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Chatham avoids Harwich comeback, clinching back-to-back victories in 9-8 win

by Anish Vasudevan, 07-18-2022

Chatham avoids Harwich comeback, clinching back-to-back victories in 9-8 win

Chatham flipped another page in 2022’s narrative on Sunday.

Once Hunter Stokely’s home run smacked off the right-field light tower in the top of the sixth, the familiar tale of a disappearing lead seemed to write itself. But Chuck Ingram slapped his own deep ball in the ensuing frame, knocking the left-field fence before Roc Riggio slid home. And Lebarron Johnson Jr. found his groove on the mound, striking out three straight batters in the top of the seventh.

“Baseball is all about momentum,” Johnson said. “As a pitcher, you want to stop the other team and give our hitters a chance to do things like that.”

The Anglers extended their lead before the Mariners fought back, but Chatham fended off Harwich in a 9-8 win. Brian Holiday delivered on the mound in the final inning, making up for two defensive errors with two strikeouts. The Anglers finished with 14 hits while Guy Garibay Jr. notched a team-high two RBIs. Chatham won back-to-back games for the first time since June 20.

“Our offense was relentless today, they would claw back and then we would pour some more on,” Marcus Brown said.

Manager Tom Holliday wasn’t satisfied with Chatham’s first road win of the season Saturday. The Anglers’ offense left too many runners on base and their pitching staff allowed the Red Sox to get ahead 2-0 by the end of the first.

“We still have to keep plugging,” Holliday said after the Anglers 6-2 victory over Yarmouth-Dennis Saturday.

Nicholas Regalado struck out Nick Goodwin and Brock Wilken on nine pitches for the first and third outs of the opening frame. Lyle Miller-Green reached his bat under a low pitch, launching the ball over the fence and a few inches inside of the right field foul pole fort his fourth hit of the year.

Six at-bats later, a pitch from Jonathan Santucci hit the backstop, giving Roc Riggio enough time to clinch Chatham’s third run.

DeLeo made a diving catch against the Red Sox on Saturday. He backpedaled in the top of the second on Sunday, making the grab on a Joe Vetrano fly ball with an extended glove. With two outs, Regalado made a similar jump from the mound, clasping a bouncer from William Hamiter before throwing to Caden Grice at first.

Regalado kept the Mariners scoreless until the sixth inning, working fast on the mound. He posted two straight 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and the fifth and retired the side on four batters in the top of the third. Chatham’s offense continued off Regalado’s energy, which Holliday has praised, as Ingram walked and Grice bounced the ball over the first baseman in the bottom of the third.

Ingram advanced to third off of Grice’s single, bringing Jack Rubenstein into the batter’s box. Rubenstein slapped a high fly ball, which Ingram watched loop through the air. Once Ethan O’Donnell made the catch in center field, Ingram took his foot off the third base bag and sprinted home before the throw came in.

Brown continued to make plays at shortstop, blocking the ball with his body in the top of the fourth to kick-start a double play, one Holliday called a “Sportscenter” moment. He fielded the ball again in the ensuing inning, throwing to Grice for the frame’s final out.

“As a defender, you want to be reliable, and I thought we did that today,” Brown said.

Brown was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the seventh, joining Grice on the base paths after he walked to open the inning. Cooper Ingle dribbled the ball past a diving Kalae Harrison, prompting Grice to sprint home. He slid in, spinning before high-fiving Jake DeLeo as the Anglers led by two.

Holliday placed Garibay into the game for Miller-Green, and he missed on the first two pitches. He settled in, continuing to bounce his bat over his left shoulder before facing his fourth pitch. Garibay slapped the ball into right-center and past a diving Tommy Seidl, clinching Chatham’s second three-run inning of the game.

“Right-handed submariner, that’s his opportunity,” Holliday said about Garibay facing Hunter Hodges. “Guy is one of the most important players on our team,” Holliday said.

Still, Johnson faced trouble as Seidl made up for his missed grab with a solo home run to begin the eighth inning. Brian Holiday came in to pitch, but a double from Stokely placed runners on second and third.

With two outs, Hamiter slapped the fourth pitch he saw into right field, forcing Garibay to throw his body to the ground. After extending the lead an inning earlier, Garibay maintained it, coming up from the grass with the ball in his glove.

The Anglers’ defense, which had been consistent throughout the game, started to crack in the top of the ninth. DeLeo almost collided with Garibay in right-center, dropping an easy fly ball. Johnny Castagnozzi then misfired to Grice after fielding a grounder, surrendering the first run of the frame.

The Mariners loaded the bases after a slap from Wilken brought in another run.

With two outs and Chatham ahead by a single run, Holiday went up 0-2 against Harrison, but Rubenstein was forced to fall on top of a low breaking ball, staring at the tying run at third after picking up the ball.

“Rubenstein was making those unbelievable stops to keep them away from scoring the tying run,” Brown said. “Defense goes a long way and we just have to be there everyday.”

Harrison swung and missed as Holiday delivered another high fastball. Holiday turned to the dugout, flexing, before hugging Rubenstein near home plate.