Chatham got back to the .500 mark on Wednesday night, prevailing 8-6 over the Y-D Red Sox. In a back and forth game, the Anglers racked up nine hits and overcame two errors to beat one of the best offensive teams in the Cape League.
"Pretty good ballgame," said manager John Schiffner
. "Both sides played well. It was punch, counterpunch. I was proud of our guys to come back twice like that. I was very very happy."
Box Score Game 34: Chatham 8, Y-D 6
Virginia Tech's Jake Joyce
(2-0, 2.76 ERA) earned the win for the Anglers (17-17), tossing two scoreless innings of relief and fanning three batters. Joyce was the third and final pitcher to enter the game for Chatham after San Diego's Louie Lechich
(1-1, 3.08 ERA) and High Point's Jamie Schultz
(1-0, 4.02 ERA). Lechich was given a no-decision after allowing one earned run in five and two thirds innings while Schultz gave up two earned runs on four hits in one and a third innings.
"Louie kept us in the ball game early. He threw very very well. Y-D is a very good team. We're happy to beat them, we're proud to beat them. That's what we have to do."
Hofstra's Bryan Verbitsky
(1-2, 5.00 ERA) suffered the loss for the Red Sox (19-15), conceding two earned runs on two hits in two thirds of an inning. After Jacksonville State's Chris Anderson
(0-1, 6.40 ERA) was pulled in the third inning after giving up four earned runs on five hits, the Red Sox bullpen was forced to throw seven innings and surrendered four runs on four hits.
Once again, offense was the deciding factor for the Anglers. Chatham prevailed thanks to clutch contributions at the plate from Louisville's Adam Engel
and Maine's Mike Fransoso
, who combined for five of the team's nine hits and four RBI. Fransoso put the A's on the board in the second inning with an RBI single and tallied two hits. A soft-spoken and determined player, Fransoso was quite pleased with his team's effort on Wednesday.
"Everyone's excited," he said. "We've had a rough couple of stretches. The last couple of games, we haven't been doing everything right and pulling those things together. But today we did. (Our) pitching, defense, hitting, especially in the clutch, was great."
The last person to talk about individual statistics, Fransoso viewed his performance as just another day at the office.
"I'm just trying to play my game and help some guys out," he said. "I've been trying to help the pitching staff out. They've done a great job for us all year."
One of Fransoso's biggest supporters, few people were happier with the second baseman's efforts than John Schiffner himself.
"Mike Fransoso just plays his butt off," said Schiffner. "Every night. Night in, night out. He made some defensive plays tonight that were spectacular and he got a big base hit for us. That's the great thing about the Cape Cod League. Small college guys can come down here and perform with the big college guys. Mike has certainly proved that he can play down here. He's done a great job."
While Fransoso had a memorable night both offensively and defensively, Engel was the star of the game, plating runners on three occasions. The speedy center fielder ripped an RBI single in the second inning to give Chatham a 3-0 lead, poked another RBI single in the sixth to break a 4-4 tie, and blasted a game-winning RBI single with two outs in the eighth to make the score 7-6.
"Adam's really come on the last few days," said Schiffner. "He's made some real serious adjustments with Pat and his batting practice is better. He's starting to pull the ball a little bit more instead of staying inside the ball. I think he was concentrating so much on staying inside that he was letting some of the balls take some decent strikes on inner part of the plate. He's strong enough to turn on those pitches. I think all of his hits were to the pull side tonight. He's made some real nice adjustments."
The Red Sox were led by Indiana's Sam Travis
, who went 2 for 3 with two RBI, one coming on a solo home run and the other coming on a sacrifice fly. Ole Miss' Tanner Mathis
also had a productive night, going 2 for 5 with a run scored. Travis and Mathis comprised four of Y-D's eight hits on the night.
Following an off-day on Thursday, the Anglers return to action against the Brewster Whitecaps at Stony Brook Field at 5 p.m. A game with playoff implications, Chatham will do its best to rest up and treat the upcoming contest like any other game.
"Well, they deserve the off-day," said Schiffner. "It's been a long haul. They certainly deserve the time off, especially coming off a nice win like this. Brewster is a big game, but it's still just one game. You've gotta go one at a time. That's just the way you gotta do it. One game at a time. Yes, it is Brewster and we would like to distance ourselves from Brewster, but no matter who you play, you gotta try to put the w up."
Tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 4:40 p.m. for live coverage with broadcasters Chris Fitzgerald and Brandon Liebhaber at TRZ Teamline
or call 1-800-846-4700, code 3841.