Chatham Refuses to Lose, Walks-Off With Win Against Brewster
by Chris Jones Sunday, July 07, 2013
The Chatham Anglers (14-6-1) supplied the Veterans Field crowd with some more late inning magic on Sunday night, as they beat the Brewster Whitecap (6-14) by the score of 4-3 in ten innings.
For Manager John Schiffner, this years' team can be summed up in a few words.
"They refuse to lose," Schiffner said. "I could not be more proud, they continued to battle, and grinded out a victory."
Landon Lassiter (North Carolina) supplied the winning hit, taking a 2-1 pitch and sending it into right field, scoring Blake Butera (Boston College) to send the Anglers home with a win. This was Chatham's third walk-off victory of the season, second against the Whitecaps.
Lassiter was a late arrival for Chatham, but he was the hero tonight.
"It always feels good to get a hit that helps the team get the victory," Lassiter said. "I am glad I finally got a hit in the game, and I am glad it was the one that got us the win."
For the Anglers and Whitecaps, it was a matchup where something had to give, as both teams came into the game on three-game winning streaks.
The Anglers struck first in the second inning on an RBI double from Blake Butera (Boston College), one of his four hits on the night.
photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers Landon Lassiter (North Carolina) went 1-4 with 2 RBI and the game-winning single.
Brewster would come right back and put two runs across in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead.
Whitecaps starter Jonathan Keller (Alabama) walked four batters and allowed an earned run in only 1.1 innings pitched, but reliever Dylan Toscano (Memphis) kept the Anglers potent offense in check, only allowing four hits and one run in 4.2 innings pitched.
That one run off of Toscano came on an RBI groundout from Lassiter, scoring Butera, and tying the game at two.
Chatham starter Andrew Chin (Boston College) went 5.0 innings, giving up one earned run and striking out three.
The Chatham and Brewster bullpens battled it out, until the Whitecaps took the lead in the eighth inning on a two-out RBI single from Cole Lankford (Texas A&M). In a game where runs were at a premium, it looked like the Whitecaps had just taken the lead for good.
"When we were down, it just seemed like guys were more ready to go," Butera said. "All of these guys refuse to give up."
In the very next frame, the Anglers would tie the game back up with the help of perfect fundamental baseball. Jimmy Pickens (Michigan State) led off the inning with a walk, Michael Russell (North Carolina) executed a sacrifice-bunt, moving Pickens to second, then a Sheehan Planas-Arteaga (Barry) groundout advanced him to third base.
With two outs, Butera came through again, this time with a two-out RBI single that scored Pickens.
"Situational hitting was huge for us in this game," Schiffner said.
After Mitch Merten (UC Irvine) set the Whitecaps down in order in the ninth inning, Chatham threatened again with runners at first and second base and only one out. Brewster went to the bullpen, and in came Aaron Brown (Pepperdine) to face his former team.
Brown played for Chatham in 2012, where he went 2-0 with a 1.68 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched for the Anglers. He also had a home run and 7 RBI in 65 at-bats.
After hitting Pickens to load the bases, Brown came back to get Russell to ground out and strike out Planas-Arteaga and end the threat.
After another perfect inning of relief from Merten, the Anglers offense was looking to send the crowd at Veterans Field home happy, and come out with the victory.
Butera led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a single, his fourth hit of the game, then advanced to second on yet another Chatham sacrifice bunt, this time from Brandon Sedell (Nova Southeastern). With one out, Butera would advance to third on a balk from Brown.
Pinch-hitter Connor Joe (San Diego) struck out for the second out of the inning, leaving it up to Lassiter, who just finished his freshman season at North Carolina.
"I was just hoping I could get a good pitch and could come through with a hit," Lassiter said.
With the count at 2-1, Lassiter laced a groundball single that was just out of the reach of second-baseman Kyle Overstreet (Alabama). The ball trickled into right field, Butera scored, and the Anglers mobbed Lassiter at first base.
"He (Lassiter) is an impact player," Schiffner said. "He works hard, can do a lot of things, and came through with a big base hit."
photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers Blake Butera comes home to score the winning run on Landon Lassiter's RBI Single, as the team pours out of the dugout. Chatham came back to win 4-3 against Brewster in 10 innings.
Lassiter was 0-4 with an RBI going into the at-bat in the tenth inning, but he came through when he needed to, giving Chatham its fourth-straight victory.
While Lassiter delivered the game-winning hit, Butera was the offensive catalyst on Sunday night, collecting four of Chathams seven hits, and factoring into all four of the Anglers runs.
"Things just went my way tonight," Butera said. "I was just locked in the whole game, and things worked out."
Merten, after having his temporary contract renewed within a week of his departure, picked up the win in his return with his two innings of perfect relief.
"It is huge for the offense and the team when pitchers can go in, throw strikes, and get guys out," Butera said.
Chatham will look to continue their amazing run, and pick up their fifth-straight victory on Monday in a makeup game against Y-D. As the team approaches the halfway point of the season, Schiffner believes he really has something with this group.
"This team is special," Schiffner said. "We are on a run right now that most teams never get a chance to experience. We are running on all cylinders right now."
Chris Jones is in his first year as the Web Reporter and Social Media Manager for the Chatham Anglers. He is responsible for all game previews, recaps, and live-tweeting of all Angler games. Follow him on twitter at @Chrisjones_UO, and follow the Chatham Anglers at @ChathamAnglers.