For the second night in a row, the Anglers (13-23-1) were shut out at Veterans Field. The Bourne Braves (20-15-2) neutralized Chatham 2-0.
There was a substantial crowd in Chatham, which was impressive given the ominous weather forecast. The Anglers' faithful, though, did not have much to cheer about in this one.
If surveyed about Monday night's most exciting play, most Angler fans in attendance would likely point to a defensive play in the third inning.
Right-handed pitcher Dom Leone (Clemson), who was the losing pitcher, was on the hill for Chatham. Four of the first six outs recorded by the Tiger came by way of the K. With two away in the top of the third, Bourne's catcher Patrick Cantwell (Stony Brook) drilled a standup double to left field.
Two outs in the inning meant that Cantwell was running on contact, which was made by Tommy Coyle (UNC) on a bloop hit to right. Chatham's All-Star and CCBL Player of the Week Dane Phillips (OK State) charged the hit and came up firing to the plate. Everyone in the crowd stood up, knowing the play would be close at home.
Anglers' catcher J.T. Watkins (West Point), who was positioned a step up the third base line in fair territory, jumped and snagged the high bullet thrown by Phillips. Before his feet were even back on the ground, Watkins was reaching back to apply the tag. The home plate umpire Charlie Campbell, after hesitating briefly, signaled that Cantwell was out. Inning over.
The home crowd erupted, but so did the Bourne bench. Manager, base coaches, and players in the visiting dugout were outraged at the call. The Anglers' fielders sprinted off the diamond, not wanting to give Campbell an opportunity to reconsider the call.
The defense was solid for Chatham all night, committing zero errors. Offensively, though, it was a different story.
Through nine innings, the Angler hitters managed only five hits and two walks, while striking out eleven times. Bourne's starting pitcher, Logan Norris (LSU-Shreveport), was signed the day before the game, but pitched like he was the staff ace. He threw six innings of shutout ball, allowing only three hits.
If not for Norris' lights out debut, Dom Leone would likely have been in line for a win. He submitted a seven inning performance, giving up two runs on seven hits, four walks, and six punchouts.
Cody Penny (UNC) was impressive as well for Chatham. He hurled two scoreless innings in relief, striking out the side in order in the top of the ninth.
The Anglers' last at bat in the bottom of the ninth was a microcosm of their recent struggles at the plate.
Against closer R.J. Alvarez (FAU), who has been a strikeout machine (18 Ks in 13.2 IP), Chatham put the lead-off runner on base in the form of a Dane Phillips single. Richie Shaffer (Clemson), a representative on the East's Home Run Derby team Friday at Fenway, took a third strike looking and Alex Calbick flied out to right field.
For the third time in the inning, Chatham sent the tying run to the plate, hoping for some clutch production. Kris Bryant (San Diego) watched strike three buzz into the catcher's mitt, ending the hope of a late comeback.
Falmouth comes to town Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. meeting with Chatham at Veterans Field.