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Halfway through the season, A's return from two-day break

by Dan D'Uva, 07-12-2012

Halfway through the season, A's return from two-day break Following consecutive off days, Chatham (11-11) begins the second half of the summer season Thursday against the Falmouth Commorodores (13-9). The two-day break did not pass without baseball though, as Boston's Fenway Park hosted Cape Leaguers (mostly hitters) for a workout Wednesday. Scouts from every Major League team were on hand for the exhibition.

"It's a good thing," said John Schiffner. "The kids love it. You can just see the kids were just so thrilled. And you're talking about Fenway Park, hallowed ground in the land of baseball. That's pretty special."

Among the Chatham swingers who took aim at the Green Monster Wednesday was California's Andrew Knapp, who leads the Anglers with 22 hits and a .286 average.

"He's having a great season," Schiffner said of the catcher/first baseman. "He's doing everything for us. He leads by example. He's hardnosed. He's been beaten up and he's been playing hard every night. And Knapp isn't the only player with a few black-and-blues.

"We've got some guys dinged up and [the two-day break] gives them a chance to rest and it gives everybody a chance to take a deep breath," said Schiffner. "Now we've got to see if we can put the hammer down and make a run in the third quarter. Four out of six would be nice."

The first man in line to light the second-half fire is Louie Lechich (0-0) who starts for Chatham Thursday, his fifth pitching appearance and second start. The two-way player from San Diego has allowed only one run in three relief appearances (6 2/3 innings), but gave up two runs in his lone start of the summer, July 3 against Orleans. Though Chatham lost the game 5-4, Lechich exited the contest with a lead in the fifth inning, having allowed just three hits while striking out four.

Last time out for Lechich was Monday at Bourne, a sterling two-inning stint out of the bullpen. "He did a very good job. [San Diego] told us hed be good and he has been," said Schiffner. Lechich allowed only a hit batsman to reach while striking out two hitters, allowing no hits or walks.

Falmouth's slated starter is righty Trey Masek (2-0) from Texas Tech. In his previous three starts, the sophomore has given up five runs but only two earned (a 1.08 ERA), notching victories June 18 vs. Y-D, 6-4 (6 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 9 K), and June 27 at Cotuit, 9-2 (5 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 K). A no-decision in his last start, a July 4 Falmouth loss at Cotuit, 7-6, came after surrendering one run on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

Catch all the action of Thursday's game with broadcasters Chris Fitzgerald and Brandon Liebhaber beginning with the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. ET with all the play-by-play beginning at 7. Listen by phone at 1-800-846-4700, code 3841, or online at TRZ Teamline.



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