Dorris, Offense Come Up Big as Anglers Hold Off Harwich
by Chris Jones Saturday, June 29, 2013
It was not a revenge game for the Chatham Anglers, but there was some added emphasis on their 8-4 win over Harwich Saturday night at Veterans Field, after the Mariners had walked-off the Anglers on Thursday.
"It is always a good feeling to get a win against a good team like this," Dante Flores (USC) said. "There was definitely some added emphasis in tonight's game, because we are both fighting for first place."
Due to the rain-out on Friday, Harwich and Chatham would face each other for the second time in as many games, and the memories of losing in extra-innings still fresh in the Anglers minds.
"It was not a good feeling losing to them in the 10th inning," Matt Gage (Siena). "We came into tonight really wanting to get the win."
Unlike Thursday's game, where Chatham was held hitless for the first five innings, the Angler bats exploded for four runs in the second inning behind RBI singles from Flores, Connor Joe (San Diego), and J.D Davis (Cal State Fullerton).
They would tack on another run in the third inning on an RBI single from shortstop Blake Butera (Boston College) to give Chatham a commanding 5-0 lead.
Gage had a strong start, striking out four and only allowing two runs in five innings pitched, in route to his first win in the Cape League. Gage credits the offense for his success on the mound.
photo by Graham Harboe/Chatham Anglers Dante Flores (USC) had three RBI and a two-run home run in the victory
"It makes it a lot easier as a pitcher when you have a lead," Gage said. "You dont have to be perfect, you just have to pitch to contact and get outs."
Harwich would claw back into the game with runs in the fifth and sixth inning, cutting the Chatham lead to 5-3.
The Anglers would get one back, though, in the seventh inning when Jimmy Pickens (Michigan State) scored on a wild pitch.
The turning point in the game came in the top of the eighth inning, when the first three Mariners reached based, making the score 6-4. With Harwich threatening to turn the game around, one run already in, runners at second and third base, and no outs, Coach John Schiffner made a call to the bullpen for right-hander Jacob Dorris (Texas A&M- Corpus Christi).
"When Dorris comes in, you know the door is shut," Gage said. "He has been lights-out for us. I am glad we dont have to face him."
Dorris picked up the first out of the inning by striking out third-baseman Ryan Lindemuth (William & Mary), then got Aaron Barbosa (Northeastern), the league leader in hitting, to ground out back to the pitchers mound.
With two outs, one base hit could have tied the game, but Dorris struck out Tanner English (South Carolina), the man who had sent Chatham home with a loss with his home run on Thursday, to end the threat.
photo by Graham Harboe/Chatham Anglers Jacob Dorris (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) pitched two innings of perfect relief in Chatham's 8-4 win
In a pressure situation such as this one, Dorris just focused on keeping his cool.
"In a situation like that, you just have to keep your heart rate down and throw strikes," Dorris said. "I had a great defense behind me, which gave me a lot of confidence."
With the momentum back with the Anglers, Flores ended any hopes of a Harwich comeback with a moonshot home-run that landed at the Fire Station across the street from the stadium.
Flores knew it was gone right off of the bat.
"I got all of that one," Flores said. "That was all I had in me, and it felt really good."
Flores would end the game with 2 hits and 3 RBI, moving his average up to .314 on the season.
From Dorris' shutdown relief pitching to Flores' monster home run, the team could definitely feel a large momentum swing.
"That was really the knockout punch of the game," Dorris said. "His home run really solidified the game and made my job easier in the ninth inning."
Dorris closed out the game with a perfect ninth inning, and the Anglers walked away with the win, only their second in over a week.
"You always love to win," Schiffner said. "Hopefully this can carry over into tomorrow's game against Brewster."
Check out audio highlights and pictures of Saturday's win below.