It was just another walkoff win for the boys in blue, as the Anglers kept with what seems to have become a Chatham tradition this season when third baseman Mark Ginther (Oklahoma St.) sent a looping liner down the right field line in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's latest thriller that just dropped in for a hit to score Peter Verdin (Georgia) from second, and put another one in the win column for the home team by a score of 3-2 over visiting Cotuit.
Chatham's bats were held at bay through the first five innings, thanks to a powerful performance by Kettleers' starter Austin Wood (St. Petersburg College), who held a perfect game going into the sixth. The Cotuit lineup added to the right hander's cause by scoring off of Chatham starter Mike Dennhardt (Boston College) in the third to take a 1-0 lead.
They tacked on another run in the top of the sixth after left fielder Mike Yastzremski (Vanderbilt) singled to lead things off, followed by his third stolen base of the game. The grandson of legendary Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastzremski swiped a pair of bags in the first after reaching on an error by second baseman Riley Reynolds (Vanderbilt). He was brought around to score in the sixth on an RBI single by first baseman Jordan Leyland (UC-Irvine) to put Cotuit up 2-0.
Jason Martin finally put the Anglers on base with a leadoff single in the bottom half of the sixth, and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Stallings (UNC) before being brought around on an RBI double by Brain Humphries (Pepperdine) to cut the Kettleers' lead in half at 2-1. During the next at-bat, Humphries would move to third on a wild pitch by Wood and come home to score as catcher James McCann's (Arkansas) throw sailed over the head of third baseman Paul Hoilman (Eastern Tenn.) to even the score at 2-2. After walking Stephen Perez (Miami) in the next at-bat, Wood was pulled from the game for reliever A.J. Achter (Michigan St.) who struck out the only batter he faced in the inning to retire the side.
The game would go into the ninth with the score still tied 2-2, with Zack Jones (San Jose St.) pitching two innings of scoreless relief. In the bottom half of the deciding inning Rick Oropesa (USC) reached first on a fielding error by Cotuit shortstop Levi Hyams (Georgia). After Joe Pavone (UConn) flew out to center, thanks to an outstanding grab by center fielder Zach Cone (Georgia), Oropesa was replaced at first by Verdin who came on to pinch run. He was moved over to second in the next at-bat on a single by Aaron Westlake (Vanderbilt). With one down in the bottom of the ninth and two men on, Ginther laced a 1-1 offering down the right field line that dropped into fair territory and over the wall for a game-winning ground rule double.
Chatham's record now stands at 9-4-1, good for second best in the Eastern Division. Cotuit's record is now 4-10-1, fourth best in the Western Division. The Anglers get Wednesday off before heading back to Harwich Thursday night for their final road meeting with the Mariners. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm, with the Anglers Extra Pregame show beginning at 6:40pm. Tune in to the broadcast at www.chathamanglers.com, or dial in to the broadcast on your home or mobile telephone at 1-800-846-4700 and entering the team code 3841.