One rough inning can define a baseball game. On Sunday night, the Chatham Anglers fell 10-3 to the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox at Veterans Field, dropping their second game in a row. Chatham (11-10) had seven hits and four errors in what was an ugly game against the Red Sox (11-10), who possess one of the Cape League's best offenses.
"We played one bad inning and Y-D just jumped all over us," said manager John Schiffner
. "It's really tough to come back from an 8-0 deficit so early in the game."
Box Score Game 21: Y-D 10, Chatham 3
Boston College right-hander Eric Stevens
(1-3, 8.44 ERA) suffered the loss for Chatham, surrendering seven earned runs on seven hits in two and two thirds innings and fanning two batters. While it may not appear on his pitching line, Stevens effectively pitched to contact and was the victim of some lackluster defense by his infield.
"I told Eric when we took him out that he did his job," said Schiffner. "I told him that he can't catch and throw the ball for his defense. Eric did exactly what he was supposed to do and Y-D hit a lot of playable ground balls."
Although Stevens ran into a big inning from the Red Sox, the Anglers' bullpen put together another solid outing, allowing two runs on two hits in six and a third innings. Pepperdine left-hander Aaron Brown
(0-0, 2.84 ERA) threw a third of an inning and struck out one, Princeton southpaw Michael Fagan
(0-0, 17.18 ERA) tossed three scoreless innings and struck out four, North Carolina lefty Tate Parrish
(1-2, 5.69 ERA) gave up two runs on one hit in one inning and Southern New Hampshire's Alex Powers
(0-0, 1.35 ERA) fanned four in two innings.
"Our bullpen did very well tonight," said Schiffner. "Tate made one bad pitch, but we're fine in that area."
Of Chatham's relievers, Schiffner was the most impressed with Fagan.
"Mike was awesome tonight," said Schiffner. "I was very pleased for him. He's worked a lot lately with Scott Winterburn, our pitching coach. It's a credit to both of them what Mike did on the mound tonight. Mike has had some really rough outings this year and for him to come out and pitch so well tonight was great."
For Fagan, his performance on Sunday was a colossal boost in confidence.
"It felt great being out there," he said. "I finally felt comfortable out on the mound. I've been working with coach Winterburn a lot and he's been super helpful. It was just fun to be out there and finally show what I can do."
Florida Gulf Coast's Rick Knapp
(1-0, 2.95 ERA) earned the win for Yarmouth-Dennis, allowing one earned run on four hits in four innings of relief and recorded one strike out. Knapp came in in the fourth inning for Stanford southpaw Spenser Linney
(0-0, 2.35 ERA), who received a no-decision after allowing one run on two hits in three innings. The Red Sox bullpen was extremely effective against Chatham and allowed two runs on five hits over a seven inning span.
The Red Sox scored eight of their ten runs in the top of the third inning on a series of softly hit ground balls and bloop singles. In an inning where they committed three errors, the Anglers could not seem to make normally routine plays.
"That inning was one of the weirdest things I've ever seen," said Schiffner. "Y-D didn't really get a base hit and if they did, it was a bleeder. There were lots of errors and misplays on our part. It was just gross. Gross, gross, gross."
The Red Sox were led at the plate by catcher Wayne Taylor
(Stanford) and second baseman Josh Tobias
(Florida) who went 2 for 4 and 2 for 5 respectively and combined for five RBI. Both of Taylor's RBI came on a two run single and Tobias plated three men with an RBI single and a two-run home run. Of the potent Yarmouth-Dennis lineup, only Taylor and Tobias recorded more than one hit.
For Chatham, UCLA shortstop Pat Valaika
was the star of the game, going 3 for 5 on the night.
"I've been saying all along that we've come together as a team since Pat has gotten here," said Schiffner. "His presence and his even-keel demeanor have been great. He's added a little extra to our lineup and he plays his butt off. He's a very steady player."
On Sunday, the Anglers left 11 men on base and three players notched RBI. Right fielder John Martinez
(Michigan State), second baseman Dante Flores
(Southern California) and left fielder Tom Bourdon
(Boston College) all drove in runs on RBI groundouts. Even though Chatham's hitters were able to work some deep counts, the team could not string together a series of clutch hits.
"Our at-bats were fair," said Schiffner. "We could have performed better at the plate, but it's tough when the other team is cruising and you're pressing."
The Anglers will be back on the road on Monday night to face the Bourne Braves (6-15) at 6 p.m.
"We've gotta play Bourne and get to our days off," said Schiffner. "We're a little banged up and a little tired and we could use them."
For live coverage of Monday's game, tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 5:40 p.m. with broadcasters Chris Fitzgerald and Brandon Liebhaber at TRZ Teamline