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Chatham concludes its three-game opening home stretch against Hyannis following a 5-2 win over Harwich on Monday night. Against the Mariners, the Anglers' got on the board for the first time this year to bring their record to 1-1. Hyannis also picked up its first win of the year in a 3-0 win over Orleans.
Ben Hampton will start on the mound for the Anglers against the Harbor Hawks, specializing in a low velocity arsenal which manager Tom Holliday said is important for Chatham's bullpen. He appeared in 13 games last season at West Virginia, recording a 4.66 ERA.
Austin Amaral will get the ball for Hyannis. A right-handed pitcher, Amaral was featured in a team-high 20 games on the mound at Stetson, posting a team-best 3.17 ERA in 48.1 total innings of work. He played for the North Shore Navigators in the Northeast Collegiate League last summer with a 2.97 ERA in 36.1 innings.
William Carsten will come in to relieve Hampton against the Harbor Hawks. Holliday said before the season that he knows where the best community college arms in the country are, putting Carsten into that conversation. Carsten is now committed to Oklahoma after posting a 1.17 ERA at McLennan Community College.
Nate Nankil has come in to pinch hit for Matt Hogan during the Anglers' last two games, stealing two bases in the season-opening loss to Cotuit. He was one of only two players to reach third base that night, and he had a single again versus Harwich.
Tyler Wulfert had an RBI in the Harbor Hawks win over Orleans, joining the squad after two seasons at Midland College. For his play in 2022, which included a .475 on-base percentage, Wulfert was named a NJCAA First Team All-American.
Rikuu Nishida has led off for Hyannis in its first two games this season. The second baseman, born in Osaka, Japan, committed to the University of Oregon after playing at nearby Mt. Hood Community College. He recorded 49 hits and 33 stolen bases at Mt. Hood.
Although the Harbor Hawks maintain the same record as the Anglers, going 1-1 in their first two games, they have kept the advantage in run differential. In both games, Hyannis' bullpen was able to keep the matchup close, only allowing a combined six hits from Wareham and Orleans.
On the other hand, the Anglers have the exact opposite in run differential since they were unable to hold the Mariners scoreless following a 5-0 loss to Cotuit. And with the strength of the Harbor Hawks' bullpen, Chatham will need to bring its momentum from last night into today's matchup.
Last season, the Anglers notched their third win in four games with a 4-1 win over Hyannis. Maxwell Romero Jr. and Garrett Martin homered, with Romero Jr. scoring more runs on one swing than the Harbor Hawks did in the entire matchup.
Still, Holliday said that the Anglers' bullpen could have improved since he saw that the pitchers were 'trying too hard' in front of scouts. He had the same remarks about after this year's opening loss to Cotuit.