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If Chatham would have held on to a slight two-run lead and beaten Falmouth on Friday night, John Schiffner could have detailed the edge his team had before hosting the Commodores the next day. If Falmouth would have complemented its late rally with one run in extra innings, the Anglers would have lost and Schiffner could’ve rattled off what his team could improve on.
Instead, a game that was once gliding through Friday night ended in a 3-3 tie. Neither team earned a proverbial edge heading into the backend of back-to-back meetings, leaving Schiffner discussing the parity of the league after the first leg.
“I’m not surprised that we played these guys so close,” Schiffner said. “It just goes to show you how close everyone is in this league. Everyone we’ve seen is capable of playing with each other.”
The Anglers (3-5-1) will host Falmouth (4-4-1) at Veterans Field at 7 p.m. on Saturday, a day after the teams played to an underwhelming draw at Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field. It’s not the first time the two teams have been affected by a tie, as it was Chatham that barely edged the Commodores for the President’s Trophy — given to the team with the best regular-season record — at the end of last summer.
Falmouth finished 2013 with a 26-18 record and 52 points. The Anglers finished 26-17-1 and 53 points. Now they’re meeting for the second consecutive day for an unforeseen grudge match.
“We know we’re just as good as them if not better,” infielder Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State) said. “Going into (Saturday) there’s confidence that we’re right there.”
Friday was the second straight extra-inning game for the Anglers, after losing 6-5 in Harwich on Thursday. The Anglers lead 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth in that game, but the Mariners fought back to tie the game before winning in the 10th.
And after Zac Gallen’s (North Carolina) first start for Chatham put it in position to win Friday, the Commodores plated three runs in the eighth before the Anglers scored one in the ninth. That tied the score for the rest of the night, and now the teams will have nine more innings — or more — to snap the stalemate.
Said Schiffner: “Now we get to go back to our place and take another shot at them.”