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With a win against Yarmouth-Dennis yesterday, Chatham would have increased its chances of playoff contention, moving it one point behind fourth-place Orleans. But the weather had other plans, postponing the game until Wednesday at 7 p.m. Now, the Anglers face Harwich for the second time in three days in their final regular season road game, needing back-to-back wins and an Orleans loss tonight to qualify for the playoffs.
Roman Kimball (Notre Dame) is expected to start for the Anglers. He gave up three hits against Cotuit, who scored two unearned runs in the contest. Kimball still has a 0.00 ERA through 17 innings, striking out 26 batters.
Luke Benneche will start for the Mariners, holding a 7.26 ERA in 8.2 innings this season. He's walked seven batters and struck out eight. Benneche recorded a 4.50 ERA at Lafayette this spring.
Anthony Nunez (Tampa) recorded a team-high two hits on Saturday against Harwich, scoring one run. Nunez will likely start at third base again with the departure of Johnny Castagnozzi and he's notched seven hits in 38 at-bats.
Lyle Miller-Green (Oklahoma State) belted a solo home run against Harwich, his second long bomb of the season. He currently has a .167 batting average with a total of seven hits this season.
Nick Goodwin leads the Mariners in batting average with at least 50 at-bats, bringing in 22 runs so far this season. He notched three hits and scored two runs on Saturday, also leading the team with six home runs. Goodwin had 11 home runs with 34 hits at Kansas State in 2022.
Ethan O'Donnell also notched three hits against the Anglers two days ago, bringing in one run. He made his first appearance for the Mariners on July 12 against Orleans. O'Donnell has a .320 batting average with 16 hits this season.
Chatham can make the playoffs with back-to-back wins to end the season and an Orleans loss to Wareham tonight. The Firebirds are 1-1-1 against the Gatemen this season, most recently tying against them on July 17. But Orleans has a good chance with CCBL All-Star Bryce Warrecker starting against Wareham as he's posted a 1.36 ERA in 33 innings.
Chatham manager Tom Holliday didn't have to 'waste an arm' Saturday night after Ben Hampton's complete game, leaving him with a full bullpen of four or five pitchers for Sunday's matchup against Harwich. He knew Lebarron Johnson Jr. would start before Carlos Rey would come in in their bullpen game.
Holliday followed the plan, but Chatham's pitchers couldn't contain Harwich's offense. Johnson gave up three runs over the first two innings, and pitching coach Dennis Cook met with him for the last time after the first two batters reached in the bottom of the third.
Rey ran onto the mound, but he immediately struggled. He walked the first and third batter he faced and the second, Joe Vetrano, brought Nick Goodwin home with a sacrifice fly to center field. Two more singles brought in three more runs before Ethan O'Donnell broke his bat on a single to center field to bring home the fifth and final run of the frame. The Anglers' early pitching struggles created a hole the offense couldn't dig out of in their 12-5 loss to the Mariners on Sunday at Whitehouse Field.
'We didn't deserve to win that game, it was over after five,' Holliday said.