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John Schiffner was mostly satisfied at the conclusion of Chatham’s 10-2 win over Orleans on Wednesday night. He praised the lineup — particularly shortstop Blake Butera (Boston College) — complimented starter Andrew Chin and was very pleased with the bullpen’s stinginess in five innings of work.
But what the Anglers manager did pinpoint as an area in need of immediate improvement was associated with a number that stood out on the Eldredge Park scoreboard at game’s end.
“We have to field better, that’s for sure,” Schiffner said after the win. “We can’t give up extra opportunities.”
Chatham made four errors against the Firebirds, a total that was deflected by strong play at the plate and on the mound. As the team gears up for its home opener against Wareham at 7 p.m. on Thursday, cleaning up its fielding is at the forefront of the to-do list.
Orleans scratched across just two runs on seven hits Wednesday, and only scored in innings in which the Anglers committed an error.
“It’s part of the game and the field was a little weird in spots,” said third baseman Matt Peters (California-Pennsylvania). “But we need to improve upon it and make sure we field well for the pitchers.”
Andrew Chin (Boston College), who started in the Anglers’ first game, didn’t run into any semblance of trouble until the Firebirds capitalized on an error with a two-out, RBI single in the fourth. The same thing happened in the bottom of the seventh, when a relay throw by Butera hit the back of Edwin Rios. The ball caromed off Rios’ back and out of play, which sent him home on a free pass.
Chin acknowledged after the game that the field didn’t do the Anglers any favors, and that the fielding was better than the final line showed.
“It was weird to play balls in some spots,” Chin said. “Those guys did a good job out there and the fielding will be good. We know that.”
After a week of preparation in the batting cage Chatham’s work turned into 10 runs on nine hits, an output that was complemented by five pitchers keeping the Firebirds at bay.
Now the Anglers will try and tie a loose end with the fielding they expect.
Said Butera: “We don’t want to make errors. It’ll all come together.”