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Chatham Comes Up Short in Pitchers' Duel to Cotuit, Loses 2-1

by George Barclay
Friday, July 20, 2012

Chatham Comes Up Short in Pitchers' Duel to Cotuit, Loses 2-1
On Friday evening, the Chatham Anglers fell 2-1 to the Cotuit Kettleers at Lowell Park and have now lost three games in a row. In a trademark pitchers' duel, both teams combined for 14 hits and 17 strikeouts. Chatham is now 0-3 against the Kettleers this season.

Box Score

Game 29: Cotuit 2, Chatham 1

"We were one run short," said manager John Schiffner. "Cotuit executed very well and we left some of our guys on base, but just like Orleans last night, the Kettleers threw some very good arms at us. What more can you say' The kids played well and played hard and this was just a good college baseball game."

San Diego's Michael Wagner (2-2, 1.98 ERA) suffered the loss for the Anglers (15-14), allowing two earned runs on six hits in six innings to go along with five strikeouts. Using his fastball and slider to challenge hitters throughout his outing, Wagner kept Chatham in the game and got little run support from his team.

"Mike threw great tonight and deserved to win," said Schiffner. "He should have had a win tonight, but what are you going to do' That's baseball. Mike was able to stay out of trouble for the most part and he went up against a very good Cotuit team."

For Chatham, UC Irvine's Jimmy Litchfield (0-2, 6.75 ERA) was the only pitcher to come out of the bullpen. Litchfield tossed two scoreless innings and allowed just two hits, one of his best outings of the season.

"Jimmy went out there and did his job tonight," said Schiffner. "He's had some rough outings this summer, so it was great to see him pitch well tonight."

Coastal Carolina's Ryan Connolly (4-0, 3.07 ERA) earned the win for the Kettleers (16-12), throwing two and two thirds scoreless innings of relief and striking out two batters. The Kettleer bullpen provided four and two thirds innings of scoreless relief on Friday and allowed two hits. Notre Dame's Dan Slania (1-0, 2.18 ERA) struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn his seventh save of the season.

Cotuit was led at the plate by center fielder Patrick Biondi (Michigan) and left fielder Jacob May (Coastal Carolina) who combined for five hits and both tallied RBI singles. Biondi went 2 for 3 on the evening while May went 3 for 4.

At the plate, Chatham's lone run on the day came from an RBI single by first baseman Alex Calbick (Maine). In his last three games for the Anglers, Calbick has six RBI and has begun to catch fire in his second summer in Chatham.

"This is really great to see," said Schiffner. "Alex has been working really hard lately. Early in the season, he was hitting shots right at people and now they are finally starting to drop. Alex is really starting to come into his own out there. As one of our second year players, he's a leader out there."

Although Chatham had difficulty scoring runs and left seven men on base, the Anglers' defense was spectacular and the team committed no errors while making a host of savvy plays around the diamond.

"I'd say we're one of the better defensive teams in the league," said Schiffner. "We don't get ourselves in trouble in the field a lot. That's why we're in the hunt right now."

In addition to the game, Friday also marked the selection of three Chatham players for the 2012 Cape Cod League All-Star game in Harwich on July 28. Right-hander Michael Wagner (San Diego), right-hander Ryan Thompson (Franklin Pierce) and catcher Andrew Knapp (California) were chosen to represent the Anglers.

"They are three of our best players," said Schiffner. "They deserve the recognition. I wish Pinder and Burdi were still around because they would be in there as well. Wags and Ryan have thrown terrific with sub-two ERAs and Knapp is our guy right now. Wherever Knapp plays, he always makes an impact."

Chatham will return to Veterans Field on Saturday night to face the Harwich Mariners (19-11) at 7 p.m. In three matchups this season, the Anglers are 2-1 against the team with the best record in the Cape League.

"Everybody in the East is so close to each other right now," said Schiffner. "Anybody can be beaten right now and there is a huge fight for that fourth playoff spot. That's the great thing about this league."

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 or call 1-800-846-4700, code 3841.

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