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Ty Moore (UCLA) emptied the bases with a triple in the top of the ninth, and a game that once seemed destined for disaster was somewhat in reach. But there were still two outs and when A.J. Murray (Georgia Tech) struck out on three pitches a batter later, the comeback fizzled into a small tease.
“It was good to string together some hits and get some runs across, for the team and just for the hitters,” said catcher Nick Collins (Georgetown), who finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. “But we needed more of that early and it was just too late by the end of it.”
After failing to score in the first eight innings, Chatham (12-11-1) scored eight runs in the top of the ninth and ultimately fell 13-8 to Harwich (15-8) at Whitehouse Field on Tuesday night. The Mariners are now 4-0 against the Anglers this season, and padded their first place record with the victory.
Garrett Williams (Oklahoma State) — who has seen innings as a reliever and was the designated hitter at Orleans on Monday night — received the loss after giving up five runs on six hits in three frames. Robbie Kalaf made his first start of the summer and earned the win for Harwich, holding the visitors to just one hit and keeping them off the board in five innings of work.
“It was good to score some runs but the other eight innings were bad,” Chatham manager John Schiffner said. “My gosh they weren’t pretty.”
Ian Happ kickstarted the Mariners’ offense with a solo home run in the first and it was mostly smooth sailing from there on. After lighting up the scoreboard with three extra-base hits in a four-run third, Harwich slowly built its lead by scoring at least one run in the fifth, sixth and seventh, and a backbreaking four in the eighth.
A combination of Williams, P.J. Conlon (San Diego), Paul Covelle (Franklin Pierce) and Mike Wallace (Fairfield) was tasked with corralling an offense that collected five doubles, a triple, two home runs and a grand total of 20 hits.
“Our guys were making good pitches,” shortstop Kal Simmons (Kennesaw State) said. “But they were just poking balls all over the field and sometimes teams get hot and can find all kinds of ways to get hits.”
Simmons was the first Angler to reach second base when he doubled with one out in the sixth, but he wasn’t brought around and it seemed like Chatham would go down without a whimper. But Schiffner has said time and again this season that his team has fight, and it put that on display with an immutable fog hanging above the field as the game neared an all-but-inevitable conclusion.
It started with Simmons striking out for a quick out No. 1. But then Collins doubled in two, Kevin Fagan (Stetson) singled in another, Landon Cray (Seattle) brought one home and Simmons walked to load the bases to keep the inning alive. Moore’s three-run triple turned the comeback bid from wishful to wait-a-minute, but the night ended three pitches later.
“We didn’t do enough to win and that’s it,” Schiffner said. “Sometimes you just flush it down the toilet and move on to the next one.”