On Monday night, the Chatham Anglers went down 5-3 to the Bourne Braves at Doran Park. The Anglers (11-11) tacked on eight hits, but could not get over the hump against the Braves (7-15), who have now won three games in a row. For the second time this season, Chatham lost a game after out-hitting and committing fewer errors than an opponent, the first coming on July 3 against Orleans.
"We were a little flat offensively and in general tonight," said manager John Schiffner
. "I don't like to make excuses or accept them, but our guys are tired. They have played twelve days in a row and they have played very hard. We didn't play badly though and we hung in there with Bourne for the entire game."
Box Score Game 22: Bourne 5, Chatham 3
Navarro's Ryan Atwood
(0-1, 3.60 ERA) suffered the loss for Chatham, allowing two runs on one hit in two thirds of an inning. Atwood was the first pitcher to come out of the bullpen after High Point's Jamie Schultz
(0-0, 3.48 ERA) was pulled from the game in the top of the third inning. Schultz received a no-decision after surrendering two runs on three hits in two and two thirds innings while striking out five. In addition to Atwood, the Anglers used three other relief pitchers, southpaw Louie Lechich
(San Diego), right-hander Jake Joyce
(Virginia Tech) and right-hander Nick Burdi
(Louisville). Lechich (0-0, 2.53 ERA) struck out two batters in two scoreless innings, Joyce (1-0, 4.50 ERA) allowed one earned run in one and two thirds innings and fanned four and Burdi (0-0, 4.26 ERA) had one strikeout in a scoreless inning of work.
"We wanted to air out some of our guys out before the two off-days," said Schiffner. "They needed to throw a little bit. Louie in particular needed his bullpen session for his start on Thursday. We just needed to keep these guys sharp heading into our little break."
Arkansas' Brandon Moore
(1-0, 0.00 ERA) earned the win for Bourne, allowing no earned runs in four innings on three hits. Moore was one of two relief pitchers used after Mississippi right-hander Mike Mayers
(0-2, 4.26) was taken out of the game in the fifth inning. Mayers was given a no-decision, giving up one earned run on five hits in four innings and racking up eight strikeouts. In the ninth inning, Mayers' college and Cape League teammate Hawtin Buchanan
(0-1, 3.72 ERA) earned his second save of the season for the Braves after striking out the side.
At the dish, designated hitter John Murphy
(Sacred Heart) led Bourne, going 1 for 3 with two RBI on a bloop single to shallow left field. Murphy's dying quail came with two outs in the top of the third inning and the bases loaded, a major turning point in the game.
"That hit was huge," said Schiffner. "It changed the entire game. Jamie made a good pitch and Murphy got enough barrel on the ball to get it out of the infield."
The only other Braves players to notch RBI were third baseman Colin Moran
(North Carolina) and left fielder Mike Ahmed
(Holy Cross). Moran's RBI came on a sacrifice fly while Ahmed's was on an infield single.
Offensively, Chatham had great difficulty getting runners across home plate despite tallying eight hits. The only Angler player to get an RBI on Monday night was Virginia Tech catcher Chad Morgan
, who hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field with the bases loaded and just missed a grand slam. Chatham's two other runs came when shortstop Pat Valaika
(UCLA) reached home on a passed ball and when center fielder Adam Engel
(Louisville) crossed the plate after a throwing error by right fielder Mason Robbins
"We never let Bourne get too far ahead of us," said Schiffner. "We had the chance to win the game a couple of times or at least get some men on base to tie the game. I have no complaints about our effort tonight."
Monday's game signaled the halfway point of the season. Adhering to his grading system as a social studies teacher, John Schiffner likes to break up the season into four quarters and evaluate his team based on each one.
"I would give us about a C+ right now," he said. "We kind of faded a bit late in this quarter of the season. I think it's due to fatigue and that we've also been dinged up a little bit. Pinder's been worn out, Engel's been dinged up and Valaika has played almost every game since he got here. I think our upcoming off-days should help."
Due to Monday's schedule change, the Anglers now have Tuesday and Wednesday off, the team's longest break of the season. On Wednesday morning, most of the players will also get to participate in a workout at Fenway Park, where they will have the opportunity to showcase their skills to members of the Red Sox staff.
"The kids are excited to get on a big league field, especially the famous Fenway Park," said Schiffner. "It's really cool and it'll be a great experience for them to be on the field. I hope they enjoy it."
Chatham will be back in action on Thursday, July 12 at Veterans Field against the Falmouth Commodores.
For live coverage of Thursday's game, tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. with broadcasters Chris Fitzgerald and Brandon Liebhaber at TRZ Teamline