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Anglers Shut Out Brewster 4-0 for Third Consecutive Win

by George Barclay
Monday, June 18, 2012

Anglers Shut Out Brewster 4-0 for Third Consecutive Win
Good things often come in threes. On Monday night, the Chatham Anglers (4-1) won their third game in a row at Veterans Field, defeating the Brewster Whitecaps (1-4) 4-0. For the third straight game, the Anglers struck first offensively and limited an opponent to three runs or less.

"They executed again. We scored four runs and our pitching staff kept the other team down," said manager John Schiffner. "I'm very pleased with where the team is at this stage."

Right-hander Eric Stevens (1-0) (Boston College) was the winning pitcher for the Anglers, allowing just one hit in six shutout innings. The six-foot-five righty plowed through the Whitecaps' lineup early on with a strong sinkerball and devastating off-speed pitches. Stevens retired the first 16 batters he faced and flirted with a perfect game until the early part of the sixth inning. In addition, Stevens' seven strikeouts mark the highest total by any Chatham pitcher this season.

43 Game 5 vs Brewster
Eric Stevens (Boston College) had a perfect game through 5+ innings Monday.

Box Score

Game 5: Chatham 4, Brewster 0

"Eric was outstanding," said Schiffner. "He had command of all his pitches. He did a great job of staying around the plate and changing speeds."

Southpaw Tom Windle (0-1) (Minnesota) suffered the loss for the Whitecaps. Windle threw four and a third innings, gave up two hits and was touched up for three runs, only one of them earned. Although Brewster's bullpen only allowed three hits and one earned run following Windle's exit, the damage was already done.

In the fifth inning, Chatham put itself on the scoreboard. With a runner on second base, right fielder Tom Bourdon (Boston College) poked a grounder in front of home plate that was overthrown by Brewster catcher JT Files (South Alabama), allowing the runner to come around and score. Two batters later, second baseman Mike Fransoso (Maine) smashed a ground rule double into right field, bringing around Bourdon from second base and adding another run for Chatham.

"I was just trying to come out today and have some quality at-bats," said Fransoso, one of three Anglers who had an RBI. "I've been struggling at the plate lately and I'm just trying to shorten up my swing, make contact and do something for the team." Chatham's scrappy middle infielder was also highly effective in the field, recording six assists on the night with no errors.

The Anglers scored again in the fifth inning when centerfielder Adam Engel (Louisville) knocked a single into left field. sending home Fransoso from second. Chatham scored its final run of the night in the bottom of the sixth inning when designated hitter Chad Morgan (Virginia Tech) hit a sacrifice fly into left field with the bases loaded.

While Chatham managed to bring in four runs off of just five hits, the real story for the Anglers on Monday night was the pitching. Following Stevens' example, the Anglers' bullpen pitched three scoreless innings of relief and conceded just three hits. Lefty Louie Lechich (San Diego), right-hander Joe Dye (Stetson) and right-hander Jamie Schultz (High Point) were all highly effective in their one inning stints. Schultz was particularly dominant for Chatham and struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth inning.

"The bullpen was outstanding," said Schiffner. "Everybody who came in did their job. None of them gave up a run. I'm very pleased."

Even with the win, the Anglers' coaching staff is still finding ways to improve the team. In particular, Chatham's coaches are closely examining the number of strikeouts their hitters have during games. While Chatham was able to hit the ball in some crucial spots, the Anglers struck out nine times on Monday night.

"We need to perform better at the plate," said Schiffner. "We have to cut down on the strikeouts."

Overall, Chatham's win gives the Anglers a chance to extend their winning streak and emerge undefeated from a three-game home stretch. Although Chatham has a .205 team batting average so far, the team's pitching staff has been phenomenal with a 2.20 team ERA, arguably the biggest reason for the Anglers' success this season.

The Anglers will return to Veterans Field on Tuesday, June 19 to take on the Falmouth Commodores (3-2) at 7 p.m. For live coverage of Monday's game, tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame show with broadcasters Brandon Liebhaber and Chris Fitzgerald at 6:40 p.m. at TRZ Teamline.

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