Chatham won its third game in a row on Saturday night, pounding the Hyannis Harbor Hawks 9-4. Rallying from what was at one point a 3-0 deficit in the second inning, the Anglers (14-11) took control after tying the game in the bottom of the third inning. With the win, Chatham now has 28 points in the competitive Eastern Division.
"What was nice about this game was that we came back after being down by three," said manager John Schiffner
. "Sometimes you get down and you're not ready to come back, but our guys didn't let that bother them. We kept chipping away early on and all of a sudden, we have a 9-4 victory. That's pretty good."
Box Score Game 25: Chatham 9, Hyannis 4
In his second start of the season, Maine's Tommy Lawrence
(2-0, 1.80 ERA) earned his second win, allowing three runs on nine hits in six and two thirds innings and fanning six batters. While Lawrence did not have the same command as his first start, giving up two solo home runs in the first inning to shortstop Brandon Trinkwon
(UC Santa Barbara) and first baseman Brad Zebedis
(Presbyterian), the former Winthrop Eagle dug deep and attacked the Harbor Hawks' lineup with his five-pitch arsenal.
"Tommy was a little rough around the edges tonight," said Schiffner. "He didn't locate the ball as well as he could have, but he gutted it out. That's Tommy for you. He's going to battle no matter what. He didn't have his best stuff tonight but he still battled."
After Lawrence was taken out of the game with two outs in the top of the seventh, Schiffner handed the ball to UC Irvine's Jimmy Litchfield
(0-2, 7.82 ERA), who gave up one earned run in two innings of work and struck out four batters. A location pitcher who relies heavily on his changeup, Litchfield was able to keep Hyannis' hitters off-balance and work both sides of the plate.
"Jimmy came in and battled and kept us where we needed to be," said Schiffner. "It was a solid outing."
Southern New Hampshire's Alex Powers
(0-0, 1.29 ERA) shut the door for the Anglers, coming in with two outs in the ninth inning to issue a game-ending ground out. The lanky right-hander has not allowed an earned run in his last two appearances.
"Alex came in and did his job," said Schiffner. "That's what we expect him to do when he takes the mound out there."
For Hyannis, UNC Charlotte's Tyler Barnette
(1-2, 6.29 ERA) was given the loss. Barnette surrendered four earned runs on six hits in four innings of work and received little help from his defense, which committed two errors and the Hawk bullpen, which conceded three runs in four innings. Four Hyannis arms also combined for six strikeouts and issued five walks.
Although Chatham tallied 10 hits, third baseman Chad Pinder
(Virginia Tech) stole the show, going 3 for 4 with two home runs and 4 RBI and flashing the leather with multiple web gems at the hot corner. With the four runs batted in, Pinder is tied with Bourne's Colin Moran
(North Carolina) for the league lead with 25. The sophomore's two home runs also tie him with California's Andrew Knapp
for the team lead with four.
"There's not much to say about Chad," said Schiffner. "He's such a great player and he plays so well both offensively and defensively. He made a couple of really nice plays out there and he hit two home runs. That's a very good night. For some guys, that's an entire career."
Saturday's game was a return to form for Pinder, who has been battling some injuries over the last couple of weeks.
"I felt pretty good," said Pinder. "My body's been a little beat up. I'm just trying to grind through it and luckily, I put some good swings on the ball. Today was a pretty good day overall."
In addition to the large number of RBI, all four of Pinder's home runs this season have come against the Harbor Hawks.
"I guess I'm just seeing the ball well against these guys," he said. "I've always been the type of player who hits the ball to the opposite field on a good day and I've been able to do that against Hyannis."
Of Chatham's nine runs on Saturday, five were knocked in by Virginia Tech Hokies. While Pinder added himself to Angler lore with his effort at the plate, Virginia Tech catcher Chad Morgan
also clocked in a strong performance, going 2 for 4 with an RBI single. Morgan's RBI in the bottom of the second inning began Chatham's rally.
"Chad's doing a great job," said Pinder. "He's really taken his approach to another level this summer and he's really been working on hitting to the opposite field. He's come a long way. I couldn't be prouder and more happy for him."
During the team's three-game winning streak, the Anglers have reached a new level in both team unity and overall play. At the start of the second half of the season, Chatham has figured out how to balance the two and the results have taken care of themselves on the field.
"They are enjoying each other and they are playing well," said Schiffner. "It's a lot of fun right now because there's a lot of good chemistry. It's great to be around in the dugout. When we're down, nobody is phased and everyone is watching the game. And when something good happens, you can just feel the intensity build."
On Sunday evening, the Anglers will be back on the road to take on the Falmouth Commodores(14-11) at 5:30 p.m. In the thick of the summer season, Chatham's bus will leave Veterans Field early to avoid the gridlock traffic heading for Boston.
"What's good about this game is that it's our last trip to Falmouth," said Schiffner. "I love coach Trundy, but let's get this game out of the way."
For live coverage, tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 5:10 p.m. with broadcasters Chris Fitzgerald and Brandon Liebhaber at TRZ Teamline