On Monday, June 11, the Chatham Anglers fell to the U.S. Military All-Stars 1-0 in their only exhibition game before the start of the regular season. The game was a true pitching showcase as there were only six total hits between the two teams in seven innings of play. Chatham will look to rebound over the next few days of practice, as the Anglers will focus on their upcoming season-opener.
Chatham came out of the gate slow and struggled to find a rhythm all night. The Anglers were held to just two hits, both of which were singles by infielder Alex Calbick (Maine) and catcher Andrew Knapp (California). Throughout most of the evening, Chatham failed to put runners on the basepaths against a crafty core of military pitchers. In particular, the Anglers could not solve right-hander Joe Zrinzo, who struck out six batters over five innings of work.
"We need to work on our hitting obviously, but hats off to the Military All-Stars. They ran out three very good pitchers," said manager John Schiffner about Monday's game. "I told the guys after the game that this type of pitching is what they're going to see just about every night with even more velocity."
Defensively, Chatham put itself in an early hole with trouble on the mound. After allowing an infield single, a walk and hitting a batter, right-hander Eric Stevens (Boston College) threw a wild pitch that scored the game's only run. Yet, Chatham's pitching staff was able to produce a strong overall performance, recording ten strikeouts on the night. Lefthander Mike Fagan (Princeton), right-hander Tony Lawrence (Maine), left-hander Ryan Thompson (Franklin Pierce) and right-hander Jake Joyce (Virginia Tech) were extremely effective in relief and were able to work through the Military All-Stars' lineup with relative ease.
"I was very pleased with the way the pitchers threw. Eric (Stevens) was a little nervous and I don't blame him. It was a big night for Chatham. But, he made some quality pitches, so we're not concerned at all. The other guys did quite well. We gave up four hits over seven innings and only one run. That's very good."
Chatham's closest opportunity to score came with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. With Kurt Schluter (Stetson) on first base after a hit-by-pitch, Calbick drilled a base-hit into right field, moving the runner to third. However, the Anglers could not capitalize as Calbick struck out to end the game.
"We gave ourselves a chance in the bottom of the seventh and that was fun. We're OK. We're right where we should be," said Schiffner.
Over the next few days of practice, the Anglers will have plenty to work on in practice . "We want to be OK for the game so we want to get the pitchers ready and our players conditioned. We're right on schedule. It was really nice to see what we can do and get a sense of what to work on over our next two days of practice," said Schiffner.
Chatham's season opener takes place on Thursday, June 14 as the Anglers take on the Wareham Gatemen at 7 p.m.
Game #0 vs. U.S. Military All-Stars: Founder's Day vs. U.S. Military All-Stars