After clinching their 20th win of the season, the Chatham Anglers will take their league-best 20-9-1 record to Doran Park to take on the Bourne Braves (14-14-1).
Right-hander Aaron Garza
(Houston) is still searching for his first win of the 2013 season, as he will take the mound for his sixth start tonight. Garza is 0-3 on the season, despite holding a solid 2.84 earned run average, and striking out 16 over 25.1 innings pitched.
In his last start, Garza was dealt the loss, as he gave up six hits and two earned runs in a 4-3 loss to Hyannis on July 9.
One of Garza's three losses came on June 19 at Doran Park against the Braves, despite only giving up one run over five innings. The Anglers lost to Bourne 1-0, their first loss of the 2013 season.
(Cal State Fullerton) has been a revelation for the Anglers offense, and has been a source of power in the middle of the Chatham lineup. In the past week, Davis is hitting for a team-leading .412 average, while collecting eight RBI, two walks, and two home-runs. In his past five games, Davis is hitting for a mammoth .824 slugging percentage, which leads the Cape League.
For Davis, it is all about slowing down the game.
photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers
Aaron Garza (Houston) will get his sixth start of the
season on Friday, still searching for his first win.
"I think I have had more success at the plate because I am slowing the game down and letting the ball come to me," Davis said. "It's working, and I am getting some good at-bats for the team."
(San Diego) has also been a mainstay in the middle of the Anglers lineup. He leads the team with 18 RBI, and has hit for a .364 average with four doubles and six RBI in the past week.
One of the themes of the Anglers' 2013 season has been the ability to draw walks. Chatham continues to lead the league in base-on-balls with an astounding 170 on the season, with the next closest team being Harwich with 113.
The Anglers drew nine walks on Thursday against Cotuit, in route to their 11-8 victory. Those 11 runs came on only eight hits.
"It's awesome. As long as we are walking more than we are striking out, good things will happen," Michael Russell
Left-hander Cody Livingston (Southern Miss) will get the start for Bourne. On the season, Livingston has a 1-0 record with a 3.29 ERA in six appearances out of the bullpen. This will be Livingstons first start of the season for the Braves.
Catcher Max Pentecost (Kennesaw St) has been the team's offensive leader, and leads the league in batting average among active players with a .367 clip. Pentecost also has five home runs, 22 RBI and 13 runs scored in 23 games played for the Braves.
With only 14 games left in the regular season, the Anglers sit comfortably in first place in the Eastern Division, with a nine point cushion over the second-place Harwich Mariners.
Bourne sits comfortably in position for the final playoff spot in the Western Division, 17 points ahead of the last-place Wareham Gatemen.
Despite all of the teams' success this season, they are still buying into the "work hard everyday" mentality that Manager John Schiffner
"We know we are playing well right now, but we have to keep it up," Davis said. "There are still a lot of games left to play."
First pitch at 6 p.m. Tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 5:40 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 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.