Anglers Ride Farmer for Seven Innings, Pick Up Win
by Mike Morris Friday, July 22, 2011
The Chatham Anglers have won five of six games in the past week. The latest triumph was a 5-2 win over the 19-14-2 Bourne Braves on Friday night.
For most of the season, the Anglers (13-21-1) were considered by opponents to be an easy win. No longer. The recent revitalization has transformed Chatham into a streaking team that no one wants to see on the schedule.
Starting pitching has been as important a factor as any in the Anglers' recent success. Friday night against the Braves in Bourne was no different.
Buck Farmer (Georgia Tech) was a work horse for Chatham on the mound. The right-handed starter threw seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, while collecting three strikeouts. Perhaps his most impressive inning was his last, the bottom of the seventh. He easily dispatched the side in order, with two outs coming by way of the K.
Friday's game will be remembered for another reason as well. The defense behind Farmer turned double plays in the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings (though the last one was not officially a DP).
One of the most pivotal twin killings came in the bottom of the third. Farmer found himself in a no out, runners on the corners pickle. The league's second leading hitter approached the plate, Stony Brook's Travis Jankowski (.338 batting average).
He hit a screaming line drive, which was caught by Anglers' second baseman Joe Sever (Pepperdine) and then quickly flipped to first base to double off the base runner. Most importantly, the run did not score from third. Patrick Cantwell (Stony Brook) lined out to end the inning.
The other bail-out double play came in the bottom of the sixth, though it would not go in the books as an official DP. With Chatham leading 2-1, Farmer loaded the bases by allowing the first three runners to reach via two walks and a hit batsman. Farmer struck out Colin Moran (UNC).
The next batter was Kyle Farmer from University of Georgia. Buck Farmer, a Georgia Tech product, did not intend to let a rival Bulldog get the best of him.
Farmer hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Stephen Perez (Miami), who shoveled the ball to second base for the out. Sever gathered and fired to first base in an attempt to complete an inning-ending double play. The throw was low and first baseman Kris Bryant (San Diego) could not scoop it out of the dirt.
The tying run scored off the bat, but a greedy Patrick Cantwell tried to score the go-ahead run on the throw to first. Bryant, who did manage to knock down the low delivery from Sever, saw Cantwell out of the corner of his eye, and hosed him down at the plate. Catcher J.T. Watkins (West Point) slapped on the tag to complete the wacky 3-2 put out, that was preceded by the 6-4 out.
The pitching and fielding came through for Chatham, but you cannot win a baseball game without some offense, and the Anglers had no trouble supplying enough runs for the W.
Richie Shaffer (Clemson) drove home a run with a triple in the sixth (scoring Calbick), then two more on a seventh inning double, scoring Watkins who had hustled out an infield single and Evan Marzilli (South Carolina), who hit a single up the middle.
Joe Sever, who has his fingerprints on numerous wins for Chatham this season, also contributed an RBI.
The Anglers' three-run seventh inning broke a 2-2 tie, and once again the bullpen was stout in relief. Cody Penny (UNC) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Matt Koch (Louisville) earned his second save in as many days, allowing only one base runner in the bottom of the ninth.
Final score: Chatham 5, Bourne 2.
The CCBL All-Star selections were announced Friday. Chatham's Dane Phillips (OK State) will start at catcher for the East team, Matt Koch is one of nine pitchers on the squad, and Richie Shaffer will be one of the Home Run Derby representatives for the East.