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Firebirds blank Anglers, 5-0

by David Souza, 07-03-2016

Firebirds blank Anglers, 5-0

Orleans, Mass. — The Chatham Anglers dropped their fifth contest in six games, falling to the Orleans Firebirds on Sunday night, 5-0.

The Anglers (9-11) entered the night hopeful after rousing together an inspiring and impressive victory over the best team in the league, Harwich. However four hits on the night kept Chatham off the scoreboard as Orleans’ pitchers struck out ten batters and walked none.

“I thought we had decent approaches [at the plate tonight],” said manager John Schiffner. “I didn’t think we looked silly, they just beat us.”

Overpowering Chatham hitters, Orleans (12-8) turned in its fifth consecutive win, shutting out its opponent for the second straight game. For the Anglers, it was the fifth time they’ve failed to score a run in a game this summer. Chatham has now been shut out three times in the past five games.

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Parker Rigler (0-1) gave up three earned runs in four innings of work as the Kansas State lefty took the loss in his first start of the season. While the junior hurler allowed four hits to a streaking Orleans squad, Rigler ran into trouble because of the four walks he issued on the night.

“I just walked too many people,” said Rigler. “Too many people on the base paths and a couple of plays in the field that I should have made but I didn’t.”

Rigler’s fielding woes came in a three-run fourth inning for Orleans, where the Firebirds scored off of a bunt single, a walk, and a pair of errors. Mishandling a bunt back to the mound, Rigler allowed Will Golsan to reach base before the infielder came home on a throwing error by Jeremy Vasquez two batters later.

Jason Morgan (2-1) earned the win tonight for Orleans after pitching five innings of two-hit baseball. The North Carolina right-hander also struck out five and did not walk a batter in his first win since June 13. 

In total, Chatham pitchers issued seven walks on Sunday night, after Caleb Gilbert issued three during his four innings of relief. The Anglers have now walked a total of 75 batters on the season, second to only Cotuit’s 94 for most in the CCBL. For Rigler, curtailing walks comes down to repetition and focus in warm ups.

“Just, in the bullpen, taking the time to spot up fastballs and make sure that I hit those spots in the game [is my way to remedy walks],” said Rigler, “Just like anything, you’ve got to practice it.”

Orleans’ offensive surge began in the third inning when Zach Kirtley croaked a line drive homerun just over the wall in left field. Seven Firebirds reached base multiple times on Sunday night while Chatham’s top of the order – DJ Artis and Jake Palomaki – were the only two Anglers to do so.

Artis almost tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning when he broke for the plate after a Patrick Mathis flyout to deep right, however Orleans's Brian Miller hurled an on target bullet to nab Artis at home.  

The loss keeps Chatham in a tie for last place in the East Division with Brewster, while Orleans stays a game back of Harwich for the division lead.

Both teams face off again Monday night in Chatham as the Anglers and the Firebirds celebrate the Fourth of July with the second contest of this weekend’s home-and-home series. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, but make sure to tune in 20 minutes early to hear Jake Eisenberg and Evan Stockton bring you the Anglers Extra Pregame. The full broadcast of Monday's game can be found online to the Cape Cod Baseball Network or listened to via telephone at 1-800-846-4700, code 3481. Visit Broadcast Central for more details.

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