The Chatham Anglers (6-0) now stand alone as the only undefeated Cape League team in 2013. They were able to accomplish this by routing the previously unbeaten Hyannis Harbor Hawks (3-1) in a 10-0 thrashing Tuesday night at McKeon field.
Coming into the game, it was a battle of the best offense in the league versus the best pitching in the league, as the Anglers led the league in batting average, and Hyannis led the league in earned run average. On this night, Chatham dominated in both aspects of the game.
"We seem to be doing everything right right now," Coach John Schiffner said. "We are hitting well, the pitching staff is getting it done, and it is exciting to watch."
The Anglers got on the board early in the first inning on an RBI-single from right-fielder Jimmy Pickens (Michigan State). Before starter Andrew McGee (Monmouth) took the mound, he had a lead to work with.
"I hadn't even thrown a pitch in the game and I had a lead, which was awesome," McGee said. "It definitely makes it easier as a pitcher."
As it turns out, the one run would be all the Anglers would need, as they got a masterful performance from McGee. After throwing three straight balls to start his outing, McGee dominated, throwing six shutout innings, only allowing two hits, and striking out three. He has yet to allow a run in two starts.
For McGee, the key to his success is simple: attack the hitter
"If you pound the strike zone, keep attacking the hitters, and get ahead of hitters, they will be more off balance. That gives me an advantage."
Efficiency is the word that could best describe McGees start, as he worked quickly to get through his six innings of work. In the third inning, he only needed nine pitches to set down the Harbor Hawks.
Kenny Koplove (Duke) collected four hits against Hyannis on Tuesday. Photo by Chelsea Capwell
"He could a put a clinic on how to pitch," Schiffner said. "It's fun to watch him on the mound."
Chatham had a consistent offensive output from their lineup throughout the game, adding to the first inning run with two in the second inning, one in the third and fourth inning, one in the eighth inning, and then exploded for four in the ninth. Along with five errors from the Harbor Hawk defense, the Anglers pounded out 15 hits in the rout.
Shortstop Kenny Koplove (Duke) shook off his early season struggles and broke out for four hits and an RBI in five at-bats. Before todays game, Koplove only had one hit in eight at-bats, and had been sat down by the coaching staff for the past couple games.
After his breakout game, Koplove credited the coaching staff.
"I am definitely pleased with my performance tonight," Koplove said. "After struggling the first couple games, it felt great to get out there and hit. The coaching staff has been great in helping me work alot with my approach and everything."
For Koplove, hitting success has been contagious throughout the team.
"When one guy is hitting, the rest of the team seems to be hitting," Koplove said. "Guys are seeing the ball well right now."
Many other Anglers had notable hitting performances Tuesday night. Connor Joe (San Diego) went 2-4 with 2 RBI, Pickens added two hits and 2 RBI of his own, as did Mitchell Gunsolus (Gonzaga).
With McGee on the mound and the Anglers offense producing, the game seemed out of reach after the first four innings. For Coach John Schiffner, he just had to sit back in amazement at his team.
"It is really a fun group to watch," Schiffner said. "They all seem to get along with each other, they're helping each other out with tips on pitchers and hitter, and they come to work every day."
The Anglers will look to remain perfect as they travel to Bourne to face the Braves. First pitch is at 6 p.m. Tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 5:40 p.m. for live coverage with broadcasters Brandon Liebhaber and Keith Zubrow at TRZ Teamline or call 1-800-846-4700, code 3841.