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HARWICH, Mass. – The Chatham Anglers (22-20) felt it all night long. The ever-elusive emotion associated with clinching a playoff spot in the Cape Cod Baseball League lingered through the Whitehouse Field air along-side the faintest bit of a light sea-side fog. The Anglers called on every bit of their intensity, their heart, and their hustle in an attempt to capture that sensation.
“When you’re an athlete you come out and compete no matter what kind of game it is,” said Chatham shortstop Zack Short. “That’s what we did tonight.”
But despite giving everything they had, the Anglers met a foe who likewise gave all they could Friday night. Something had to budge, and at the conclusion of the bout it was the Mariners who finished on top, 5-2. Chatham’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot remains at one with two games to play.
“We’re battling,” said Manager John Schiffner. “Everybody here is battling.”
Harwich (19-21-2) delivered Friday night’s pivotal blows in the fifth and seventh inning, scoring three and two runs in those frames respectively. The Mariner offensive production was capped by RBIs from Adam Pate (North Carolina), Sheldon Neuse (Oklahoma), and Connor Justus (Georgia Tech).
The entirety of the Anglers’ scoring came in the first inning with a Flashback Friday of sorts. Just as they had done in the sixth inning of the previous night, Will Craig (Wake Forest) banged a double off the wall and Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State) motored all the way around to score from first. Two batters later, Zack Short (Sacred Heart) added an RBI of his own by brining Craig home with a single. The RBIs keep Craig and Short as the squad’s top two producers in the category with 20 and 19 respectively.
“Craig has done a good job hitting this year even though teams throw around him a lot,” said Schiffner. “And Short has definitely learned a lot, and he’s had a great summer too.”
The Chatham hurlers provided a solid effort to hold their offense close, allowing three earned runs on the night. Angler starter Jake Godfrey (Louisiana State) maintained his approximate strikeout per inning pace by ringing up four batters over 4.1 frames in his sixth appearance of the summer. The three earned runs allowed by the Chatham staff all technically went on Godfrey’s line (the first time all summer he was held responsible for more than two), though they all came home after he exited the game in the fifth inning.
The Tiger was followed on the hill by a combination of Garrett Williams (Oklahoma State), Zack Burdi (Louisville), and Jeff Paschke (Southern California), who each completed their outings without being held personally responsible for an earned run.
“Jeff [Paschke] has really done a great job getting better this summer,” said Schiffner. “I’m very happy for him.”
The Anglers next travel to Orleans to take on the Firebirds in a 7 p.m. matchup at Eldredge Park. Chatham will likely call on the California righty, A.J. Puckett (Pepperdine). Puckett is 1-2 with a 3.06 ERA over four appearances this summer. Orleans is expected to counter with the left-handed Tanner Tully (Ohio State). Tully is 1-0 with a 2.20 ERA through five appearances on the campaign.