Chatham Drops One to Y-D in Rain-shortened Contest
by Mike Morris Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Mother Nature strikes again.
Wednesday's Anglers-Red Sox game at Red Wilson Field was the most recent casualty of the soggy summer weather. The game was cut short in the bottom of the sixth inning due to severe thunderstorms, with Y-D enjoying a 3-2 advantage.
The loss puts Chatham's season record at 7-19-1, while Y-D, who occupies the fourth and final playoff spot ahead of Chatham in the Eastern Division, improved to 12-13-3.
This one was a pitcher's duel from the very beginning. The Anglers sent southpaw Tim Cooney (Wake Forest) to the mound against Y-D's Brian Johnson (Florida), who had yet to make a pitching appearance for the Red Sox.
It was an impressive outing for Cooney. Through the first four innings, he racked up seven strikeouts and only a sole walk, all the while surrendering just one run.
The bottom of the third saw Cooney at his most dominant. With one out, Y-D's Chris Taylor (UVA) stood on third base after reaching on a two-base error and a steal of third. Cooney dialed in, not wanting to see an early 0-1 deficit grow worse.
He shut down the threat by fanning the next two batters. Stephen Piscotty (Stanford) and Matt Reynolds (Arkansas) were at the mercy of Cooney's filthy curveball, which both batters waved at unsuccessfully for strike three.
The Red Sox starting pitcher, Brian Johnson, made his pitching debut count. With pinpoint accuracy, Johnson struck out seven Anglers through four innings of work, while not surrendering any free passes. He gave up two runs (one earned) in the fourth inning.
Chatham's Richie Shaffer (Clemson) led off the fourth with a hard hit to left. Dane Phillips (Oklahoma State) followed that up with a grounder to second base. It was botched by Tyler Hanover (LSU), creating a second and third scenario with no outs.
Kris Bryant (San Diego) stepped to the plate with the opportunity to put Chatham ahead for the first time all night.
Bryant was five feet short of doing just that. Instead, he hit a long fly ball that left fielder Mason Katz (LSU) caught with his back up against the fence. The RBI sac fly tied the game at 1-1.
Darrell Matthews (Cal) gave the Anglers the lead later in the inning with an RBI single, scoring Phillips. Chatham would only be able to hold the 2-1 lead until the fifth inning.
Cooney allowed a rare two-out walk to Chris Taylor. The real trouble for Cooney began when the next batter, three-hitter Stephen Piscotty, lined a hit to right field. That put Y-D base runners on second and third base.
The next batter, Matt Reynolds, pulled a grounder to third base that should have ended the inning. Instead, Bryant skipped an errant throw to first that Shaffer could not scoop. Two unearned runs crossed the plate.
Not only did Y-D recapture the lead, 4-3, on Bryant's error, but the Red Sox also managed to chase Cooney from the game. Reliever Chad Gallagher (Marist) came in and induced a ground out that ended the inning.
In the home half of the next inning, lightning, rain, and lack of daylight ended the contest prematurely.
Chatham has struggled putting together a full nine-inning game in which all aspects of the team have performed consistently. The starting pitching and hitting have been strong lately, but the defense and bullpen have not always been dependable.
The Anglers travel to Orleans on Thursday for a 7 p.m. ET matchup with the Firebirds.