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Anglers Look for Sixth-Straight Win in Battle of First-Place Teams

by Chris Jones
Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Anglers Look for Sixth-Straight Win in Battle of First-Place Teams
The Chatham Anglers (15-6-1) closed out the first half of the season with more of their patented late inning magic, coming back to beat the Y-D Red Sox in walk-off fashion.

"The team has done a great job of getting guys on, and I was lucky enough to get the hit that won it for us," Dante Flores (USC) said.

Flores finished the game with three hits, including the game-winning double that scored Mitch Gunsolus (Gonzaga) to give Chatham the 3-2 win.

photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers
Dante Flores (USC) pumps his fists after hitting the game-winning
RBI double against Y-D on Monday.
After another thrilling victory on Monday Night, the Chatham Anglers (15-6-1) will go for their sixth straight win as they face the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (13-7).

It will be a battle of two first-place teams at Veterans Field on Tuesday Night, as the East Division-leading Anglers and West Division-leading Harbor Hawks will meet for the third time this season.

This will be the second time this season that Chatham will come into a matchup against Hyannis with a five-game winning streak. The first time came on Jun 18, when Chatham rolled into Hyannis at 5-0, and routed the Harbor Hawks 10-0.

Last time these two teams faced each other, it was Hyannis who got the better of Chatham, defeating the Anglers 1-0 at Veterans Field on June 21.

Coming into Tuesday, Chatham has won eight of their last ten games, seven of their last eight, and five-straight.

"This team definitely does not like to lose," Manager John Schiffner said. "No matter what the story is and what the score is, they know they can win."

At the halfway point of the season, the Anglers lead the league in total pitching with a 2.58 team earned run average, and have only allowed 70 runs in 195.1 innings pitched, also a league best.

Chatham is third-best in the league in hitting with a .255 team batting average, and a league-best 124 walks.

Flores continued his dream season on Monday, and now leads the league in total hitting with an impressive .386 average, 13 RBI and 12 runs scored.

On the mound for Chatham, still searching for his first win of the season, will be Aaron Garza (Houston). He took the loss in his last start against Orleans on July 3, despite striking out seven, only allowing four hits and two runs in five innings pitched. The Angler offense was silenced that night, and was unable to give Garza a run of support.

In all four of his starts, Garza has never given up more than two earned runs, and has an earned run average of 2.65, but he sits with an 0-2 record halfway through the season.

Garza's counterpart on the mound will be Hyannis right-hander Cy Sneed (Dallas Baptist). Sneed picked up the win in the last meeting between these two teams, shutting out the Anglers and only allowing two hits over seven innings.

photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers
Aaron Garza (Houston) is still searching for his first win of the year
as he makes his fifth start Tuesday against Hyannis.
Sneed has a 1-1 record with a 3.68 ERA in four starts this season, but has struggled in his last two appearances, giving up 12 hits and eight runs in the past 10 innings pitched.

With the recent departures of Erich Weiss (Texas), Joe Goodman (High Point), and Kenny Koplove (Duke), Chatham will receive some reinforcements in the form of left-hander David Speer (Columbia).

Speer was a temporary player for Bourne this summer, and had a 1.97 ERA in four appearances, striking out 14 in 13.2 innings pitched.

In his junior season at Columbia, Speer went 6-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 11 starts for the Lions. He struck out 66 and only allowed 19 earned runs in 73 innings pitched.

Attempting to capture their sixth-straight win, and improve on their league-best 15-6-1, confidence is definitely not an issue for these Anglers.

"Our confidence is through the roof right now, but we know we have to stay humble and keep working," Flores said.

First pitch at 7 p.m. Tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. for live coverage with broadcasters Brandon Liebhaber and Keith Zubrow at TRZ Teamline or call 1-800-846-4700, code 3841.

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.