After an action-packed doubleheader in Falmouth which featured two last-inning lead changes, Chatham's game in Hyannis looked to be following a similar trajectory. The only difference in Hyannis was who came out on top. Hyannis held serve at home, earning a 2-1 win over the Anglers.
Three of Chatham's first five games have been decided by a single run. Mix in a tie to open the season and you realize that the margins of victory in almost every Anglers game this year have been razor thin.
Tuesday proved no exception to the trend. The temperature dipped into the low 50s in Hyannis with gusting winds blowing out to right field.
The Anglers, with a little help from that aforementioned wind, would strike first. After working through three scoreless, freshman Alex Calbick (Maine) crushed a line drive toward the right field foul pole. Unquestionably, Calbick had hit a dart, but with the wind helping his line drive, the ball elevated and kept rising before it found a home beyond the 328' sign in right.
Chatham maintained the 1-0 lead for six innings on the back of Keith Bilodeau. The collegiate teammate of Calbick at Maine exited the game after giving up just three hits and struck out six. As it turned out, the narrow lead was not enough for Bilodeau to earn his first win of the 2011 CCBL season.
The Harbor Hawks (3-0) had a doubleheader canceled on Monday, so a fresh staff of starters and an unused bullpen greeted Chatham on Tuesday. Clemson product Scott Firth gave up five hits across six complete innings and struck out five. Excluding the home run, the Harbor Hawks did not allow an extra base hit and struck out a dozen Anglers' hitters. Baylor's Kolt Browder tossed the second half of the action on Tuesday for Hyannis and was perfect.
Harbor Hawks pitching retired the last sixteen Chatham hitters. Nevertheless, the Anglers had proven against Falmouth that they had uncanny ability to hand stud pitchers their first losses. Successful small ball and speed on base produced a run for Hyannis in the seventh to tie the contest, and the squad almost duplicated their run in the seventh to seal a walk-off win in the ninth.
In the seventh, Cal State Fullerton's Richie Predroza led off the inning with a single for Hyannis. In the ninth, the speedy Predroza chopped a ground ball up the middle and forced an errant throw from short to again reach base. Wasting no time, Predroza stole a base on Chatham's Harry Marino (Williams). Hyannis catcher Jeremy Dowdy (Appalachian State) then bunted Predroza over to third.
With one out and runners on the corners, a squeeze bunt scored Predroza as the Harbor Hawks remained a perfect 3-0 on the season.
Chatham mustered six hits and left half a dozen runners on base but could muster nothing after the fourth inning. Lacking offense, Chatham relied on Bilodeau along with Matt Brazis (Boston College) and Marino. Brazis and Marino each surrendered one run apiece.
A passed ball victimized Brazis and allowed Predroza to score and defensive woes continued as Predroza reached on an error to begin the Hyannis ninth.
The Anglers return home for a 7 p.m. matchup with Brewster on Wednesday.