Missed Opportunities Doom Anglers, Losing Streak at Three
by Chris Jones Friday, August 02, 2013
The Chatham Anglers (26-15-1) were dealt their third consecutive loss, fifth in the past seven games, as they fell to the Cotuit Kettleers 5-1 at Lowell Park.
The Kettleers jumped on the Anglers and starter Andrew Chin (Boston College) from the beginning, as newcomer Caleb Bryson (Samford) took the first pitch he saw from Chin and deposited it into the trees in left field.
Cotuit would add two more runs in the inning, giving them a 3-0 lead after the first inning.
The Anglers have a perfect record this season when they have scored first in a game, but they have been unable to do that in the past five games. In those games, the Anglers have lost four of five, and are a miracle comeback away from being on a five-game losing streak.
"I think part of it is that since we clinched a playoff spot, and clinched the divison, it is hard for the players to find incentive for the rest of the regular season," Manager John Schiffner said. "We definitely do not want to go into the playoffs on a losing streak, though."
The Anglers offense was stymied by another newcomer in Cotuit Tommy Kister (The Masters College), who only allowed three hits and one run, striking out eight, including the first four Chatham hitters, over 5.2 innings.
After the Kettleers extended the lead to 5-0, J.D Davis (Cal State Fullerton) drove in the only run scored for the Anglers, as he blasted a solo homerun to center field.
The Anglers would threaten late in the game, loading the bases in both the eighth and ninth inning, but could not deliver the timely hitting that they have been known for for most of the season. In all, the Anglers stranded the bases loaded three separate times, and stranded 11 total men on base.
"We didn't take advantage of the opportunities we were given," Schiffner said. "Get rid of a couple miscues and errors, and it could have been a whole different ballgame."
Chin buckled down after a rough couple of outings, and a tough first inning, to finish the day with five solid innings. He was dealt his second loss of the season, but Schiffner was very pleased with his performance.
"He threw great," Schiffner said. "He has had a couple really tough outings lately, but he battled back from a rough first inning and really pitched well. I am excited for him."
One of the few bright spots of the night came from reliever Ryan Leach (Franklin Pierce), who pitched three dominant innings, not allowing a hit and striking out three.
Davis finished the game with two hits, a walk, and an RBI, which came from his third home run of the season. He now leads the team in hitting with a .323 average
Chatham will now turn to the final two regular season games of the season, both against Orleans. The Anglers will be at home at Veterans Field tomorrow against the Firebirds, and then will travel to Eldredge Park on Sunday for the final regular season game.
After tearing through the league, the Anglers have stumbled since their last off day, losing five of their last seven games, including four of their last five, and three-straight. Chatham, though, is only win away from clinching the Presidents Cup, the trophy given to the team who finishes the regular season with the best record.
With the playoffs coming quickly, Schiffner wants his team to focus on the task at hand.
"We are fine, but we have come out a little flat, but they will be the way they are, and hopefully we can rattle off some wins and get back to the way things were," Schiffner said.