« Back to 2014 News Archives
The Anglers didn’t bring enough counterpunches to Stony Brook Field, and they needed them. The game, in slices and as a whole, wasn’t so much a see-saw as it was a broken scale, with Brewster’s heavy offensive effort weighing on Chatham’s chances from the first inning on.
“They just had the timely hits tonight,” center fielder Landon Cray (Seattle) said. “And usually the team with the timely hits wins the game.”
The Whitecaps (14-24-1) filled every frame from the first to fifth before Paul Covelle (Franklin Pierce) blanked them in the sixth, but it was already enough for a 12-7 win over Chatham (16-22-1) in eight innings on Tuesday. The result shrinks the gap between the fourth-place Anglers and last-place Brewster to four points with five regular-season games to play.
Whitecaps starter Cody Ponce earned the win after giving up four runs on seven hits in five innings of work. He also struck out six. Max Tishman (Wake Forest) started for the Anglers and yielded five runs in one inning, which hooked him for the loss.
“We didn’t come ready to play today and Brewster did. That’s pretty much all I got,” Chatham manager John Schiffer said. “Maybe two days off were too many.”
The Anglers, like all teams, broke for the All-Star and then a league-wide off day on Monday, yet looked in a rhythm early on Tuesday. RBI hits from Chris Shaw (Boston College) and Jake Fraley (LSU) constructed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but that didn’t hold.
Brewster, in what would quickly become the night’s theme, had an immediate answer. The Whitecaps brought in three runs in the bottom of the first to erase Chatham’s only lead of the night, and went on to score two in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth and three in the fifth.
And while Brewster hit an offensive stride Ponce found his, kissing 95 on the radar gun and stiff arming any and all threats. The hard-throwing righty threw successful shutdown innings in the second, third and fourth, before giving up a two-run home run to A.J. Murray (Georgia Tech) in the top of the fifth.
“They hit well tonight but you also have to give their starter credit,” Fraley said. “He’s good and had some really good stuff tonight.”
Fraley and Murray were both bright spots in the loss. Murray finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored, and Fraley was almost equally assuring at 3-for-4 with an RBI, run scored and stolen base. They led the offense provide five runs but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Whitecaps, who started and ended the game on the scoreboard and used just two arms, as opposed to the Anglers’ five, in the win.
The Anglers were only able to blank Brewster in two of eight frames — the game was shortened an inning due to darkness — and it was pitching disparity that stiffened the playoff race. Chatham still holds the East Division’s last playoff spot with five regular-season games to go, but a win over the Whitecaps would have all but sealed its fate.
Instead, much hangs in the balance. Stay tuned.
“They got big hits in big situations and they hadn’t done that the last two or three times we played them,” Fraley said. “But tonight they did.”