The Chatham Anglers looked to close out the season's longest homestand on Wednesday night with a win against Falmouth. The pitching matchup pitted the Anglers' Tim Cooney (Wake Forest) against the Commodores'Andrew Heaney (Oklahoma State). The game seesawed back and forth, but the final score read Falmouth 6 Chatham 4.
The Anglers were quickly in a 1-0 hole after the first inning. Commodore left fielder Jeremy Baltz (St. Johns) was a thorn in the side of the Anglers all night. He began the scoring with an RBI single, after a walk and two wild pitches by Cooney put a runner in scoring position for Falmouth.
Alex Calbick (Maine) knocked a run across on a fielder's choice, followed by an RBI single by fellow Black Bear Justin Leisenheimer.
In the top of the third, the scoring tilted again, this time in favor of the visiting Commodores. Cooney surrendered two singles, and after an error in left put a runner on third base, Falmouth plated an unearned run on a fielder's choice. Chatham was down 3-2.
The Anglers avoided further damage in the inning when hot-hitting Jack Marder (Oregon) drove a would-be sacrifice fly to left field. The RBI and run were both erased when an appeal to third revealed that the runner failed to tag up.
The top of the fourth inning would prove to be Chatham's downfall. After the first two batters were retired, the Commodore bats came to life once again. Back-to-back-to-back doubles, followed by a hard hit RBI single resulted in three runs for Falmouth. The bleeding was only stopped by a tremendous play in centerfield by Beau Amaral (UCLA), whose hard-charging catch of a lined shot helped Chatham escape the frame.
Few things in baseball are more disheartening than being on the defensive side of a two-out rally. Unfortunately for Chatham, the bottom of the fourth inning rivaled the top half on the frustration meter. With two outs, the Anglers had the bases loaded. Just when it looked like Chatham would respond with a big inning of its own, Heaney bailed himself out of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning.
The Anglers made one last attempt to overtake Falmouth. In the bottom of the seventh, Leisenheimer, who reached on a single to center, scored on Joe Sever's (Pepperdine) double to deep right center. Sever was thrown out trying to stretch the double into a triple for the second out. Back-to-back two-out doubles by Amaral and Stephen Perez (Miami) made the score Falmouth 5 Chatham 4.
Anglers pitcher Trae Davis (Baylor), who came in to relieve Cooney in the fifth, let up only one run. It came in the top of the eighth inning, but were it not for another stellar defensive play by Amaral in center, the damage could have been much worse. Falmouth's Baltz drove a ball to the warning track in center field, where, to the delight of the Chatham fans, the sophomore from UCLA made an over-the-shoulder basket catch to save a sure extra base hit. The runner scored from third, but the next batter was retired to end the inning.
Matt Brazis (Boston College) pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings to round out the game for Chatham.
The Cape Cod Baseball League will head to Fenway Park Thursday, where the collegiate stars will have a chance to workout for pro scouts. Chatham Anglers baseball will resume Friday night at Hyannis at 7 p.m. ET.