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Wareham, Mass. — After losing 7-0 to Yarmouth-Dennis on Sunday night, John Schiffner challenged his team to play better baseball.
“I didn’t think they were totally prepared to play that game [against Y-D],” said John Schiffner hinting a feeling of disappointment following the prior day’s shutout loss. “I told them, ‘you guys have to remember something: this isn’t some beer league, this is the Cape Cod League. You should represent it a little bit better than you did,’ and they certainly did tonight.”
A night after they allowed seven runs and committed five defensive errors, the Anglers turned in perhaps their best win of the season to date, defeating the Wareham Gatemen, 7-1.
Four Chatham pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts on the night, including six from starter James Karinchak.
The tall right-hander pitched three full innings, allowing only a leadoff single to Joey Bartosic to start the game. That would be the only base runner the Gatemen would get off of Karinchak as the Bryant product promptly sat down the next eight batters he faced. Bartosic was thrown out trying to steal second.
"Right now we want these [pitchers] to start building it up so they're ready to go to make a run at the playoffs," said Schiffner, complementing pitching coach Rob Bono on his management of the staff. "That was a really fun ballgame. It just felt like every pitch we threw was going to be a strike and it was just a great job."
The Anglers’ offense also came roaring back to life, scoring five runs in the top of the ninth.
Entering the final frame leading by a run, Chatham benefited from back-to-back walks to start the frame. Hunter Lee bunted his way on base, loading the bases up for the Anglers and D.J Artis. The centerfielder walked, plating a run before Jake Palomaki scorched a two-run double off the middle of the left field wall.
Chatham would add two more runs on the inning following a wild pitch and a passed ball.
Reliever Nick Meservey of Seattle earned the win, pitching three and two-thirds innings while striking out five. The southpaw allowed a run to Wareham, but it came unearned as Robert Metz reached base on the only Angler error of the day. Metz came home on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Pittsburgh’s Matt Pidich also added to the strikeout total after sitting down the only three Gatemen he faced, all on strikes. Moises Ceja came on to close the game for Chatham. Throwing just 10 pitches, the UCLA Bruin struck out one and earned the save.
“That was a great pitching performance by those three guys, great job by pitching coach Rob Bono for setting it up that way, that was excellent,” said Schiffner. “Karinchak just set the tone, Meservey comes in and strikes out a bunch of guys. That was a well pitched ball game that set the tone for everything.”
Chatham again scored first in the contest, making it eight of the first ten games that they’ve pushed across the game’s first run.
Palomaki batted 2-for-5 on the night, scoring in the ninth and back in the third. After leading off the third frame with a single, the Boston College infielder quickly moved over to third base following two pitches that found their way to the backstop for Wareham. Sean Bouchard’s fly out to centerfield was deep enough to allow Palomaki to tag up, giving Chatham the early lead.
The Anglers benefited from another Wareham mistake, when Gunnar Troutwine reached base on a wild throw from third that sailed past the outstretched glove of first baseman Gavin Sheets. Lee drove in Troutwine two batters later, lacing a single between third and shortstop.
Brett Conine took the loss in the contest, surrendering two runs on four hits and striking out five. One of the runs charged to Conine was unearned.
The Anglers enjoy their first day off of the season before heading to South Yarmouth to square off with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. First pitch is at 5 p.m. Tune in at 4:40 for the Anglers Extra Pregame Show on the Cape Cod Baseball Network.