The 2010 season had many ups and downs for the Chatham Anglers, but a 13 game stretch in July which saw the Anglers lose 12 games ultimately kept the team from reaching the playoffs. The Anglers finished on the bottom of the Cape League's Eastern Division at 20-22-2, good for 42 points which was just three shy of the division's final playoff spot.
The Anglers started the 2010 campaign by going 7-2-1 in their first 10 games, a stretch in which the Anglers won three games in walk off fashion. Rick Oropesa (USC) gave the Anglers a 3-0 start to the season as he belted a game-winning three-run home run in the bottom of the thirteenth inning to defeat the Orleans Firebirds. It was one of two home runs Oropesa would hit in the opening week as he was named the Coca-Cola Player of the Week. Kevin Vance (Connecticut) hit a game winning three-run home run of his own, this time in the bottom of the ninth, on June 20th as Chatham defeated the Falmouth Commodores 4-1. Three days later, Riley Reynolds (Vanderbilt) continued the stretch of walk off wins with a game-winning single with two outs in the bottom of the tenth to give the Anglers a 4-3 win over the Commodores.
With a record of 11-6-1 after a Fourth of July victory at Orleans, the Anglers looked poised to make a push to gain the East's top seed in the playoffs. Unfortunately, those hopes would be dashed as the team lost 12 of their next 13 games to fall to 12-18-1. This put them in a fight for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division. The lone bright spot in this stretch came on July 11th at Hyannis as Chatham All-Star pitcher Derek Self (Louisville) pitched the Anglers to a 3-1 victory, stopping a four game losing streak. Self went the distance to pick up the win, allowing just one hit and an unearned run on just 85 pitches.
The Anglers would continue to fight their way towards the final playoff spot by following this rough stretch by winning six of the next seven games. Again, Chatham struck with a walk off win, including consecutive walk offs over the Brewster Whitecaps. The Anglers snapped an eight game losing streak on July 22nd when Brian Humphries (Pepperdine) scored from second base on an error to give the Anglers a 3-2 win. After three consecutive rainouts, Reynolds had his second walk off hit of the season, a game-winning single in the bottom of the tenth on July 26th as the Anglers defeated Brewster 5-4.
The rainouts would prove costly as Chatham was making its playoff push late in the season. The team was forced to play 12 games in 10 days, including three double headers. After winning six out of seven, the Anglers would only go 2-3-1 the rest of the way, but not without another walk off. This time, Joe DePinto (USC) did the job knocking a single to give the Anglers a 3-2 victory over the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox on August 2nd. It was Chatham's eighth walk off win of the season and the victory kept the playoff hopes alive.
Offensively, the Anglers were led by Oropesa, whose seven home runs tied him for the league lead. Oropesa also lead the team with 19 runs batted in and 24 walks. All-Star Aaron Westlake (Vanderbilt) led the team with a .292 batting average in 32 games while hitting 5 home runs and driving in 10. Fellow All-Star Joe Pavone (Connecticut) had a .290 average on the season and eight runs batted in.
On the mound, All-Stars Self and Logan Verrett (Baylor) were the aces of the Chatham pitching staff as both had outstanding seasons. Self finished with a 3-0 record with a 2.36 ERA in eight games. In his 42 innings of work, Self walked just three batters while striking out 17. Verrett, in his second season with the team, went 2-1 and finished with a 0.87 ERA which was third best in the league. In six starts, Verrett surrendered just four runs in 41.1 innings while holding opponents to just a .162 batting average. Verrett struck out 34 batters while walking just five.
The bullpen was led by Vance and Matt Brazis (Boston College) who combined to go 6-1 with seven saves. Vance finished the year with a 3-1 record to go along with a team-leading four saves and a 0.50 ERA. In just 18 innings, Vance struck out 19 batters while holding opponents to a .145 batting average. Brazis went 3-0 with three saves of his own and a 1.32 ERA. Brazis struck out 15 batters in his 13.2 innings of work.
Click below to watch Hooked In, the show that wraps up the Anglers 2010 campaign.