On Thursday night, the Chatham Anglers went down 7-2 against the Orleans Firebirds at Eldredge Park. The Anglers (15-13) have dropped two games in a row and are 1-2 against the Firebirds (17-11) this summer. Trailing for the entire game, Chatham tallied just five hits on the night and committed two errors.
Box Score Game 28: Orleans 7, Chatham 2
"We were flat tonight and we didn't play very well," said manager John Schiffner
. "We weren't mentally and physically ready to play today. I mentioned to the team after the game that they should get more rest and take care of themselves better. We've looked tired lately."
San Diego's Louie Lechich
(1-1, 3.48 ERA) suffered the loss for Chatham, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in five innings. A pitcher who relies on command to battle hitters, Lechich left pitches out over the plate and was punished by the Firebirds for three home runs.
"Louie did not have his command tonight," said Schiffner. "He's not going to throw 95 miles an hour, so he has to rely on control and location. Louie didn't have his location, but he battled for five innings. That's big for him to give us some innings."
After Lechich was taken out of the game, left-hander Michael Fagan (Princeton) and right-hander Eric Stevens (Boston College) entered in relief for Chatham. Fagan (0-0, 17.50 ERA) walked two and gave up an unearned run and did not record an out while Stevens (1-3, 7.11 ERA) allowed no earned runs in three innings and recorded two strikeouts.
"Stevens did a heck of a job for us," said Schiffner. "He was supposed to start last night before the rain-out and we wanted to keep him on his routine. Eric was sharp out there and had we been able to come back, he could have given us some more innings."
Oregon State's Matt Boyd
(2-0, 1.15 ERA) earned the win for Orleans, throwing six scoreless innings of one-hit baseball and striking out 12 batters. The Firebird bullpen also had little trouble working through the Angler lineup and allowed two runs on four hits in three innings and fanned six batters.
"Every arm Orleans threw out there was very very good," said Schiffner. Good pitching is something that we have to deal with on a daily basis. That's the Cape League."
For Chatham, the only player to record more than one hit was UCLA shortstop Pat Valaika
, who had two singles on the night. Both of Chatham's runs were provided by right fielder Dale Carey
(Miami), who hit a two-run triple to center field in the seventh inning.
"We've been waiting to watch Dale go to third base on a triple," said Schiffner. "That was really fun to watch."
The Firebirds were led at the plate by catcher Jake Hernandez
(Southern California) and shortstop Angelo La Bruna
(Duke), who combined for three hits and four RBI. Only three Orleans players went hitless at the dish on Thursday night.
With the recent release of Virginia Tech's Chad Pinder
due to injuries, Schiffner made some adjustments and placed Mike Fransoso
(Maine) at first base and Kurt Schluter
(Stetson) on the bench as an offensive player.
"Mike's here to be a utility guy," said Schiffner. "He certainly looks like he belongs over there like he does everywhere else. Also with Pinder leaving and Andrew Knapp dinged up, we needed some help and Kurt can give us that. We want to see if he can step up. He plays two-way at school."
Chatham will be back in action on Friday as the team travels down to Cotuit to take on the Kettleers (15-12) at 5 p.m. Even though Chatham has played Cotuit twice this season, both games took place at Veterans Field.
"Cotuit is a great ballpark with a great environment," said Schiffner. "I think the kids will be excited for it."
For live coverage, tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 4:40 p.m. with broadcasters Chris Fitzgerald and Brandon Liebhaber at TRZ Teamline
or call 1-800-846-4700, code 3841.