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Gatemen Hold Down Chatham 6-2

by George Barclay
Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gatemen Hold Down Chatham 6-2
Following the All-Star Game in Harwich on Saturday night, the Chatham Anglers lost 6-2 to the Wareham Gatemen at Veterans Field. While mist and light rain sprayed throughout the diamond, Chatham (17-18-1) had difficulty scoring despite getting ten hits against a Wareham team with a 4.80 staff ERA, the second worst mark in the Cape League.

"We stunk," said manager John Schiffner. "We didn't play very well. We weren't prepared to play mentally. We just weren't into it from the beginning and Wareham jumped all over us. We hung on, but it was not one of our better efforts."

Box Score

Wareham 6, Chatham 2

Tennessee Martin right-hander Dan Tobik (2-1, 6.00 ERA) earned the win for the Gatemen (16-19), throwing two scoreless innings of relief and striking out five batters. Tobik entered the game in the fifth inning to replace, Louisville's Jared Ruxer (1-4, 3.03 ERA), who conceded one run on five hits in four innings of work while striking out seven batters. The Wareham bullpen gave up one run in five innings of relief and recorded nine strikeouts against the Anglers.

Stetson's Kurt Schluter (2-2, 4.83 ERA) suffered the loss for Chatham (17-18-1), allowing five earned runs on six hits in four and a third innings and fanning five. Chatham's bullpen allowed one run in four and two thirds innings after Schluter's exit. Princeton's Michael Fagan (0-0, 12.00 ERA) allowed one run and struck out two batters in two and a third innings, Boston College's Eric Stevens (1-4, 6.75 ERA) struck out two batters in one and two thirds innings and Florida Gulf Coast's Ryan Atwood (0-1, 2.16 ERA) struck out one in two thirds of an inning. Throughout the night, Angler pitchers had trouble with Indiana's Kyle Schwarber, who went 3 for 3 to lead the team to go with two RBI and four runs scored.

"Our pitching could have been better all around," said Schiffner. "We were not sharp. Schluter pitched to bad luck. He breaks a guy's bat, they (Wareham) get a base hit and then we made some bad plays behind him. He did not pitch as bad as it looked."

Originally scheduled to start on Monday against Cotuit, Stevens came out of the bullpen in a last-minute decision.

"We just decided to move everybody back a day," said Schiffner. "Right now we still don't know who is going to start tomorrow. I can't tell you much more than that."

In a similar fashion to the pitching, Chatham was not at its best at the plate on Sunday. While the Anglers tallied 10 hits, the team struck out 16 times and left 14 men on base. Boston College left fielder Tom Bourdon led Chatham, going 2 for 5 with an RBI double. A player who started out the summer slow, Bourdon's two hits have boosted his average to .262. With each passing day, the sophomore seems to be getting more and more comfortable at the plate.

"Tom has kept us where we need to be," said Schiffner. "He's trying hard. He's making his whole summer a hell of a lot better than it started. That's what we want to see. We want guys to continue to improve and leave here better than they got here."

The Anglers' other run came on a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning by catcher Andrew Knapp (California). Despite battling a foot injury, Knapp is hitting a team-high .291 on the summer and has 19 RBI, the most of any active player on the roster. A good sight for Chatham fans, Knapp was able to catch the entire game after spending four innings behind the plate during the All-Star game in Harwich.

"He (Knapp) looked good," said Schiffner. "He looked even better than last night. He's a natural back there and he looked fine. He'll be OK."

Although Sunday's game ended in a loss, Schiffner was pleased with the fight that his team showed in the final frame.

"We don't quit," he said. "That's one thing that's good about our team. We don't quit, they don't like to lose and they pull for one another. It's been that way all season."

Chatham will be back on the road on Monday as the team travels to Cotuit to take on the Kettleers (23-12) at 5 p.m. Facing the team with the best record in the Cape League, Schiffner and company are far from intimidated.

"It's baseball. We have to pitch, we have to catch and we have to hit," said Schiffner. "If we do that better than the other team, we'll win the game. We know what we have to do. We know we can beat good teams. We have beaten good teams."

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.

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