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WAREHAM, Mass. – There are a multitude of different ways to attack a lineup. If an offense has a single big bat with limited protection, it is usually possible to pitch around him. If a team plays small ball, strategies can be implemented to neutralize the sacrifices. If hit-and-runs are a critical offensive element, timely pitchouts can stagnate production.
But if every player in a lineup is able to put together quality at-bats and execute in crucial situations, there is very little a pitching staff can do to keep the run total low. Such was the case when the Chatham lineup put together a top-to-bottom effort in an 8-0 win over Wareham at Spillane Field Friday night.
“[Our hitters] are just doing a great job of getting the counts in their favor,” said Manager John Schiffner. “We’ve just been playing the game and getting base hits.”
Every starter in the Chatham (18-13) lineup was responsible for at least one of the team’s 10 total hits. Aaron Barnett (Pepperdine) and Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State) topped the RBI column with two apiece, and Will Craig (Wake Forest) and Jake Fraley (Louisiana State) contributed two runs each.
“I think everyone has been doing a good job of taking solid at-bats,” said Barnett, who extended his hit streak to five games. “We’ve been slowing the game down and competing while not trying to do too much.”
The game was the fifth out of the last 15 in which the Chatham offense produced at least eight runs. It was also the third out of the last five in which the Anglers pounded out a double-digit hit total.
Chatham’s offensive production was complimented by another outstanding outing from starter Daniel Castano (Baylor). The Gatemen (12-18) managed only two hits against the big lefty who struck out three over five innings of shutout ball.
“He threw strikes and changed speeds well,” said Schiffner. “And he left the field with a smile on his face.”
Castano’s marvelous start brings him to 10 consecutive innings without surrendering a run—earned or otherwise. His summer ERA now sits at 2.57 and his strikeout to walk ratio moves to 20:7.
“He also made two great plays in the field,” said Schiffner. “He started that double play at second and made a nice play to get a guy at home plate.”
The Chatham bullpen picked up right where their starter left off. C.J Burdick (San Diego) struck out two batters in the sixth and seventh innings, and James Mulry (Northeastern) added one more in a perfect eighth. Andre Scrubb (High Point) came on to ice the shutout in the final frame.
“Everybody did a good job tonight,” said Schiffner. “A shutout in this league is pretty good.”
Chatham next hosts the East Division-leading Orleans Firebirds (22-8) 7 p.m. Saturday. The Anglers are expected to give the ball to Ty Damron (Texas Tech). The left-hander is 2-0 with 12 strikeouts through 17 innings on the Cape. He will likely meet the Firebirds’ right-handed ace, Mitchell Jordan (Stetson). Jordan has a 5-0 record with 40 strikeouts and a perfect ERA of 0.00 through 33 summer innings.