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Anglers fall to Harwich in extra innings after leading late

by Jesse Dougherty
Thursday, June 19, 2014

Anglers fall to Harwich in extra innings after leading late

Lou Distasio (Rhode Island) phrased it perfectly as he sauntered down the right-field line toward a quiet Chatham dugout. 

“Just get it out of the way,” he said, regarding a game that was once in hand then somehow escaped the Anglers at night’s end. 

Chatham (3-5) led with two strikes and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but a two-run single by Harwich (7-1) designed hitter Robert Youngdahl pushed the game into extra innings. Then the Mariners eventually won 6-5 a frame later, when Bryan Goossens (Siena) issued a bases-loaded walk to unceremoniously plate the winning run. Goossens received the loss after almost working through the 10th, and Harwich’s Gavin Pittore earned the win by retiring the Anglers in the top half of the extra frame. 

P.J. Conlon (San Diego) threw four solid innings in the Anglers' loss to Harwich. View full gallery (click)

Box Score:

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“Give Harwich credit, they did what they had to do,” Chatham manager John Schiffner said. “We could have made some better pitches but I’m overall happy with how we played.”

Schiffner added that he certainly wasn’t pleased with the loss, but liked the way his team competed through 8.2 innings. The pitching combination of P.J. Conlon (San Diego) and Jeff Burke (Boston College) held Harwich in check until Burke was relieved by Jake Dorris (Texas A&M Corpus Christie) with two outs in the ninth. And the Anglers lineup, however spotty, ultimately got the job done by managing five runs on just seven hits. 

“I told them after the game that if they compete like that every night they’re going to be fine this season,” Schiffner said. 

Chatham struck in the first inning for the second straight game, this time when Chris Shaw (Boston College) grounded out to bring Blake Butera (Boston College) across the plate. Then the Anglers added two more in the next frame when Landon Lassiter (North Carolina) came in on a wild pitch before Kevin Fagan (Stetson) plated Patrick Mazeika (Stetson) with a sacrifice fly. 

The latter two runs came before the Mariners scored twice in the top of the second. The first of came on a solo home run by Anthony Hermelyn that hurried out of the park, and the second on a Fagan error that allowed Sal Annunziata drew Harwich within one at 3-2. 

And Conlon and Burke —who struck out a combined 11 hitters in the game — made sure that the Mariners wouldn’t get any closer while the game was theirs. Once Chatham added two insurance tallies to build a 5-2 lead in the top of the eighth, it seemed that Burke would drive the game to a finish and grant Conlon the winning decision. Their contrasting styles had puzzled Harwich all night. The ending was set to punctuate their stellar night.  

“I think it was the difference between the two of us that threw them off,” Burke said. “That was the plan.”

But Burke couldn’t finish the job in the bottom of the ninth, and Dorris couldn’t get out of the inning before allowing two runs that appeared on Burke’s final line. Those were the two that tied the game, and the Mariners scratched ahead after Chatham failed to score in the top of the 10th. 

Goossens came on and struck out the leadoff hitter for an assuring first out. But then Annunziata reached on a single that brought Schiffner out to contest the call at first, followed by an infield single and catcher’s interference to load the bags. And after Goossens struck out Matt Gonzalez, a four-pitch walk sent the Mariners slowly streaming out of the dugout to greet the winning run at home plate.  

The wacky finish fit right in with the night’s theme. 

Said Conlon: “It’s tough but it happens. We just ran into some bad luck.”

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