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Falmouth, Mass. — The Chatham Anglers’ game this summer can aptly be described by three characteristics: outstanding pitching, rock-solid defense, and timely hitting. In the midst of a tight East Division playoff race, those characteristics shined brightly as ever Wednesday night in Falmouth.
“We scratched and clawed and scrapped,” said Manager John Schiffner. “And we got it.”
The Anglers’ timely offense certainly took its time, but a three-inning eighth proved to be all the support their pitching staff and defense needed in the 3-2 Chatham victory. The Anglers’ magic number to clinch a playoff birth moves down to two after the win.
“We just have to keep winning our games,” said Schiffner. “We can’t control what anyone else does, but we can control what we do.”
Nate Mondou (Wake Forest) started the three-run Chatham eighth with a leadoff, pinch-hit single. After Aaron Knapp (California) added a single of his own, Will Craig (Wake Forest) drew a walk to load the bases.
Parker Dunshee (Wake Forest) a pitcher and collegiate teammate to Will Craig and Nate Mondou, then came in to run on first. With one out and the bases juiced, Aaron Barnett (Pepperdine) brought one runner home on an RBI ground out. The next batter, Luke Persico (UCLA) reached on an over throw, and two more runs came home on the play. The go-ahead and ultimately winning run was scored by the pinch-running pitcher, Parker Dunshee, who also scored a game-winner against Orleans July 18.
“I think Parker scared the third baseman a little on that over throw,” said Schiffner. “I think the third baseman definitely felt him coming.”
The three-run frame was enough for the Anglers to record the win because of the marvelous work by their pitchers and defense. Brandon Miller (Millersville) recorded his fourth win of the summer in relief. The all-star right-hander entered the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fifth. He worked out of the inherited jam by inducing a weak fly en route to retiring all seven batters he faced.
“Our coaches and players have really boosted my confidence,” said Miller. “They’re calling all the right pitches, and I’ve been able to throw them.”
Andre Scrubb (High Point) succeeded Miller on the hill in the eighth with his own 1-2-3 inning. Angler closer Aaron McGarity (Virginia Tech) then came on to do the only thing he has done all year—nail the game shut in the ninth inning.
“Andre got the hold and Mc got the save,” said Schiffner. “Bingo.”
On the other end of the game Ty Damron's 4.2 solid innings were complemented by solid defense behind him. Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State) began the defensive showcase with a 6-4 double play on which he leaped to snag a line drive and was doubling off the runner at second while still air-born. Shortly thereafter Aaron Knapp (California) demonstrated his range on a series of catches, including a diving catch on which he was coming straight in for a ball. And before the game had even hit the mid innings, Trenton Brooks (Nevada) made a similar diving snag in right field.
The Anglers next return home to face the Yarmouth Dennis Red Sox. The Anglers are expected to start their big left, Daniel Castano (Baylor). Castano has an ERA of 3.90 and a strikeout to walk tally of 22:8 entering play. The Red Sox have yet to announce their probable starter.