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Chatham Prepares for Fifth Matchup Against Y-D

by George Barclay
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chatham Prepares for Fifth Matchup Against Y-D
Chatham plays its third straight home game on Wednesday night and will go up against the Y-D Red Sox (19-14). The Anglers (16-17) have dropped five of their last six games and lead Brewster by six points for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Division. The Red Sox have dropped consecutive games and are 7-3 in their last 10 contests. Never out of a game with a .310 team batting average, Y-D has the capability of putting up a host of runs in a hurry.

"Against us, Y-D's done a great job of hitting the ball in the gaps," said assistant coach Pat McGee. "They have great approaches at the plate."

On Tuesday night, Chatham fell 5-3 to the Bourne Braves. Boston College's Eric Stevens (1-4, 7.29 ERA) suffered the loss (2IP, 6H, 2ER, 0BB, 2K). The Anglers were held to seven hits and committed three errors. Unable to execute sacrifice bunts and moves runners over in the second and sixth innings, Chatham was plagued by a lack of execution and could not capitalize against a Braves team that almost coughed up a 5-1 lead.

"We made some mistakes on the base paths," said McGee. "Again, the situational hitting wasn't there. To win in this league when you're not one of the best offensive teams, you've gotta play defense, get timely hitting and execute when the situation calls for it."

For the Anglers, a familiar cast of characters stepped up on Tuesday. Louisville's Adam Engel, UCLA's Pat Valaika and California's Andrew Knapp combined for five of the team's seven hits. With strong defense and a steady bat, Valaika has really stood out of late. In 14 of his 21 games with the A's this summer, the Valencia, CA native has collected a hit.

"Pat's a good player," said McGee. "Pat's a smart player. He's made some adjustments since he first got here. He broke three bats in his first five appearances at the plate and now he's moved off the plate. One of Pat's goals when he got here was to hit the ball with more authority to the opposite field. Five of his last six hits have been to the opposite field. He's getting the results he deserves."

San Diego's Louie Lechich (1-1, 3.48 ERA) will start his fourth game for Chatham. Lechich received a loss in his last start against Orleans on July 19 (5IP, 7H, 5ER, 0BB, 4K). In 20.2 innings pitched, Lechich has fanned 22 batters and issued five walks.

Y-D will send Jacksonville State's Chris Anderson (0-1, 5.40 ERA) to the rubber. Anderson was given a no-decision in his last outing on June 19 against Brewster (4.1IP, 9H, 2ER, 1BB, 4K).

Tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. for live coverage with broadcasters Chris Fitzgerald and Brandon Liebhaber at TRZ Teamline or call 1-800-846-4700, code 3841.

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