After the Chatham Anglers (20-9-1) were shutout 3-0 by the Harwich Mariners on Tuesday, Manager John Schiffner
had "no doubt" that his team would bounce back.
The Anglers bounced back, and more, as they defeated the Cotuit Kettleers (18-12) in an offensive shootout between the two best teams in the Cape League at Veterans Field on Thursday night.
Both teams combined for 19 runs and 18 hits on the night, but Chatham would prevail with an 11-8 win.
Box Score Game 22: Chatham 11, Cotuit 8
It was not a typical Cape League game, but according to Schiffner, the quality of the two teams was the cause.
"That is a good team that we just beat tonight," Schiffner said. "They are the standard in the Western Division, and same with us in the Eastern Division. When two good teams like this clash, a game like this can happen."
As has become a trend this season, the Anglers jumped on the board first in the first inning, this time on a single and an error from J.D Davis
(Cal State Fullerton).
Chatham starter Andrew McGee
(Monmouth) shut down the Kettleers for the first two innings, but began to struggle in the third, as Cotuit tagged McGee for three runs in the inning to take a 3-1 lead.
The Anglers would come right back in the fourth inning, loading the bases on three walks to lead off the frame, and scoring six runs to take a 7-3 lead before Cotuit could end the inning. Behind the outburst was an RBI doubles from Michael Russell
(North Carolina) and Dante Flores
(USC) and a monster two-run home run from Davis, his second of the season.
In Chatham's past four victories, Davis has been one of the main reasons why. In those games, he has seven hits, two home runs, and eight RBI. For him, it is all about comfortability at the plate, and seeing the ball well.
"I think it is just a matter of me seeing the ball, and slowing things down at the plate," Davis said. "I am able to look at what the pitcher is giving me, and make contact."
It looked like the Anglers had turned the game into a rout, but Cotuit came back in the very next frame as they pushed four runs across to tie the game, three of them coming on a home run from second-baseman Jake Fincher.
Through five innings, the two teams had combined for 14 runs and 13 hits. For Russell, games like these are fun to be a part of.
"Tonight was a lot of fun. It looked like we were going to cruise, but then they came back and made it a battle. It just gave us an opportunity for some of that late inning magic," Russell said.
McGee was chased in the fifth inning after giving up the home run to Fincher. He struggled for his second start in a row, giving up seven hits and seven runs over 4.2 innings pitched. He has given up 13 runs.
"He (McGee) just ran out of gas a little," Schiffner said. "We tried to get him that fifth inning, but he got us to where we needed him to get us innings-wise. If we can get four or five innings out of a starter, we are able to turn it over to our very good bullpen."
Chatham would eventually regain the lead in the sixth inning, as Russell came through once again, this time with an RBI single that gave the Anglers the lead for good.
Cotuit would threaten one more time in the seventh inning, as the Kettleers would load the bases against Ryan Leach
(Franklin Pierce) and David Speer
(Columbia), but Speer would shut the door without allowing a run across.
"That was a huge out for us," Schiffner said. "Speer shut the door on them."
The Anglers would add three insurance runs on only one hit in the next frame, including another RBI hit from Davis, this time a single that scored Mitchell Gunsolus
With Chatham leading 11-7, Kyle Funkhouser
(Louisville) entered the game with funk group Parliament's hit song "Give up the Funk" playing, trying to clinch the win for the Anglers. Funkhouser shut down the Kettleers in the ninth inning, striking out two, and earning his fourth save of the season. Funkhouser has only allowed one run and has struck out 10 in five appearances this season.
"When that funk music comes on and he enters the game, we know we are in good hands," Russell said. "He has been lights-out for us."
With the win, the Anglers captured their 20th win in only the 30th game of the season. the 2012 Anglers only had 21 wins in their entire season.
"How can you not be pleased' I can not say enough about how the kids, the coaches, and everyone has performed this season," Schiffner said.
The Anglers will look to start another winning streak as they travel to Doran Park to face the Bourne Braves (14-14-1).
Chris Jones is the Beat Writer and Social Media Manager for the Chatham Anglers. Follow him on twitter at @Chrisjones_UO, and follow the Chatham Anglers at @ChathamAnglers.