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CHATHAM, Mass. – The two teams with the best records in the Cape Cod Baseball League—the Chatham Anglers (18-14) and Orleans Firebirds (23-9)—got together for the latest edition of their classic rivalry at Veterans Field Saturday night. The clubs fought to the conclusion of a one-run affair, but in the end Orleans was able to even the season series at two apiece with a 2-1 victory.
“It was a great game and a well-played game,” said Manager John Schiffner. “We battled all the way through.”
The difference in the contest came in the form of a two-run blast from Orleans’ Kyle Lewis (Mercer). The long ball moved Lewis into a tie for the Cape League lead in homers (6) and produced the only runs Orleans managed off a tough Angler pitching staff.
That tough Angler staff was headed by Ty Damron (Texas Tech). The left-hander allowed only two hits, one being Lewis’ lone shot, over six innings. Damron faced 20 batters in the outing, two over the minimum.
“He just threw strikes and his breaking pitch was working well,” said Schiffner. “He did a really nice job.”
Meanwhile, the Chatham offense got the wheels turning in the mid innings. Firebird starter Mitchell Jordan (Stetson) had not allowed an earned run all summer entering the fifth, but the Anglers ended his 38-inning run there. Todd Czinege (Villanova) initiated the scoring sequence with two-out double off the fence in right-center. Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State) followed by bringing Czinege home with an RBI single laced into left field.
“I think it’s about not getting too high or too low, just staying even keel,” said Hampson, who now has a four-game hit streak. “I’ve been finding my swing lately.”
The RBI brought the Anglers within a single run, and they needed only one pitcher out of their stacked bullpen to keep them there. That man was Zack Burdi (Louisville).
The rocket-throwing righty tickled 99 MPH on the radar gun while striking out four batters over three innings. He allowed a single hit and did not issue a walk in the apperance.
“He threw very well,” said Schiffner. “Only giving up one hit—that’s a pretty good outing.”
Solid defense throughout further held the Anglers tight. Ty Damron showed off his wheels beating Ronnie Dawson (Ohio State) down the line on a 3-6-1 double play, and Garrett Hampson made a backhanded stab deep behind the second base bag.
“You don’t see 3-6-1 double plays very often,” said Schiffner. “Plays like that are part of the reason why we’ve been successful.”
But despite Chatham hanging tough all night, the Orleans bullpen was able to hold the lead and preserve the 2-1 victory.
The Anglers next travel to Bourne for a 6 p.m. contest with the Braves (14-15). Chatham is expected to start Garrett Williams (Oklahoma State) for the second time this summer. The left-hander struck out six over five scoreless innings in his only previous start. Bourne is expected to counter with Keegan Akin (Western Michigan). Also a left-hander, Akin is 1-3 with a 3.47 ERA on the summer.