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South Yarmouth, Mass. — Patrick Mathis’s sixth inning home run proved to be the game winner as the Chatham Anglers bested the YD Red Sox, 4-3. Yarmouth-Dennis pitcher Pat Vanderslice was dealing entering the inning, retiring 17 straight batters following a leadoff home run by DJ Artis to start the game. After Artis reached on an error to start the sixth, Vanderslice allowed a single up the middle to Stuart Fairchild before Mathis powered one over the wall in centerfield.
Chatham’s Tom Cosgrove struck out four in his first start of the year. The southpaw, who today celebrated his 20th birthday, turned in the longest start of the Anglers’ young season, pitching five and a third.
“I felt like I was getting a lot of first pitch strikes, I was getting ahead in the count,” said Cosgrove. “I was confident in my pitches and I had no problem throwing all three of my pitches.”
Vanderslice took the loss after going five and two-thirds and striking out five for the Red Sox.
Artis’ home run came after a lengthy at-bat in which the outfielder saw 11 total pitches. Going down in the count early, the lefty from Liberty University battled back, hitting five fouls and working the count full before slamming a Vanderslice pitch over the right-field fence. The at-bat set the tone early and was described by John Schiffner as, “One of the best at-bats we’ve seen and might see all summer.”
When his roommate, Mathis, went deep five innings later, Artis made sure to give the Texan a playful message.
“I told him, when he got to home plate, ‘you copied me, why do you always got to copy me,’” joked Artis, laughing almost uncontrollably as Mathis began dancing in the dugout, trying to distract his roommate. “I’m proud of him,” finished the leadoff man, after he had composed himself enough to speak.
Trailing for most of the game, Yarmouth-Dennis pulled even with the Anglers in the bottom of the fourth when Brendan Skidmore slapped a grounder to third base that Chatham’s Matt Vernon bobbled. The error plated Matthew Whatley, who reached on a leadoff walk.
Following the YD run, pitching coach Rob Bono walked to the mound and conferred with Cosgrove. His words of wisdom were effective as the lefty, with the bases loaded, induced a groundball that was turned for an inning-ending double play.
Cosgrove later ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth, hitting Dean Stafford, the first batter of the inning. A grounder to shortstop John Aiello looked to be a double play, but the Wake Forest product misplayed the ball, allowing both Stafford and Dylan Rosa to reach base safely. A Skidmore double brought Stafford home before Paul Rufo walked to load the bases. That closed the book on Cosgrove’s night as Pittsburgh’s Matt Piddich came in to try and stem the YD offense.
The righty did make it a one run contest by walking in Rosa, but then settled down, striking out the next two Red Sox to end the threat.
A heartwarming moment occurred, after the game, when Anglers President Steve West and Susan West, who are hosting both Mathis and Artis, recovered both players’ home run balls. Both young men elatedly looked at their souvenirs while the Wests stood by with satisfied smiles across their faces.