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Bourne, Mass. — The first wave of newly arrived Anglers willed Chatham to an 8-3 win over the Bourne Braves today, bringing their record above .500 for the first time all season. Five players made their debuts for the Anglers, including Sean Bouchard of UCLA. The third-baseman played a roll in three of Chatham’s runs while pitcher Michael “Tony” DiBrell of Kennesaw State pitched four innings of two-hit, scoreless baseball before surrendering three runs in the fifth. In the contest, every Angler in the starting lineup reached base, with eight of them recording a hit.
After the three-run fifth inning cut Chatham’s lead to one, the Anglers put the game out of reach by rattling off four consecutive runs over the next three frames.
“[It was] a team effort,” said John Schiffner. “We just played a really good ballgame all the way around, solid defense, pitching, clutch hitting. We did pretty much what you’d like to see a team do.”
DiBrell’s performance set the tone for the rest of the pitching staff as the right-hander struck out four batters in his first start of the year. Crediting his success to his ability to throw strikes early in the count, DiBrell highly utilized his fastball at the beginning of numerous at-bats, before switching over to his slider to induce groundballs and lure batters into chasing for strike three.
After Reed Howell threw two innings of work, Seattle’s Nick Meservey made his first appearance for the Anglers. Pitching in the eighth, the junior allowed a leadoff single before retiring the next three batters to cap off the inning.
Bouchard helped the Anglers jump out to an early lead in his first CCBL at-bat by knocking a two-run single into centerfield. The UCLA product would score later in the game on a Gunnar Troutwine single up the middle.
The Anglers’ outfield once again played a vital role in the win. Patrick Mathis pushed his hitting streak to five straight games, singling in a run in the seventh. He also brought in a run in the first after grounding out with the bases loaded.
Mathis also showed off his defensive skills midway through the contest as the right fielder made a full-extension, diving catch, robbing Luis Alvarado of an extra-base hit. Another Angler making his debut, Chase Pinder, who replaced Mathis in the field at the end of the game, added to the highlight reel by throwing a runner out at second from the right field fence.
“We’ve got a pretty strong outfield and we’ve got a pretty strong team,” said Schiffner. The great thing is we have flexibility, we can move guys around when we have to. . . .things are coming together nicely and we’re still missing a lot of guys.”
D.J. Artis built off of his two-run game yesterday against Yarmouth-Dennis by scoring twice more and bringing in two RBIs. Since moving to left field, Artis has gone 3-for-7 at the plate, scoring four runs and driving in three.
In his second start for Chatham, Stuart Fairchild scored twice, highlighted by a seventh inning triple to deep right.
Jake Palomaki made a defensive appearance for the A’s in the ninth inning, the first of his career with Chatham.
As the Anglers play into the second week of this 2016 summer season, the early signs of camaraderie have begun to appear amongst this crop of newfound teammates. After yesterday’s win, a number of Anglers snuck up on Artis in his post-game interview and soaked the outfielder with bottles of water.
Today, as Chatham batted in the top of the seventh, players in the dugout began purposely clapping out of sync throughout the entirety of the inning. The action, which at first seemed insignificant, went on for so long that teammates like Hunter Lee almost exploded with laughter on the bench.
“They’ve learned to get along, they’ve learned to become teammates, and become friends and that’s so so important in a summer situation,” said Schiffner. “You need team chemistry, you need it quickly. . . .chemistry is probably more important than ability sometimes.”
Schiffner and company will look to put that chemistry to use tomorrow as the Anglers return to Bourne for a rematch with the Braves. First pitch gets underway at 6 p.m. Tune in to the Cape Cod Baseball Network for the live broadcast.