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CHATHAM, Mass. – The slightest happenings of chance effect the outcome of a baseball game. A hop one way or the other. A dinker off the end of the bat just falling or just landing within reach of a fielder. A broken-bat roller finding the perfect hole or rolling straight to a defender’s mitt.
All of the aforementioned quirky happenings sometimes break for a team and sometimes break against them. On Tuesday the majority of them broke in favor of the Harbor Hawks, helping Hyannis to a 4-3 victory.
“We just didn’t play well enough,” said Manager John Schiffner. “We played fine. It was a great game to watch and be a part of. I’m proud of the kids.”
All of the Hyannis (21-17-1) runs came in the first four innings. The Harbor Hawks did not record an extra-base hit and only got two balls out of the infield, but they managed to score four times off six mostly weak knocks during the period.
The Harbor Hawks dinked and dunked their way to a 4-1 lead by the top of the fifth, but that’s when they ran out of luck and into Parker Dunshee (Wake Forest). The relief appearance was the first for Dunshee, who entered play with a 2.45 ERA through his first 29.1 summer innings.
“Fabulous,” said Schiffner of Dunshee’s performance. “He was great tonight.”
After throwing a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game on July 25, Dunshee tacked on four more zeros against the Harbor Hawks. The right-hander struck out two Harbor Hawks. Two came when he worked out of a no-out, second-and-third jam in the eighth.
“I was able to get out of that inning unscathed because of the strikeouts,” said Dunshee. “After the first strikeout I was just trying to get a groundball, but I ended up getting a strikeout anyway. Then the last guy had a really good at-bat, fouled off a lot of pitches, but I hit my spots and it worked out.”
Dunshee’s performance combined with a scoreless ninth from Cameron Stone (Stony Brook) to keep the Angler offense within striking distance.
That offensive production began with Todd Czinege (Villanova), who celebrated his 21st birthday by bringing in Nate Mondou (Wake Forest) to tie the game at one during the bottom of second.
Facing a three-run deficit by the mid innings, the Angler offense kept their noses to the grindstone. In the fifth Jake Fraley (Louisiana State) came home on a wild pitch after Nick Sciortino (Boston College) moved him to second to third on a fly ball to the deepest reaches of center field. The sequence cut the Harbor Hawk lead to 4-2.
In the next inning, Will Craig (Wake Forest) delivered an RBI single that brought home Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State) to trim the lead down to a single run.
The Anglers were able to load the basses with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Hyannis closer Aaron Civale worked out of the jam.
“They fought all night,” said Schiffner. “You can’t ask for much more than that.”
On the other end of the game, Zac Gallen (North Carolina) made his sixth start of the year for the Anglers. Coming off a performance in which he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against Cotuit a week ago, the right-hander had his put-out pitch working again. Gallen sat down six Harbor Hawks over four innings, including a top of the second in which he struck out the side in order.
His battery mate, Nick Sciortino, missed the last 11 games for health reasons but picked up right where he left off behind the plate. Hyannis catcher Jake Rodgers had briefly taken Sciortino’s league lead in caught stealings while the Angler was recuperating, but that was short lived. With two caught stealings on Tuesday, Sciortino reclaimed his status as the league’s best in the category.
Schiffner: "We just have to play better tomorrow."
The Anglers next travel to Falmouth for their final regular-season inter-division contest of the summer against the Commodores. Ty Damron (Texas Tech) is expected to make his fifth summer start for the Anglers. The left-handed Damron is 2-1 with a 3.37 ERA on the season. He will likely face the right-handed Turner Larkins (Texas A&M). Larkins is 0-3 with a 7.08 ERA this summer.