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Chatham (1-2) ran into another buzz saw at Veterans Field on Saturday night, as Orleans (1-2) avenged an opening-night loss to the Anglers with a 9-0 win. The Firebirds stayed hot through the seventh inning after building a seven-run lead in the top of the fifth, collecting 16 hits on the night.
The Anglers received promising performances from the backend of its bullpen at the end of the game, but there wasn’t much else to carry into the rest of the season.
At the plate
Only three players collected a hit for Chatham, one of them Chris Shaw (Boston College) who collected his first hit of the season. Other than that, only Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State) and A.J. Murray (Georgia Tech) collected a single each as Nathan Bannister — the game’s winning pitcher — was able to keep the Anglers’ order off balance in four scoreless innings of relief.
“They were just keeping the ball down and that’s what good pitchers do,”catcher Patrick Mazeika (Stetson) said.
The Anglers collected just six hits in their loss to Wareham on Thursday and the bats stayed quiet against the Firebirds. Their lone rally came after Shaw’s single in the fourth — the team’s first of the game — and ended when Mazeika was caught stealing by Firebirds catcher R.J. Ybarra.
On the mound
Chatham starter P.J. Conlon (San Diego) had trouble getting comfortable in his first two innings of work, but settled down once he started commanding his breaking ball. He set down six hitters in a row in the third and fourth innings, using his curveball to keep the heart of Orleans’ order off balance.
“I usually pitch backwards and when I was going good that’s what I was doing,” Conlon said. “I’m not going to overpower guys so that’s what I have to do.”
Conlon was credited with the loss after giving up seven earned runs in 4.1 innings, three of which came on a double by Edwin Rios off Bryan Goossens (Siena). Goossens was the first reliever to come out of the Chatham pen and gave up two runs, one earned, in 2.2 innings. Then left-handed relievers Nick Girardi (Manhatten) and Alex Katz (St. John’s) had strong performances in the last two frames. Girardi walked the first two hitters he faced on eight pitches before working to a scoreless eighth, and Katz gave up just one hit in a spotless ninth.
“That was awesome,” Chatham manager John Schiffner said. “That’s what we want to see from those guys.”
The Anglers will have a chance to work out of its two-game funk with a doubleheader against Cotuit (1-2) starting at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Kettleers most recently beat Yarmouth-Dennis 2-1 on Saturday night, riding five scoreless innings by their bullpen to do so. Tanner Scott (Texas Tech) is expected to start for Chatham, which will be his first appearance with the team.