« Back to 2016 News Archives
Chatham, Mass. — J.B Bukauskas stood ready from the stretch, set to deliver a pitch in the fifth inning of Friday night’s game against the Brewster Whitecaps. The right-hander was looking to retire Brewster’s Logan Warmoth, a teammate of his on North Carolina. Another Tar Heel – Zack Gahagan – took a lead off of first base, ready to run. The light powder blue of UNC radiated off of three sets of cleats during the at-bat, linking the teammates turned adversaries. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat Warmoth drove Bukauskas’s pitch to the wall in centerfield.
A bases loaded walk by Mike Fitzgerald plated the winning run for the Whitecaps as they defeated the Chatham Anglers 4-2 in 10 innings. Coming from behind and tying the score in the eighth, Brewster pulled ahead in the extra frame after Zacary Lowther struck out three consecutive Anglers in the bottom of the ninth.
Starter J.B. Bukauskas struck out nine of the 15 batters he faced in five innings. The righty surrendered just one extra base hit all night.
“He was excellent. He threw very, very well – did an excellent job,” said manager John Schiffner. “We should have gotten a win for him.”
For the seventh straight game the Anglers scored first, jumping out to a 2-0 lead by the end of the third inning. Sean Bouchard led off the second with a double and later came home after Kyle Adams hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Brewster conceded the run in favor of the two outs.
The only other A’s run came an inning later following a leadoff walk to D.J Artis. Artis, who was in the game as a designated hitter instead of his usual outfield position, then moved over to third on a run-and-hit play executed by Jake Palomaki.
“You would assume [on a three and one count] that [the batter] is going to get a strike,” said John Schiffner. “We put the steal sign on. . . .you’re trying to stay out of the double play in that situation and it just worked perfectly.”
Stuart Fairchild would leg out an infield single on the next at-bat, allowing Artis to cross the plate standing up.
Bukauskas’s night would end two batters after the Warmoth RBI made it a one-run game, clearing the way for Chatham’s bullpen to take control of the game. And while the Anglers certainly held the advantage in starting pitching with Bukauskas’s stellar outing, the Brewster bullpen kept the Whitecaps in the game before their offense was able to break through.
Parker Riggler out of Kansas State came on in relief for Bukauskas in the sixth and started strong, retiring the first six Whitecaps he faced. Three consecutive strikeouts ended the following inning as the Anglers looked to be on their way to a bounce back win over Brewster.
However, after AJ Graffanino singled in the eighth, a bunt and another hit moved the pinch hitter over to third. Brent Rooker drove-in Graffanino on a sacrifice fly to right, tying the score at two. No runs scored in the ninth, setting the stage for a tenth inning that saw the Whitecaps score two runs on no hits.
Matt Piddich took the loss after loading the bases on two walks and a hit batsman. He was then pulled in favor of Fitzgerald, who walked in Warmoth to put Brewster ahead.
The Whitecaps would add an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to right field before a double play finally ended the inning.
It was the second straight game where a member of the Anglers’ bullpen took the loss. Both occurred after a reliever relinquished the Angler lead earlier in the contest.
Chatham did threaten to reclaim the lead in the eighth after Palomaki led off with a bunt-single, but no other Anglers would reach base as Xavier’s Zacary Lowther retired nine straight batters to earn the win.
The Anglers take on Falmouth tomorrow at the home of the Commodores, Guy Fuller Field. The game gets underway at 6 p.m. Tune into the Cape Cod Baseball Network at 5:40 for Anglers Extra Pregame.