with Noah Ledford striking out for the final out.

DeLeo made his fourth plate appearance with two outs and two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh. The Red Sox brought Conner Thurman to the mound, and DeLeo rocketed the third pitch he saw to left field. But Bush Jr. made the easy catch to end the frame.

“We didn’t swing the bat tonight, it’s hard to swallow,” Holliday said.