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The Chatham offense had just watched Max Tishman (Wake Forest) defuse a small rally and race into the dugout shouting a trio of “whoo”’s. So why not have some fun of their own'
Trailing by one run at that point of the game, the Anglers used Tishman as their catalyst and pulled ahead for good with a four-run fourth. Kevin Fagan’s (Stetson) double was the centerpiece of the frame, a high-arcing fly ball that somehow found grass between a backtracking Kevin Martir and diving Kyle Overstreet. More runs would come — from both teams — but the lasting damage was done.
“It definitely fired us up and got us going,” said catcher Nick Collins (Georgetown), who finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. “Tish just gets so fired up and makes everyone around him fired up too.”
The Anglers (11-9-1) scored seven runs on 10 hits in a 7-2 win over Brewster (8-13) at Veterans Field on Saturday, and it was Tishman’s energy and arm that paved the way. He was helped by the timely offense and stalwart defense of shortstop Kal Simmons (Kennesaw State), each contributing to his winning decision after he gave up one run in six innings of work. Whitecaps’ starter Andrew Lee was hooked for the loss after giving up four runs in the decisive bottom of the fourth.
The win comes on the heels of a Fourth of July rainout a day prior, and is Chatham’s first three-game winning streak of the season.
“Tish did a great job and then the pen did their job,” Anglers manager John Schiffner said. “The offense also came up big and you really can’t say enough about that shortstop play. He’s pretty good.”
Simmons made an effortless running play for the first out of the game, and made a similarly smooth play to end the third. And with Brewster up 1-0 and mounting a small rally in the top of the fourth, the shortstop made his flashiest play of the contest. With John Sansone leading off third and no outs on the board, Simmons dove to his right for a backhand stab, kept Sansone at third and retired Jacob Kingery at first. Tishman bunny hopped in front of the mound and two hitters later, was running to the dugout.
For five of the six times, Tishman’s jogs to the dugout all looked virtually the same — a small hop, the pumping of his arms and a host of high-fives and fist bumps at the top step. But after getting out of the fourth with Simmons’ help, the lefty was greeted with the cheers of family and friends, made some noise of his own and pushed the lineup to follow his lead.
“I just tried to get everything and tonight it just went my way I guess,” Simmons said. “I was just trying to make the plays I’m supposed to make and after that fourth we just responded.”
Chatham went on to build a lead it would hold, in one form or another, for the rest of the night. The four-run bottom of the fourth started with A.J. Murray (Georgia Tech) walking before Chris Shaw (Boston College) and Jake Fraley (LSU) were retired. Then, all with two outs, Patrick Mazeika (Stetson) walked and Collins brought the first run across with a single to left. Fagan’s seeing-eye double was the biggest blow of the inning and catapulted the Anglers into the rest of the night.
Three innings later, Ty Moore (UCLA) hit his first home run of the season and flung his right arm in the air between first and second. Lou Distasio (Rhode Island) retired the side in order in the ensuing half. A two-run rally in the eighth thickened the inevitable. And when Zack Burdi (Louisville) struck out Sansone to close it out, Chatham climbed over what had become something of a proverbial hump.
Said Tishman: “It’s three straight now. I’m just glad to help my team get another win.”