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The Chatham Anglers (4-3) came up just short in a 4-3 loss to the Harwich Mariners (4-3) at Whitehouse Field in Harwich on Tuesday night.
The Anglers did not trail in the game until the Mariners turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Cavan Biggio (Notre Dame) drove in the inning’s first run with a triple, and Sheldon Neuse (Oklahoma) singled in Biggio for the second. After a walking the next batter, it seemed as if things may slip out of control for Chatham pitcher, C.J. Burdick (San Diego). Then pitching coach, Rob Bono, came out to talk with Burdick.
“He was having trouble getting down in the zone,” said Bono. “I just went out and made a quick suggestion that he should start up his hand a little sooner to allow his arm to catch up and get downhill.”
Bono’s advice worked, and C.J. Burdick bounced back in the most emphatic way possible—striking out the next three batters in order.
“That was outstanding,” said Schiffner. “It could’ve all fallen apart from him, but he came back, took a deep breath, and got it done.”
The best opportunity the Anglers had to take back the lead came in the top of the ninth inning. Garrett Hampson (Long Beach State) led the inning off with a single. The league leader in batting average, Trenton Brooks (Nevada), followed with an unselfish sacrifice bunt to move Hampson into scoring position. The Anglers would eventually load the bases with two outs, but Harwich pitcher, Luke Scherzer (Virginia Tech) worked out of the inning with a strike out.
Zac Gallen (North Carolina) started for the Anglers. The right-handed Tar Heel gave up one unearned run on three hits in four innings, while striking out seven Mariners.
“I think his cutter is definitely tough for right-handed hitters like myself,” said Chatham catcher Nick Sciortino (Boston College), who plays against Gallen in the ACC during the college season. “His change-up was on tonight. I like calling it against hitters from both sides with him throwing.”
The defining inning of Gallen’s outing was the second. The Mariners put a man on second base with one out and loaded the bases with two outs, but Gallen allowed them to go no further.
Offensively, the Anglers got on the board early but not often. The first two Chatham runs came in the second. Aaron Knapp (California) set the inning up with a one-out double, and Zack Short (Sacred Heart) tripled the Golden Bear home in the next at-bat. Luke Persico (UCLA) brought Short home with a one-out groundball on the next swing.
“[Short] is taking real good at bats when men are on base,” said Schiffner. “That’s what you want—good situational hitting.”
Aaron Knapp drove in the only other Chatham run with a sacrifice fly to left field in the next frame.
Jim McDade (Millersville) threw two innings of relief and gave up one unearned run on a hit and a walk. Jonathan Teaney (San Diego) added a scoreless inning of his own.
The Anglers next game is 7 p.m. Wednesday night in Chatham against the Harwich Mariners.