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CHATHAM, Mass. – There is a quiet determination lingering through the dugout— no over-used motivational speeches or reckless excitement, just a nearly silent understanding of the task at hand. After a 4-1 loss to the Firebirds at Eldredge Park in Orleans Monday, the Anglers find themselves facing elimination as the series shifts back to Veterans Field 7 p.m. tonight. The contest is game two of the best-of-three set.
“We just have to take it one game at a time,” said Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State), who scored a run after beating out a drag bunt and stealing third base Monday night. “Win game two before we worry about game three. Just take it one game at a time.”
As they did in game one, the Anglers again have the luxury of excellent pitching available. Chatham is expected to start with Parker Dunshee (Wake Forest), a 2015 Cape League All-Star and one of two recipients of Chatham’s Ed Baird Outstanding Pitcher of the Year Award. Dunshee has mowed down his opponents to a tune of a 2.16 ERA and a 0.930 WHIP, never being responsible for more than three runs in an outing. Dunshee’s first-pitch strike percentage and overall strike percentage sit at 73% and 72% respectively.
Orleans has yet to see the righty who sports a fastball, curveball, and changeup on the mound this summer, but he did score the winning run against the Firebirds while pinch-running in the 10th inning on June 25. Shades of his three-sport varsity athlete background came through on the base paths that night, just as they have during his defensive endeavors almost every time out.
“He does a great job of helping himself,” said Manager John Schiffner after Dunshee threw five scoreless against Cotuit. “He can locate and pitch, and he can also field his position too.”
Dunshee will likely be met by the Cape League leader in strikeouts (50), Eric Lauer (Kent State). Hailing from the same alma mater as Chatham legend Thurman Munson, Lauer has posted a 4-1 record with a 2.04 ERA. The start would be the ninth of the summer for Lauer, who also represented the East Division in the 2015 Cape League All-Star Game.
First pitch will be 7 p.m. at Veterans Field in Chatham. Dominic Cotroneo and Jonny Wincott will have the call live, starting with the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. on TRZ Teamline and at 1-800-846-4700, code 3841.