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SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass.-- The Anglers went into Wednesday’s game coming off a big 9-2 win over the Wareham Gatemen (9-9). Their play in that contest was characterized by outstanding pitching, solid defense, and exquisite situational hitting. Those same attributes did not shine through as brightly in a 9-2 loss to the Red Sox (8-10) at Red Wilson Field.
“There’s not much to say,” said Manager John Schiffner. “We went through the motions too much.”
The big inning for the Red Sox was the bottom of the sixth. They notched six runs in that frame, though only one was earned.
Despite nine runs showing against Chatham (10-9) at the conclusion of the game, the Angler pitchers could only be held responsible for three in the box score.
A.J. Puckett (Pepperdine) made his second start of the year for the Anglers. His collegiate teammate, Aaron Barnett (Pepperdine) caught the game. The California righty gave up two runs in four innings while fanning five Red Sox. He threw first-pitch strikes to 14 out of 21 batters.
“I thought I did a pretty good job of getting ahead of batters and using my off-speed tonight,” said Puckett. “I let them come back in counts too many times though.”
The Red Sox mounted significant threats twice, but Puckett worked out of trouble with minimal damage both times.
The first instance came in the bottom of the second inning. Stephen Wrenn (Georgia) singled, and Ryan Noda (Cincinnati) doubled to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Wrenn was able to come home on a two-strike breaking ball in the dirt during the next at-bat, but Puckett got a strikeout, a ground out, and a fly out to escape further trouble.
The Red Sox again threatened serious trouble when they loaded the bases with one out in the next frame. For the second time Puckett threw a breaking ball in the dirt, but on this one he got Wrenn to swing through for a strikeout. Puckett would walk the next batter to bring in a run but escaped further damage with a ground out to shortstop.
“That one that got away just took a funny bounce,” said Puckett. “I wasn’t afraid to go back to that pitch because I have 100% confidence in Barney to block.”
Garret Williams (Oklahoma State) handled the bulk of the relief pitching for the Anglers. He relinquished one earned run while striking out four batters in 2.1 innings. The only true mistake Williams made was a pitch up in the zone that his collegiate teammate, Donnie Walton (Oklahoma State), deposited beyond the leftfield wall.
Jeff Paschke (Southern California) contributed one strikeout in a 1-2-3 inning bottom of the eighth, and James Teaney (San Diego) did not give up an earned run in his 0.2 innings of relief.
Both Chatham runs on the day came by way of the long ball. The first solo shot to left-center was from Luke Persico (UCLA), who also hit a solo blast at Red Wilson field last Sunday. That screamer found a new home beyond the right field porch.
“I got a fastball that I put a pretty good swing on, and it got caught up in the jet stream out there,” said Persico. “The ball definitely gets some pretty good carry on it at this field.”
The other Chatham solo bomb was from Todd Czinege (Villanova). The shot was likewise his second solo homer of the year. His other fence-clearer came at Veterans Field.
The Anglers next host the Brewster Whitecaps (8-9) at 7 p.m. on Thursday. T.J. Zeuch (Pittsburgh) is expected to make his final start for the Anglers before shutting down because of an inning limit. He is 2-0 with a spotless ERA of 0.00 in 16.2 innings for Chatham. His likely adversary from Brewster is Hunter Martin (Tennessee). He is 0-1 with a 3.85 ERA in 11.2 innings on the summer.