On Tuesday night, the Chatham Anglers kick off the town's Fourth of July celebration against the Orleans Firebirds (12-3). The Anglers are coming off an 8-4 loss on Monday to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. Tuesday's game will be the first of six that Chatham has with Orleans this season.
"Orleans is really hot right now," said assistant coach Jay Grenier
. "We're really looking forward to this game. It's always been a good rivalry. We've been in a bit of a slump lately, but we're right back at it after a couple of tough losses. That's the beauty of playing down here."
San Diego southpaw Louie Lechich
(0-0, 2.08 ERA) will take the rubber for the Anglers on Monday night. Lechich has come out of the bullpen twice this season and has allowed one run in four and a third innings to go with five strikeouts. The Stockton, CA native will face a Firebird team that is batting .266 collectively and has scored 96 runs, the most in the Cape League. Orleans infielder Conrad Gregor
(Vanderbilt) is second in the Cape League in home runs with five on the season.
"Louie has given us some great innings in relief," said Grenier. "He's moved the ball around and kept guys off balance. Hopefully, Louie can continue to do that against Orleans. He's very excited about pitching tonight."
Orleans will send Kentucky southpaw Jerad Grundy
(1-0, 2.70 ERA) to the mound against Chatham. Grundy earned his first win of the season in his last start against Wareham on June 24, allowing one hit in five scoreless innings. Grundy rounds out a Firebird pitching staff that has a 2.74 team ERA and is the only staff in the league to allow fewer than three runs per game. Orleans pitchers have also issued 22 walks, the fewest in the Cape League.
Offensively, the Anglers enter Monday's game hitting .220 as a team. Chatham still leads the Cape League in walks with 63 on the season. Virginia Tech third baseman Chad Pinder
is now tied for the league lead in RBI with 16. Lousiville center fielder Adam Engel
tops the Cape League with 11 stolen bases. Pinder and Engel also lead the team in batting average, hitting .294 and .290 respectively.
In the field, Chatham will look to rebound after three errors against Hyannis on Monday night that led to three unearned runs.
"All of our guys have aspirations to get to the next level and play in the show," said Grenier. "We've played a lot of back-to-backs because of the weather and the guys are tired. But, that's just a small taste of what pro baseball is like. Errors are part of the game. Our guys know when they make mistakes. They are out there working hard to get better."
For live coverage of Tuesday's game, tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. with broadcasters Chris Fitzgerald and Brandon Liebhaber at TRZ Teamline