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CHATHAM, Mass. – Anyone who has sat behind the plate at a baseball game knows the sound of a ball meeting the catcher’s mitt. The “pop,” as it is called, is perhaps the most identifiable sound in the game. And on Sunday night at Whitehouse Field in Harwich, the pops off Aaron Barnett's glove were ringing loudly.
It was music to Chatham’s ears, and the genius responsible for composing the majority of the symphony was Garrett Williams (Oklahoma State).
“That was just outstanding,” said Manager John Schiffner. “He was really consistent all night.”
After making four appearances out of the bullpen, Williams fanned six Mariners over five scoreless frames in his first start of the summer. The left-hander’s masterful performance boosted the Anglers by the Harwich Mariners, 2-0.
“I really relied on my fastball command early on and used the curveball a lot later,” said Williams. “I kept the ball down in the zone and got ground-ball outs too.”
Including his exceptional performance against Orleans on July 4, Williams has now thrown eight consecutive innings without relinquishing a run—earned or otherwise. Over that spans he has notched 11 strikeouts to three walks.
On Sunday night against Harwich (12-15), Williams' outstanding outing translated to the first win in his ledger thanks in part to his offensive counterparts’ efforts in the top of his final frame–the fifth. In what has become their modus operandi, the Anglers (16-12) produced two runs by stringing together a series of timely singles.
Aaron Knapp (California) got it all started by extending his hit streak to seven games with a one-out, line-drive single to right field. Kyle Adams (Richmond) followed by executing a hit-and-run on which he had to jump out of the way of an inside fastball and swing while air born.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Schiffner. “I didn’t think it was physically possible to do that. But that result right there was amazing, and it set the game up for us.”
With runners on the corners and one out, Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State) delivered an RBI single to bring the game’s first run home. The next batter, Kyle Brooks (North Florida), knocked the fourth single of the inning to bring in the second run.
“We just get our base hits when we need them,” said Manager John Schiffner.
The two runs proved to be plenty for the tenacious Chatham bullpen. Brandon Miller (Millersville) allowed one hit over the sixth and seventh, and Cameron Stone (Stony Brook) struck out two in the eighth. Aaron McGarity (Virginia Tech) followed by nailing down his fifth summer save in the final frame.
“That was another well-pitched baseball game,” said Schiffner. “Pitchers will get to take batting practice because of the shutout—good for them.”
The Anglers next take an off day Monday before heading to Stony Brook Field for a contest with the Brewster Whitecaps (13-14) 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Anglers will likely hand the ball to Parker Dunshee (Wake Forest) for the fifth time this summer. The strike-throwing right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA. He has 19 strikeouts to two walks in 22.1 innings. Brewster has yet to identify their probable starter.