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Harwich scores six straight, upends Chatham 6-4

by David Souza, 07-29-2016

Harwich scores six straight, upends Chatham 6-4

Chatham, Mass. — The Chatham Anglers arrived at Whitehouse Field on Friday evening looking to rebound after being no-hit Wednesday night by four members of the Harwich Mariners pitching staff. What started out looking like an exorcism of the Anglers poor offense turned into another blown lead as Harwich rallied from a 4-0 deficit to upend Chatham 6-4.

“We left too many guys on base, we needed that clutch hit, we didn’t slam the door shut,” said A’s manager John Schiffner. “The difference between the two teams is they’ve got an innate confidence that they’re going to come back and we don’t. And confidence will generate energy, will generate enthusiasm – it’s emotion. When you don’t have confidence it’s tough to come back, and that’s where we are right now, we don’t have enough confidence in ourselves that we can overcome like we should.”  

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Box Score

Game Tracker | Text Score

After jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning, the Anglers allowed Harwich to stay in the game, giving up a run in the bottom of the third before the Mariners staged a comeback with four runs in the fourth. The six-run rally turned what looked to be a bounce back performance by the Anglers into a deflating defeat.

Back-to-back singles began the bottom of the fourth, putting runners on first and second for Antoine Duplantis, who was making his first at-bat of the game after coming in as a defensive substitution.

On the first pitch, Duplantis laid down a bunt that dribbled to the left side of the pitchers mound, causing Chatham’s Simon Mathews (1-3) to hurriedly chase after the ball in a rushed attempt to record the first out of the inning. As a result, Mathews collected the baseball and threw it too far to the left of Sean Bouchard at first base, allowing Nick Feight to score on the throwing error.

However, Harwich was not done there as, on the next pitch, Austin Filiere shot a double down the third base line past a diving Jake Palomaki to score Johnny Adams and make it 4-3. A groundout by Nick Dalesandro tied the score a batter later, as Chatham conceded the run, before Max Burt drove an RBI double to the gap in left-center, giving Harwich a 5-4 lead.

“We punched them, and they punched back harder,” said a disappointed Schiffner. “We did not respond to that punch.”

Despite being no-hit by the same pitching staff two days prior, the Chatham offense returned in the early part of Friday's game, scratching together four runs on six hits off of Harwich starter Hunter Williams (2-2). The Anglers opened the scoring in the top of the third with a leadoff single by John Aiello, who quickly moved over to second on a bunt-single by Hunter Lee.

With Aiello on third after taking advantage of a Cal Raleigh passed ball, Mason Koppens came to the plate for just the second time as a member of the Anglers. Battling in his first at-bat by fouling off multiple pitches before grounding out to third, Koppens again made contact his second time up, slapping a grounder that Joe Dunand booted, allowing Aiello to score.

“With two strikes I was just trying to stay short on the ball and put it in play,” said Koppens, a sophomore out of Northeastern. “I had a good pitch so I was able to put it in play and drive that run in, so I was pretty happy about that.”

Two batters later, Hagen Owenby muscled a two-run double that one hopped the wall in left field, scoring Lee and Koppens. Gunnar Trouwine immediately followed Ownbey by lacing an RBI single past the outstretched glove of a diving Burt to make it 4-0 A’s.

Though Mathews took the loss for the Anglers, the Georgetown right-hander displayed his strong command by striking out six Mariners – a season high for Mathews – and issuing a lone walk.

“He threw the ball, he threw well, he threw very very well,” said Schiffner. “He mixed his speeds well, he threw his breaking pitch for a strike and that’s a key. . . .Simon’s a very good pitcher.”

The six-foot-two junior put his experience to good use in the fifth inning, keeping his composure before working out of a jam. Three straight one-out singles loaded the bases for the Mariners, giving Harwich a chance to break the game open. However, Mathews remained unmoved and promptly sat down the next two batters on swinging strikes.

Though Connor Moore took the hill in the sixth, the offense continued to flow for the Mariners as they doubled their lead. Following an error by John Aiello that prevented a possible inning-ending double play, Nick Feight cashed in, smacking a single up the middle that scored Ernie Clement on a play at the plate.

With the loss the Anglers (14-24-1) now find themselves five points behind the Brewster Whitecaps for the final playoff spot with five games to go. Brewster defeated Yarmouth-Dennis on Friday by a score of 13-3 to put two and a half games between themselves and Chatham. Harwich (24-13-2) widens its first-place lead over the Red Sox to four points with the win.   

“We had a couple situations where we had men on – we’ve got to get that runner in from third with less than two outs in the ninth, and that doesn’t happen. That’s the stuff that we haven’t done enough all year long,” said Schiffner. “We had our chances, we’ve had our comeback wins, we’ve had our walk-off wins, we had a great win the other night, getting to Y-D, but we should have done that many more times.”



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