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A phoenix rising from the ashes. A caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Jeremey Lin breaking out into Lin-sanity. Whatever worn-out transformation example you want to use, the emergence of the Angler offense over the last week ranks right up there with it.
“We’re getting clutching hitting, good at-bats, and solid base running,” said Manager John Schiffner. “The hits are falling for us, and we just have to build off of that.
For the fourth time in a row, the Chatham bats powered the Anglers (15-11) to victory. This one came by a tally of 9-1 over the Brewster Whitecaps (13-13) at Stony Brook Field Friday night.
Chatham has now scored 38 runs over their last four games, averaging 9.5 per contest. The team had previously been averaging just over three coming into the streak.
The most effective Chatham offensive contributor Friday was Aaron Barnett (Pepperdine). The catcher went 3-4 with the lumber and drove in a season-high four RBIs.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play and get pitches to hit like always,” said Aaron Barnett. “Some guys got on in front of me and gave me a chance to get some RBIs. I talked to them—they did a great job.”
Barnett’s offensive production made life easy for his college teammate A.J. Puckett (Pepperdine), who took the mound for the third time this summer. The California righty struck out four batters in as many innings of one-run ball.
“Puckett was good tonight,” said Schiffner. “There was a lot to build off of there."
The run support Barnett spearheaded gave Puckett room to breathe, but that wasn’t the only way the catcher aided his two-year teammate.
“We let Barnett call the game just like they were at school,” said Schiffner.
The familiarity factor was clear, and the outing was solid.
Daniel Castano (Baylor) took over on the hill after Puckett threw his last pitch. The southpaw delivered perhaps his best outing of the summer thus far, recording four nearly perfect frames in relief.
“He just did a great job; he slammed it shut,” said Manager John Schiffner. “That was impressive.”
Castano struck out two batters and did not allow a single hit or walk. The only baserunner the Whitecaps mustered against him came on a grazing hit-by-pitch.
Meanwhile, the Chatham offense continued to roll. Aaron Knapp (California) pushed his hit streak to five games, and every Angler in the starting offense reached base for the second consecutive game. Will Craig (Wake Forest) and Zack Short (Sacred Heart) both delivered two RBIs, and Kyle Brooks (North Florida) added one more before James Mulry (Northeastern) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
“We’re just playing really well right now,” said Schiffner.
The Anglers will look to ride the momentum and stretch their win streak to five when they take on the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (11-14) at Veterans Field 7 p.m. Saturday. Zac Gallen (North Carolina) will likely get the ball for the Anglers. The right-handed Tar Heel is 1-0 and has yet to give up an earned run in 15 innings this summer. The Sox will likely counter with Ricky Thomas (Fresno State). The Anglers took one run off the left-hander when they saw him at Red Wilson field on June 28, and he is 4-0 with an 0.73 ERA on the summer.