Following the 2012 All-Star Game, the Chatham Anglers (17-17-1) will take on the Wareham Gatemen (15-19) at Veterans Field. The Anglers currently possess a six-point lead over Brewster for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Division. The Gatemen have lost two games in a row and are clinging to a two-point lead over Hyannis for the West's third playoff spot. Chatham has split its two contests with Wareham this season, winning 7-5 in the season opener on June 14 and falling 10-6 on July 16.
For the Anglers, the weekend began with two ties. Chatham rallied from a 3-2 deficit on Friday to force a 3-3 draw with Brewster. Dale Carey
(Miami) sparked the Anglers' rally with a leadoff single in the ninth. Carey was able to tie the game after getting moved to third on a single by Mike Fransoso
(Maine) and coming home on a ground out by John Martinez
(Michigan State). In a crucial spot, the coaching staff's situational hitting philosophy finally came through.
"Michael fouled off a hit and run but he did a good job of putting the ball in play with two strikes and moved Dale over to third," said assistant coach Pat McGee
. "And when we had guys on first and third, John did a great job of keeping the ball in play and not striking out to get the run home. Overall, we made the most of our base runners."
On Saturday evening, manager John Schiffner
, Andrew Knapp
(California), Ryan Thompson
(Franklin Pierce) and Michael Wagner
(San Diego) ran into another tie while they represented Chatham in the 2012 All-Star Game. Knapp was the first to enter the game, replacing Orleans' Jake Hernandez
behind the plate for the final four innings. Despite battling a foot injury, the sophomore displayed some steady defense behind the dish, preventing a run from scoring in the top of the eighth with a deft swipe tag following a ground ball to second base.
"Andrew's a good player and he loves to be behind the plate," said McGee. "As we move down to road toward the end of the season, he'll have some more opportunities to catch for the Anglers."
In the seventh and ninth innings, Thompson and Wagner entered the game in relief to join Knapp in two all-Angler batteries. Thompson and Wagner combined for two no-hit innings and looked at home with a familiar face behind the plate. Had the East been able to score another run in the bottom of the ninth, Wagner would have been in line for the win.
Stetson's Kurt Schluter
(2-1, 3.95 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season to begin Chatham's nine remaining games. Schulter got his second win of the season in his last start against Orleans on July 23 (6IP, 5H, 2ER, 0BB, 8K). In six appearances this season, Schluter has fanned 22 batters and issued five walks.
Wareham will send Louisville's Jared Ruxer
(1-4, 3.14 ERA) to the hill against the Anglers. Ruxer received a no-decision in his most recent outing against Brewster on July 22 (6IP, 5H, 2ER, 2BB, 4K). On June 14, Ruxer pitched against Chatham and suffered the loss (4IP, 4H, 4ER, 3BB, 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.