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Anglers prepare for home-and-home against Firebirds

by Matt Jasko, 08-01-2015

Anglers prepare for home-and-home against Firebirds

CHATHAM, Mass. – The crowds. The passion. The excitement. The game. It’s one of the most historic rivalries in the Cape Cod Baseball League, and the Chatham Anglers (22-20) and Orleans Firebirds (29-12-1) are set to renew it in a pivotal home-and-home on the regular season's final weekend.

The opening half of the two-game set will be played 7 p.m. tonight at Eldredge Park in Orleans, and the back half will occur 7 p.m. Sunday night at Veterans Field in Chatham. Large crowds are expected at each contest, and if history is any indication, that factor should bode well for Chatham.

“We’ve had games with big crowds earlier this season and the guys responded and played well in those games,” said Manager John Schiffner. “I told them that the atmosphere in those games is like what a playoff atmosphere here is like.”

Among those highly-attended contests were four previous clashes with Orleans. Against an offense averaging just under five runs per game, the Anglers held the Firebirds to two runs or fewer three of the four contests and four runs in the fourth. That excellence on the mound combined with timely hitting and late-game heroics to yield a 2-2 record between the rivals to date.

Tonight excellence is all but certain to again occur on the field. The excellence may come on the hill as it did on July 3 when Zac Gallen (North Carolina) struck out eight over six innings of shutout ball. It may come on the base paths as it did when Chatham pitcher Parker Dunshee (Wake Forest) scored the winning run in extra innings while pinch running on June 25. It may come at the plate as it did July 4 when Jake Fraley (Louisiana State) recorded two base knocks and an RBI. It will almost certainly come from at least one of these places, and it is very likely to come from all of them.

The Anglers’ probable starter for tonight’s contest is the right-handed A.J. Puckett (Pepperdine). He has made four apperances this summer and brings an ERA of 3.06 and a strikeout/inning average 0.93 into play. He will likely be met by the left-handed Tanner Tully (Ohio State). Tully is 1-0 with a 2.20 ERA on the summer. A Chatham win clinches a playoff berth. 

Dominic Cotroneo and Jonny Wincott will have the call live, starting with the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. on TRZ Teamline and at 1-800-846-4700, code 3841.



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