« Back to News
Manager Tom Holliday joked that he fired himself as Chatham's hitting coach Saturday morning. At the organization's Meet the Players Luncheon, he added that if the Anglers can't turn around their slow offensive start, he'll use Chatham's bats as fuel for a beach bonfire.
The firewood lived another day.
After recording five hits a week ago in its loss to Brewster, Chatham had double-digit hits (10) for the first time this season in a 7-2 win over the Whitecaps. Guy Garibay Jr. tied Hayden Travinski and Caden Grice with two hits, including two RBIs. Travinski also had two RBIs in his Chatham debut, helping the Anglers end a four-game losing streak.
'Baseball is a game of hot and cold,' Travinski said. 'We had a little bit of a cold stretch but it was only a matter of time until our bats got hot.'
Chatham's opening four batters hit the ball in play. Marcus Brown ' the third hitter ' grounded into a double play, but Garibay Jr. crossed home. Travinski smacked the ball dribbling inside the third base line an inning later, bringing Cooper Ingle home, in his first at-bat of the year.
The Anglers led 6-0 on six hits ' more than they had in six games this year ' by the end of the second inning.
Garibay Jr. worked his first at-bat to three balls, watching the ensuing pitch hit high in the strike zone. He threw his bat to the side, reaching towards his right leg to take off a shin guard, but the umpire did not issue a walk.
Garibay Jr. didn't take any chances on the next heave from Jackson Nezuh, striking the ball toward right field. It hit the fence on one bounce, allowing Garibay Jr. to slide into second base. He took off early a few pitches later, watching third baseman Alex Freeland juggle a grounder from Jake DeLeo.
Freeland couldn't glove the ball in time, letting Garibay Jr. get to third base before Brown eventually brought him home on a single.
'I noticed that the third baseman was playing almost in front of the grass. I knew I was going to make it there either way, even if he fielded it cleanly,' Garibay Jr. said. 'Our base running is getting better, just getting a feel for it.'
Cy Nielson continued to give the Anglers' offense chances, letting up one hit and one run in five innings. He set the Whitecaps down in order to start the second inning, something he did twice during his time on the mound. Holliday said hitting and pitching has to work together, emphasizing that Nielson gave Chatham a chance to put runs on the board.
'With a 44 game schedule, you don't want to collapse very long,' Holliday said. 'The only way to stop it is to have somebody go to the mound and stop it, and Cy Nielson stopped it.'
Ingle stepped into the batter's box first in the bottom of the second, walking for the eighth time this season. Following Johnny Castagnozzi's fly out, Matt Hogan swung early on the fifth pitch he saw, landing the ball in the nearby Little League field.
Hogan swung early again with a full count, this time sending the ball bouncing toward Brewster's dugout. He eventually followed Ingle's lead, watching the next pitch go low before walking.
Travinski brought Ingle home a few pitches later, and Garibay Jr. entered the batter's box again. He watched the first two pitches land for a strike and a ball, launching the ensuing one into center field. Hogan reached home with ease while Travinski flared out his chest and tip-toed to the plate, avoiding the tag from catcher Chase Adkison.
After DeLeo got on base with a bunt, Grice mimicked Garibay Jr. with another two-RBI single, cracking the ball into shallow right field. DeLeo's bunt was crucial, Holliday said, leading to a 'two-for-one.'
'The bunt that DeLeo laid down, that was a big bunt,' Holliday said. 'That sent a message that we're going to play baseball.'
Chatham's immediate success was short-lived though. It went hitless for the next three innings with three batters striking out in the third.
The Anglers ended their hitless streak in the sixth inning after Hogan made weak contact on a ground ball, sending it directly at the first base bag on one bounce. As Hogan sprinted down the line, the ball slowed its pace, bouncing a few more times before David Mendham gloved it.
Hogan slid in time for Chatham's seventh hit of the night and stole second base after Travinski watched two pitches fall outside of the zone. Garibay Jr. said the key to stopping these streaks comes from the mentality with every at-bat, not getting anxious about past or future ones.
'Each at-bat is a new at-bat,' Garibay Jr. said. 'You can't think about what you did before or your upcoming at-bat. Just stay within yourself and take each at-bat seriously because every at-bat counts.'
After Brewster pitcher Braxton Pearson faked a check on Hogan, Travinski trotted back into the batter's box. He brought his bat behind his right shoulder, tapping his left foot before rocketing the pitch to left field. Hogan rounded to home plate for the second time on the night, giving Chatham a 7-1 lead.