For the second game in a row, the Chatham Anglers (6-2) have lost by a score of 1-0, this time to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (5-2). After a 6-0 start, the team has lost two straight, but coach John Schiffner is not worried.
"We're there, we are still a good team, we just need to pick it up on the offensive side," Schiffner said. "It's a little frustrating, but we've just been up against two really good pitchers."
In Wednesday's loss to Bourne, the Angler offense was stymied by starter Jaron Long (Ohio State) and the Braves pitching staff. On Friday night, it was Hyannis starter Cy Sneed (Dallas Baptist) who held the Chatham bats silent. Sneed pitched seven shutout innings against the Anglers, only allowing two hits and striking out three.
"Baseball can be a frustrating game. We made good contact, but it always seemed to be right at them," first-baseman Connor Joe (San Diego) said. "He (Sneed) kept off balance and mixed his pitches well. It is just a tough loss."
In the bottom of the ninth inning, right-fielder Jimmy Pickens (Michigan State) worked a walk off of Hyannis closer Sarkis Ohanian (Duke), and advanced to second when a pickoff throw got away from the first baseman.
photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers Lukas Schiraldi (Texas) rebounded with an impressive start.
Early in the season, the Anglers have been known for late inning drama, and with a runner in scoring position, two outs, and Joe at the plate, it looked like the crowd at Veterans Field would be in for some more. Joe struck-out swinging to end the game, which sealed Chathams second straight loss.
For Joe, the two losses have not seemed to affect the teams confidence.
"We have confidence in every guy that steps to the plate, or that steps up on the mound," Joe said. "We will be fine. We are confident for the win tomorrow."
The Anglers have not scored in the past eighteen innings, and have only mustered eight hits during that time. For Schiffner, it is all about the team making adjustments.
"We need to put the ball in play more, and as a collective team, we need to make some adjustments," Schiffner said.
Taking the loss for the Anglers, despite only giving up one run, was right-hander Lukas Schiraldi (Texas). Schiraldi struggled with location in his first outing, but improved greatly in his second start, pitching six innings, striking out five, and only allowing one walk.
For Schiraldi, it felt great getting back on the mound, and being in the middle of a pitching duel like the one on Friday night.
"Tonight felt a lot better, I was very happy with my performance," Schiraldi said. "Being in a pitching duel, knowing you have to go out there and not allow a run each inning is alot of fun."
Schiffner took notice of Schiraldi's start, and was pleased with his improvement.
"He improved a lot from his last start, and that is all you can ask for as a coach," Schiffner said. "It is a shame that we couldn't get him the win."
Through the six game undefeated streak, and now the two game losing streak that has followed, Schiffner's message to the team has always been the same.
"Coach (Schiffner) always tells us to stay even-keel," Joe said. "Stay level headed when you're winning, and stay up when you're losing."
On Saturday, the Anglers will look to return to their winning ways as they travel to Falmouth to take on the Commodores (4-4). left-hander Matt Gage (Siena) will be on the mound for Chatham.
Check out audio highlights and photos from the game below.