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The stadium lights weren’t the only thing that kept the backend of the doubleheader alive.
When Blair Beck’s pinch-hit home run nudged Wareham’s lead to four in the bottom of the sixth, it looked like the Anglers would go down without a whimper. But a three-run, seventh-inning rally — including an RBI single by A.J. Murray (Georgia Tech) and two-run home run by Chris Shaw (Boston College) — drew Chatham within one. Landon Lassiter (North Carolina) grounded out to end the game after Shaw’s round-tripper, but the tailored result was more fulfilling than the four-run loss that almost was.
“The comeback showed the fight in the dog,” Chatham manager John Schiffner said. “We fell a little short but it’s still good to get those runs at the end.”
After beating Wareham (4-8) 4-2 in the first game of Sunday’s twin bill, the Anglers (5-6-1) lost 7-6 in the seven-inning nightcap at Spillane Field. Chatham threw a mix of bullpen arms after starter Charlie Dant (Dayton) earned the win in game one, and it was a handful of defensive miscues that jumpstarted an otherwise lethargic Gatemen offense. Wareham scored two runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and the Anglers committed an error in each of those frames.
Bryan Goossens (Siena) started the game for Chatham and blanked Wareham through two, but was pulled for Garrett Williams (Oklahoma State) who received the loss after giving up four in two frames. Drew Harrington grabbed the win for the Gatemen, throwing five innings and giving up a run on three hits. He also struck out five while walking none.
“We had some errors that we could have cleaned up in there,” Schiffner said. “That’s small stuff that will work out.”
Goossens had an error made behind him in the second, but was successful working into and out of jams in two scoreless innings of work. The Gatemen lineup worked the tall right-hander into deep counts, but he was able to fend them off with a bevy of well-located fastballs.
With an off day Monday, Goossens said that it was good for the relievers to get work in the second game to stay ready for the week before adding that he “finally felt good."
“The fastball was really working tonight,” he said. “I was able to get guys out with that and the breaking stuff has been there. It was good to get the fastball on track.”
But after Goossens' day concluded, Williams ran into some bad at the start of the third. Willie Calhoun reached on a faulty infield single down the first-base line before Little reached on an error, and both would cross the plate before the inning was out. Then Wareham scored a pair a frame later when Jeff Gelinas (Maine) yielded a hit that plated two of Williams’ runners. The bullpen, in an extended role, wasn’t as sharp as its been on the season. But did its part in limiting Wareham’s scoring chances.
“I think the bullpen guys threw pretty well in the second game,” Schiffner said.
And when the pen’s day was done the Anglers started a small fire at an inopportune time.
Four runs was a lot to overcome in one shot, but they almost did. The big punch came off the bat of Shaw, who collected a double and home run in a game that could prove to squash his early-season struggles. Shaw said while the homer felt good for his own psyche, it could also affect the team after it returns to the field after an off day Monday.
“It was a huge relief even though I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball hard,” Shaw said. “I’m a big believer in momentum carrying over, and us coming tonight back will do that.”