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Anglers Top Falmouth, 3-1, in Fourth Straight Win

by George Barclay
Sunday, July 15, 2012

Anglers Top Falmouth, 3-1, in Fourth Straight Win
As his one-out ground rule double bounced up over the center field wall at Arnie Allen Diamond in the top of the ninth, Boston College outfielder Tom Bourdon could not help but crack a gigantic smile. After entering as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, the sophomore went 2 for 2 and put his team in a position to win the game in the final frame of play.

On Sunday night, the Chatham Anglers extended their winning streak to four games, defeating the Falmouth Commodores 3-1. On a foggy night, the Anglers (15-11) were down 1-0 and scored three unanswered runs in the final three innings. Thanks to more strong pitching, Chatham gave up one earned run on six hits and shut down one of the toughest teams in the Western Division.

Box Score

Game 26: Chatham 3, Falmouth 1

"Our pitching staff did an outstanding job again," said manager John Schiffner. "They're just doing a great job of keeping us in these games."

Additionally, the Anglers rallied from an early deficit and took control of the game in the later innings for the second straight game.

"Our guys really like one another," said Schiffner. "They don't like to lose, they pull for one another and it creates an environment where everyone can succeed."

Franklin Pierce's Ryan Thompson (1-0, 1.66 ERA) was given a no decision for Chatham after surrendering one run on four hits in five innings and fanning three batters. While Thompson did not rack up the strikeouts like his previous start against Harwich on July 6, the junior kept the Commodores (14-12) off-balance with his slurve and changeup, while spotting his fastball on both sides of the plate.

"Ryan Thompson rolled tonight," said Schiffner. "Our pitching and attitude as a team have been great lately and Ryan's played a big part in that."

In the aftermath of Thompson's exit from the game, the Anglers got some help from the bullpen, which allowed two hits in four shutout innings. Florida Gulf Coast left-hander Ryan Atwood (0-1, 3.00 ERA) struck out two batters in his sixth inning stint, Pepperdine's Aaron Brown (1-0, 2.16 ERA) tossed two scoreless innings and recorded two strikeouts to earn the win and Virginia Tech's Jake Joyce (1-0, 3.46 ERA) fanned two batters in the ninth to earn his fifth save of the season.

"Our guys are working really hard with Scott Winterburn in the bullpen," said Schiffner. "He's giving them instruction and he's giving them opportunities and it's paying off."

While there have been some grand offensive displays put on by teams across the Cape this summer, Sunday's game was more indicative of the low-scoring style the league is used to with both teams combining for just 12 hits.

"Nobody consistently hits a ton in the Cape Cod League," said Schiffner. "If you've noticed, all those juggernaut teams are starting to come back to earth. The pitching in this league is just too good."

After falling behind 1-0 in the second inning after an RBI single to right field by left fielder Coty Blanchard (Jacksonville State), Chatham chipped away and took over the game in the last three innings. The Anglers tied the game in the top of the seventh after left fielder Tom Bourdon (Boston College) poked a single into right field and designated hitter John Martinez (Michigan State) came around to score on an overthrow by right fielder Michael O'Neill (Michigan).

A late addition to the lineup, Bourdon replaced Miami's Dale Carey and was used by Schiffner to create a spark for the team offensively.

"Tommy has not had a lot of swings lately," said Schiffner. "Falmouth switched from a lefty to a righty, so we went with the percentages by putting a left-handed hitter against a right-handed pitcher. We let Tommy swing in that situation and he paid us back in full."

And Bourdon was not finished. After first baseman Alex Calbick (Maine) drew a walk in the top of the ninth, Bourdon smoked a ground rule double to center field and gave the Anglers runners on second and third with one out in the inning. As soon as the ball left Bourdon's bat, the Chatham dugout went into a frenzy.

"Tommy has not had the best summer up to this point and he ripped that big double tonight," said Schiffner. "The whole dugout went crazy for him. That is what team is all about."

While Bourdon may not be the most outspoken player on the team, the outfielder's clutch hit impressed San Diego's ever-expressive two-way threat Louie Lechich.

"That was pretty big time," said Lechich. "It's huge to come off the bench and get two big hits. That double was huge. It put us in a position to score some runs and win the game."

After Bourdon's double, the Anglers tacked on a run to take a 2-1 lead after Calbick scored on a wild pitch from Florida's Johnny Magliozzi (0-1, 1.54 ERA), who suffered the loss for the Commodores.

"We took advantage again of mistakes made by the other team," said Schiffner. "If a pitcher or fielder makes a mistake out there, you have to capitalize and that's what we did."

The Anglers gave themselves some much needed insurance in the following at-bat when third baseman Alex Chittenden (Louisville) hit an RBI single into right field, plating Bourdon from third base.

"Chittenden had a big at-bat there," said Schiffner. "That's a huge run there because if that run doesn't score, then Falmouth could have tied the game in the ninth and possibly won."

For a team that is now in a three-way tie for second place in the highly competitive Eastern Division, the timing of Sunday's win could not have been any better.

"We're excited to coach these kids," said Schiffner. "The kids are having a lot of fun right now. Let's roll and see what happens. We're on a great run right now and I've just told the guys to keep doing what they're doing."

The Anglers return to Veterans Field on Monday night to face the Wareham Gatemen (11-15) at 7 p.m. For live coverage, tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. with broadcasters Chris Fitzgerald and Brandon Liebhaber at TRZ Teamline.

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