Late Inning Magic Strikes Again for Chatham, Anglers Walk-off Y-D
by Chris Jones Monday, July 08, 2013
The Chatham Anglers (15-6-1) do not like to lose.
They proved that again on Monday night at Veterans Field, as they won their fifth-straight game with a walk-off win against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (10-11-1).
The Anglers have had a flair for the dramatics this season, and have provided numerous moments of late inning magic, as they now have four walk-off victories this year, including two in the past two games.
"It is all a combination of the coaches and the players," Manager John Schiffner said. "The coaches are telling the guys what they need to do, the players are buying into the system and what the coaches are telling them, and it has resulted in some great wins for us."
Dante Flores (USC) was the hero of the night, coming through with an RBI double that scored Mitch Gunsolus (Gonzaga), giving Chatham the 3-2 win, sending the Veterans Field crowd home with another victory.
"We can not stand to lose," Flores said. "We are having a lot of fun doing this. We are putting in a lot of work, playing hard, and doing our job as a team to win."
photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers Tommy Lawrence (Maine) started the game for Chatham and did not allow a hit over three innings.
Runs were at a premium on Monday night, as Red Sox starter James Kaprielian (UCLA) held the normally potent Chatham offense silent through five innings, only allowing three hits and striking out seven.
It was a staff day for the Anglers, as five pitchers were featured, none of which pitched more than three innings. Tommy Lawrence (Maine) started the game, and did not allow a hit through his three innings of work. Jimmy Litchfield (UC Irvine) came in next, and only allowed one hit through two innings.
The Red Sox struck first in the sixth inning on an RBI single from Andrew Daniel (San Diego) off of reliever Kenny Koplove (Duke), then extended the lead to 2-0 on a wild pitch.
In a pitchers duel, like the one on Monday, a 2-0 lead would seem like a commanding one, but not against this years Angler team.
"They know they can do it, no matter what the situation is," Schiffner said. "They have a confidence in each other that the pitchers will keep the game close, the defense will do its job, and the offense will produce."
The Red Sox went to the bullpen to start the bottom of the sixth inning, and the Chatham bats awoke.
"We knew he (Kaprielian) was going to be good," Jimmy Pickens (Michigan State) said. "We had some poor at-bats in the beginning, but when they went to the bullpen, we started hitting the ball hard and balls started to fall for us."
Pickens finished the night with two hits. He is now hitting for a .275 average on the season.
Connor Joe (San Diego) started it off with a one-out single that could not be handled by the third-baseman, then J.D Davis (Cal State Fullerton) worked a two-out walk, as did Sheehan Planas-Arteaga (Barry). With the bases loaded and two outs, Michael Russell (North Carolina) came through with a single, scoring two, and tying the game.
Jacob Dorris (Texas A&M- Corpus Christi) held the Red Sox offense at bay in the seventh and eighth inning, not allowing a hit and striking out three. Dorris improved his earned run average to an impressive 0.75 on the season.
Chatham would threaten in the seventh and eighth, but would strand runners in scoring position in both in both innings.
Y-D would put together a threat of their own in the ninth inning against Dominic Moreno (Texas Tech), but with a runner at second base and two outs, Moreno picked up a big strikeout to end the frame.
Once again, the Chatham bullpen came through when they needed to.
"They have done a great job this season of shutting down the other team and giving the offense a chance to take the lead," Flores said. "We seem to be clicking on both sides of the ball, both hitting and pitching."
Landon Lassiter (North Carolina), who won the game for the Anglers last night, began the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk, but was retired at second on a fielders choice by Gunsolus. The next batter, Blake Butera (Boston College), hit into what looked like to be a tailor-made double play that would have ended the inning, but the play was botched, and the Anglers were still alive with the winning run on second.
photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers Dante Flores (USC) ended the game on an RBI double, giving Chatham the 3-2 win over Y-D on Monday night at Veterans Field.
In what has become a common theme this season, the Anglers capitalized on the other teams mistakes.
Up came Flores, who coming into the game was leading the team in hitting with a .365 average. He ripped a 2-2 offering from Y-D reliever Jose Lopez (Seton Hall) into right field that was just out of the reach of the diving Matt Honchel (Miami OH), scoring Gunsolus and giving Chatham its league-leading 15th win of the season.
For the second night in a row, the Anglers poured out of the dugout to greet the hero of the game.
"There is something about this team. We never give up and we always play hard and want to win," Flores said. "We have to keep it up."
The team has now won five-straight games, seven of their last eight, and eight of their last ten. With a Harwich loss, the Anglers extended their lead to seven points (3.5 games) over the second-place Mariners.
The victory closed out the first half of the season for the Anglers, and for Schiffner, it has been a very special first half.
"This team is special," Schiffner said. "They root for each other, they get along great, they work hard, and they win. It has been a dream season so far."
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.