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WAREHAM, Mass.— The Chatham offense had only scored 14 runs over the last seven games. Questions were swirling from every place about the Angler hitters and their confidence for the better part of the last week—from every place, that is, except inside the Chatham dugout.
“These kids were never intimidated,” said Manager John Schiffner. “They came out every day and said ‘let’s play.’”
Chatham’s persistence paid off at Spillane Field on Monday in a 9-2 victory over the Wareham Gatemen.
“That was just a good game that this team is capable of playing,” said Schiffner. “We didn’t need power—we just put together good, quality at-bats, and the pitching was excelllent.”
The Chatham (10-8) offensive explosion could be attributed to one word—hustle. Twice the Anglers generated second chances with nothing more than heart, and twice it paid off.
The first demonstration of heart from the Angler offense came in the top of the third. With two outs and nobody on, Aaron Knapp (California) dribbled what looked like a routine groundball to the second baseman. But as the rest of the Gateman (9-9) defense began to take a step towards their own dugout, Knapp tore up Wareham’s stone-dust base path and beat out an infield single.
“You really feed off of plays like that,” said Schiffner. “Those things really get you going.”
Cory Raley (Texas Tech) followed Knapp with a double down the right-field line to put runners on second and third. Will Craig (Wake Forest) finished the job, bringing both runners home on an error.
The Anglers again showed off their hustle in the top of the fifth. This time it was Trenton Brooks (Nevada) who legged one out down the first-base line. He eventually would come around to score on an RBI single from Will Craig. The ACC Player of the Year finished the night with two RBIs, giving him six on the summer.
“He takes good swings and doesn’t swing at a lot of bad pitches,” said Schiffner. “The other teams know who he is, and they come at him, and he’s handled it very well.”
From there, one of Schiffner’s favorite sayings took effect: “Hitting is contagious.”
Aaron Knapp (California) added two RBIs, and Nick Sciortino (Boston College), Trenton Brooks (Nevada), and Nate Mondou (Wake Forest) would each bat in a run of their own before the night was over.
The Angler offense did not need much help from their teammates on the hill, but that did not deter the Chatham pitching staff from putting together another exquisite showing.
Jesse Adams (Boston College) got the start for Chatham, and the left-hander was masterful. He gave up one run on seven hits over five innings. He struck out five batters and did not allow a walk in the outing.
“I kept my fastball down and had good control of my slider and changeup,” said Adams. “I felt really good with my change tonight—I could throw it in almost any count.”
The defining moment of Adam’s outing came in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Nick Sciortino came out from behind the plate to visit his collegiate teammate.
“I just went out there and reminded him to calm down and throw one pitch at a time,” said Sciortino.
Adams went on to escape the jam unscathed with a weak grounder to shortstop.
Because of an inning limit, the start will be Adams’ final appearance of the summer. He finishes his Cape League campaign responsible for a single earned run over 11 innings. His strikeout-to-walk tally closes at 8-2.
“He threw really, really well for us every time he came out,” said Schiffner. “I’m very pleased with him and very proud of him.”
After the game, Adams expressed the fond memories he will take from the summer.
“I’m going to miss the guys on this team a lot,” said Adams. “It’s just been a joy playing with them. They’re so talented and it was so fun.”
The Chatham bullpen nailed down the final four innings for their starter. Brandon Miller (Millersville) struck out two in two scoreless innings, and Andre Scrubb (High Point) gave up one run in the last two.
The Anglers now turn to a busy couple of days ahead of them. On Tuesday they will travel to Fenway Park to participate in a league-wide workout. On Wednesday, the Anglers travel back to Red Wilson Field to play the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox for the second time this week.