One word can be used to describe the Chatham Anglers current three game losing streak: frustration.
"It is definitely frustrating," Erich Weiss (Texas) said. "We know we are a good team, but we have really struggled offensively. We need to get back to what we were doing in the first six games."
The Anglers third loss in a row came at the hands of the Falmouth Commodores by the score of 6-1 on Saturday Night at Guv Fuller Field. Chatham has only been able to produce one run and ten hits during the three game losing streak.
"I think the team is starting to feel frustrated, which is normal," Coach John Schiffner said. "They're baseball players, they want to win, and they know they haven't gotten it done lately."
Left-hander Matt Gage (Siena)took the loss in his second start of the season, as he gave up two earned runs, four hits, but struck out four.
"He (Gage) threw pretty well," Schiffner said. "Not his best outing, but I still liked what I saw from him."
Falmouth struck first in the second inning off of an RBI groundout from Falmouth third-baseman Connor Hale. Gage got into trouble in the third inning, giving up three runs on a two-RBI double from right-fielder Rhys Hoskins and an RBI double by designated-hitter Troy Stein.
By the time the inning ended, Falmouth had a 4-0 lead, and with the recent output from the Anglers offense, it seemed like the game was already out of reach.
Coming into tonight's game, Chatham had gone 18 innings without scoring a run. That streak finally ended at 22 innings, as the Anglers got on the board on an RBI single from Weiss, which trimmed Falmouth's lead to three runs.
One of the key turning points in the game came with the Anglers batting with two outs in the fourth inning. With one run across in the inning already, and the Chatham bats finally starting to build momentum, first-baseman Brandon Sedell (Nova Southeastern) laced a single to center field. Jimmy Pickens (Michigan State) rounded third and headed for home, resulting in a close play at home and a collision between Pickens and Falmouth catcher Cameron O'Brien.
photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers Kenny Koplove (Duke) made his pitching debut for Chatham.
O'Brien dropped the ball, Pickens touched home plate, and it looked like Chatham had scored their second run of the game, but Pickens was called out for interference, ending the inning and erasing the run. Schiffner came out to argue the call, and had some choice words for plate umpire Steve Williams.
"He (Williams) made a judgement call, and I disagreed with it," Schiffner said.
Instead of making it a two-run game, the Anglers ended the frame still down 4-1. For the team, it was just another bad break.
"It had some impact on us, but we had other opportunities to score that we couldn't come through on," Sedell said.
Errors also plagued the Anglers on Saturday, as they committed five on the day.
"It just seemed like a bad day all around," Weiss said. "We can't do that as a defense."
Kenny Koplove (Duke), usually a shortstop for Chatham, made his first appearance as a pitcher. As a senior, Koplove went 9-1 with a 2.06 ERA and 80 strikeouts, and was named the 2012 Gatorade/ESPN Pennsylvania Player of the Year. Despite this pitching success, Koplove played shortstop for Duke, who are now wanting to see how he pitches against Cape League hitters.
Koplove, in his debut outing, walked two and allowed two earned runs.
For the second night in a row, the Anglers would not go down without a fight in the ninth inning, and for the second night in a row, Connor Joe (San Diego) struck out to end the game, this time with the bases loaded and Chatham trailing 6-1.
Heading into tomorrow's game against Orleans at Veterans Field, there is still confidence throughout the team.
"We made a lot of contact today and got some good swings on the ball, but they just didn't fall for us today," Sedell said. "We will come back out tomorrow and keep at it."