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Anglers Battle Whitecaps with Playoffs on the Line

by George Barclay
Thursday, August 02, 2012

Anglers Battle Whitecaps with Playoffs on the Line
Chatham (17-20-1) returns to Veterans Field on Thursday night to face the Brewster Whitecaps (14-22-1) at 7 p.m. With six games left in the regular season, Chatham is clinging to a six point lead over the Whitecaps for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division. In five games against the Whitecaps this summer, the Anglers are 3-1-1, winning 4-0 on June 18, losing 6-4 on June 27, prevailing 6-5 on June 30, winning 9-1 on July 5 and tying 3-3 on July 27.

"We've been successful against Brewster because we've hit," said assistant coach Pat McGee. "The pitching is going to be good but when we hit and execute, we score. And when we don't, we lose."

San Diego's Michael Wagner (2-2, 1.98 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season for Chatham. Wagner earned a loss against Cotuit in his last official outing on July 20 (6IP, 6H, 2ER, 2BB, 5K). The sophomore also appeared in the 2012 Cape League All-Star Game on July 28, throwing a scoreless ninth inning in a 1-1 tie. Had the East been able to score another run in the final frame, Wagner would have been in line for the win.

"Wags is great," said McGee. "He's a strike-thrower and he competes in the strike zone. I expect him to hold our opponent to a low number of runs and give us a chance to win."

Brewster will give Minnesota's Tom Windle (3-2, 2.20 ERA) the ball on Thursday. Windle was given a loss in his last start against Hyannis on July 25 (5.2IP, 7H, 2ER, 0BB, 4K). In his only appearance against Chatham this season, Windle received a loss (4.2IP, 3H, 3ER, 0BB, 6K).

In their last game on Wednesday afternoon, the Anglers fell 6-4 to the Y-D Red Sox at Red Wilson Field. San Diego's Louie Lechich (1-2, 4.71 ERA) suffered the loss (2.1IP, 8H, 6ER, 2BB, 1K). The team's most consistent player, California's Andrew Knapp carried the load at the plate, going 2 for 4 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI. Now batting .299 on the season with 6 home runs and 24 RBI, Knapp leads the Anglers' active players in batting average, home runs and RBI.

"Andrew's phenomenal," said McGee. "He's a professional hitter, he takes pride in his craft, he works and he understands the importance of a quality at-bat and driving in runs. He does a really good job of going into an a-bat and having a goal and not just reacting to what a pitcher throws at him."

For live coverage of Thursday's game, 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.