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Chatham edges Y-D to strengthen playoff hopes

by Jesse Dougherty, 07-30-2014

Chatham edges Y-D to strengthen playoff hopes

Jordan Hillyer (Kennesaw State), who has personified an impenetrable dam for much of the summer, finally allowed a small leak. Yarmouth-Dennis scored two runs to draw within one in the top of the sixth, and Hillyer exited with a runner on third. But Zack Burdi (Louisville) came in and struck out pinch hitter Brennon Lund. 

Then he used two more strikeouts to set down the Red Sox in order in the seventh. Then he handed the ball to Kyle Davis (Southern California) who went the rest of the way. 

“Hillyer’s been the ace of this staff for the whole year,” Burdi said. “So the bullpen wanted to come out and show for him and we got the job done.”

Chatham (17-22-1) beat Yarmouth-Dennis (23-17) 6-5 at Veterans Field on Wednesday night, as Burdi and Davis bolstered Hillyer’s uncharacteristically human performance. That culminated in giving up four runs in 5.2 innings while striking out seven, which wasn’t status quo but ultimately earned him the win. He improves to a perfect 5-0 in six starts. Kevin Duchene started for the Red Sox and was hooked for the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits in five frames. 

Bryant Burleson
Bryant Burleson (Texas Tech) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored in the win. 

Box Score:

Game Tracker

Brewster and Wareham tied 6-6 at Stony Brook Field in a game that was called due to darkness after 10, which ups Chatham’s lead to five points in the playoff race. 

“Pitching staff did a hell of a job,” manager John Schiffner said. “And in turn we beat a good team.”

After Y-D started with the scoring with a two-run second, the Anglers answered with two runs in the bottom half. They came on an RBI groundout by Kevin Fagan (Stetson) and single by newly minted catcher Nick Sciortino (Boston College). Sciortino arrived in Chatham on Wednesday, was thrown right into it and responded by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs — the last of which bumped his team’s run total to six, which it would later need. 

Sciortino is college teammates with Chris Shaw (Boston College) and Jeff Burke (Boston College), and both texted the New Jersey native on Tuesday night. They told him he had to get to Chatham and suit up right away and he told them, “I’m already on my way.”

“Coming here and seeing everyone love the game was awesome, just a great day to play baseball,” Sciortino said. “I was just trying to get a fastball to hit and stay short and just with the pitch.”

What came next was the breakthrough inning the Anglers have been looking for. Ty Moore (UCLA) started the third with a double before A.J. Murray (Georgia Tech) walked. The Shaw doubled in Moore before Bryant Burleson — who finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored — singled Murray in. The rally finished with an RBI groundout from second baseman Justin Jones (UNLV), and Hillyer jumped on the train. 

The tall right-hander was rolling with his running high fastball, setting down nine straight hitters from the second to fifth before allowing a two-out double to Andrew Stevenson. The Red Sox clawed back in the next frame but the bullpen put the fire out. All season, Hillyer’s right arm has held the Anglers upright — and the offense and bullpen returned the favor at an opportune time. 

Davis ran into trouble in the top of the ninth because no win, at this point of the season, comes at a small price. Y-D loaded the bases in the inning and what seemed like a game-ending groundout turned bad when Stevenson beat Mitchell Gunsolus (Gonzaga) to the bag at second. 

6-5. 

But then Davis got Josh Lester to fly out to Gunsolus, who ranged behind second and coddled the ball into his mitt. 

And Chatham exhaled. 

“I don’t think we’ve had an easy one in awhile,” Schiffner said. “But we’ll take it.”

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