Anglers Strike Again In the Clutch to Jump to First Place
by Anglers Media Team Thursday, June 24, 2010
Late-inning heroics have become commonplace in Chatham, and Thursday night's ninth inning rally over the Wareham Gatemen was no exception. Peter Verdin (Georgia) and Brian Humphries (Pepperdine) hammered home the go-ahead runs to give the Anglers the lead in the top half of the frame, and Matt Brazis (Boston College) came on in relief to close out the contest and give Chatham their seventh win through the first ten games of the 2010 season. With a 7-2-1 record, the Anglers have the best record in the league, sitting one half-game ahead of the Brewster Whitecaps in the Eastern Division.
Wareham struck first, with Adam McClain (Memphis) leading off the third inning with a walk, stealing second, advancing to third on a groundout, and taking home on a wild pitch by Chatham starter Garrett Davis (UNC) to put the Gatemen up 1-0. Davis would last just 2.2 innings, allowing the one run on seven walks and no hits.
The 1-0 Wareham lead would only hold through the end of the fourth, as Dan Paolini (Siena), who led all of NCAA baseball in home runs for most of the collegiate season, blasted his first home run of the Cape League season to lead off the fifth inning, tying the score 1-1.
The Gatemen, however, weren't willing to keep the score even for long, as center fielder George Springer (UConn) hit a solo shot of his own in the bottom half of the frame to put Wareham back up 2-1. That lead would hold through the end of the sixth inning.
With Wareham starter Eric Pfisterer (Duke) still on the mound to start the seventh, Aaron Westlake (Vanderbilt) led off the inning with a single, and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Joe Pavone (UConn). After putting Kevin Vance (UConn) aboard with a walk, Pfisterer would yield to the bullpen and right hander Joseph Flynn (Franklin Pierce). Paolini was the first to face Flynn, and promptly reached first after his ground ball to short was bobbled by second baseman McClain on the relay from shortstop Derek Dennis (Michigan). The error would load the bases for Verdin, who was walked by Flynn to bring home a run and tie the score 2-2. With the bases still loaded, Humphries blasted a two-run double, and Chatham was back on top 4-2.
Not to be outdone, the Gatemen powered back in the bottom half of the inning. Zack Jones (San Jose St.) was brought on in relief to start the inning, and after giving up a pair of singles to John Smith (Tenn-Wesleyan) and Alex Dickerson (Indiana), he allowed a two-run double by Chris Walker (Fordham) to again tie the score at 4-4. With Walker on second, Max Muncy (Baylor) stepped in and blasted a fly ball to deep center field, only to be robbed of a near-certain RBI by Humphries who made a spectacular leaping grab at the track to end the inning.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Flynn remained on the mound to start the ninth. Paolini reached to lead off the inning, again on an error, and advanced to second as an errant throw from third baseman Tyler Bream (Liberty) sailed over the head of the first baseman Muncy. Verdin would bunt himself aboard in the ensuing at-bat, and also advanced to second on another errant throw by Bream. As the ball skipped off toward the fence, Paolini rounded third and crossed the plate to put Chatham up 5-4. Before Humphries could bat, Flynn yielded to fellow right-handed reliever Keith Bilodeau (Maine). He would allow an RBI double by Humphries to put the Anglers up 6-4.
The Gatemen would attempt a rally in the bottom half of the frame, getting a run on an RBI single by L.J. Mazzilli (UConn) off of Brazis, but were unable to even up the score, and fell 6-5. Wareham's record now stands at 3-7, fourth in the Western Division.
The Anglers remain on the road Friday night as they travel to Harwich to face the Mariners at Whitehouse Field in a 7pm start. Harwich carries in a record of 3-7, fifth in the Eastern Division. Aaron Gates (Pepperdine 0-0) is the probable starter for Chatham. He is set to square off against Pierce Johnson (Missouri State 1-0). Tune in to the broadcast starting at 6:40pm with the Anglers Extra Pregame Show by going to www.chathamanglers.com, or by dialing in to the TRZ Teamline at 1-800-846-4700 and entering the team code 3841.