The Anglers dropped their first of two games on Sunday, falling 6-2 to the Falmouth Commodores at Guv Fuller Field. The Anglers meet the Wareham Gatemen at Spillane Field at 6:00 p.m. Chatham's record now stands at 18-20-1, which is fifth in the Eastern Division. Chatham's 37 points are four behind Harwich's 41 with five games to play.
Aaron Gates (Pepperdine) got the start for Chatham and allowed three runs in three innings of work as his record fell to 0-4. Gates got into trouble in the bottom of the first as he walked the first two batters before a single by Nick Martini (Kansas State) singled to left field to load the bases with no outs. Gates would get out of the inning unscathed by getting Andrew Susac (Oregon State) to ground into a double play and Matt Skole (Georgia Tech) to fly out to center field.
The Commodores would load the bases against Gates in the bottom of the second on two more walks and a single, but the lefty was able to get former Angler Billy Besinger (Babson) to strikeout to end the threat.
The Anglers broke through against Falmouth starter Steven Gruver (Tennessee) in the top of the third inning. With two outs, Kevin Vance (Connecticut) doubled down the left field line for Chatham's first hit of the game. After a walk by Jason Martin (San Jose State), the Anglers took a 1-0 lead on a RBI single by Beau Amaral (UCLA) that scored Vance.
The lead was short-lived as the Commodores struck back with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning off of Gates. With runners on first and third and no outs, Skole singled to right field to tie the game at one. After a hit batter loaded the bases, Barrett Barnes (Texas Tech) and B.A. Vollmuth (Southern Miss) hit consecutive sacrifice flies to center field to give the Commodores a 3-1 lead.
The Anglers were given a chance to get back into the game thanks in large part to the relief pitching of Ken Monteith (Winthrop). Monteith pitched three perfect innings, retiring all nine batters he faced on just 24 pitches, picking up three strikeouts.
The Anglers would cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Rick Oropesa (USC) that scored Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State). The Anglers would threaten again in the top of the seventh against Falmouth reliever Matthew Stites (Jefferson County CC). Vance walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Martin. Amaral then reached on an error as Vance took third base to put runners on the corners with just one out. Stites would get out of the inning as Aaron Westlake (Vanderbilt) grounded into a double play. The play was disputed by Chatham manager John Schiffner as Vance seemed to cross home plate before Amaral was tagged at second base for the inning's final out. The argument wasn't successful and the score remained 3-2.
With reliever Kevin Berry (New Orleans) on the mound, the Commodores would score three runs in the bottom of the seventh to finish the scoring. After the first two Falmouth batters reached base, Susac hit a three-run home run to left field off of Berry for the 6-2 lead.
Emotions got the best of Chatham in the top of the eighth as both Oropesa and hitting coach Dave Miller were ejected for arguing with umpires after Oropesa was called out on strikes for the inning's second out.
The Anglers continue their two game road trip on Sunday with a 6pm start at Wareham. Tune in to the broadcast starting with the Anglers Extra Pregame show starting at 5:40pm at www.chathamanglers.com, or dial in and listen live on your home or mobile telephone at 1-800-846-4700, team code 3841.