Early Offense Key Again in Anglers Third-Straight Win
by Chris Jones Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Five runs in the first inning would be all the Anglers (10-5-1) would need on Tuesday night, as they would never give up the lead in the game, and went on to beat the Bourne Braves (7-9) at Veterans Field by the score of 7-5.
"It set the tone for the game," Coach John Schiffner said. "You have to love getting five runs in the first inning. It helped us ease better into the game, and gave us and the pitching staff some cushion."
The Chatham offense jumped on Bourne starter David Speer (Columbia) early in the first inning, as Jimmy Pickens (Michigan State) got the Anglers on the board with an RBI single. They would add four more runs in the inning with help from the Braves defense, as all four runs were unearned.
Bourne would battle back with a run in the third inning, and then three more runs in the fifth inning off of Dominic Moreno (Texas Tech), but the turning point in the game kept the Braves from tying the game in the fifth.
With one out, Mitchell Gunsolus (Gonzaga) made a difficult catch in left-field on a fly ball from Bourne outfielder Clint Freemen. Braves first-baseman Eric Fisher, who was on third base, tagged up and scored to give Bourne what looked to be the tying run, but the umpire determined Fisher left third early, and was called out on the appeal from the Anglers.
The tying run was erased off the scoreboard, and the Anglers would never look back.
"That breaks their hearts," Schiffner said. "They thought they had tied the game, and then it gets taken away. That gave us all of the momentum back."
Josh Eldridge (Old Dominion) added two insurance runs in the seventh inning with a pinch-hit, two-RBI single that gave Chatham the 7-4 lead. For Schiffner, being able to take Eldridge off the bench and have him produce was just a testament to the teams depth.
"It's fantastic. It is great for me as a coach to have guys on the bench who can consistently produce," Schiffner said. "It's really a tribute to the guys though, because they have bought into the system, and their alright with not starting every game."
Catcher Hunter Redman (Texas Tech) was the star for the offense on Tuesday night, as he went 4-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Coming into the game, Redman was hitting for a .179 average, and after his performance, he is now hitting an impressive .318.
photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers Hunter Redman (Texas Tech) had four hits and an RBI in the Anglers 7-5 win over Bourne
"I got lucky with a couple of the hits, but I just saw the ball really well today," Redman said. "The coaches have really been helping me with my approach and staying through on the ball, so I give them a lot of credit."
WIth each hit, the Anglers dugout and bullpen were noticeably more enthusiastic than normal.
"These guys are awesome. They are a lot of fun," Redman said.
Michael Russell (North Carolina) was one of four players making their Anglers debut on Wednesday. He went 1-4 with a run scored. For Russell, it felt great getting his first game under his belt.
"It felt great. It was good to get out there, and we got a nice win tonight," Russell said.
It was a staff day for Coach Schiffner when it came to the pitching staff, as four Anglers were featured on the mound, none of them throwing more than three innings. Jimmmy Litchfield (UC irvine) started and pitched the first three innings, followed by Moreno, Joe Goodman (High Point), and Kyle Funkhouser (Louisville).
Goodman picked up the win after pitching two innings of perfect relief. Funkhouser earned the save after pitching the last two innings, only allowing one run.
For Schiffner, a day like this was a great asset to the pitching staff, and the team.
"It worked out perfectly," Schiffner said. "Everyone came in, did their job, and threw great pitches."
The win is the 10th for the Anglers on the season, as they become the first team in the Eastern Division to reach that mark. Chatham sits at the top of the division, three points ahead of second-pace Harwich, who lost to Hyannis on Tuesday.
With the roster finally filled out, Coach Schiffner is incredibly happy with the way his team is performing.
"We are really clicking on all cylinders right now," Schiffner said. "We have a decent offense, decent defense, decent pitching, and we are just winning games right now."