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South Yarmouth, Mass. — Joe Freiday felt good as he stepped into the batter’s box at Red Wilson Field during the second inning of last night’s game. All the catcher wanted to do was put together more consistent at-bats during his time with Chatham.
Though he had made a handful of appearances as a pinch hitter for the Anglers, Freiday had yet to start a game at catcher during the first quarter of Chatham’s season.
The count read two balls and one strike. Freiday dug in, waiting for his pitch with little on his mind save for the current at-bat.
“I’m just trying to really calm myself at the plate, keep things simple, and put the barrel on the ball,” said Freiday. “Hopefully it goes somewhere.”
On the next delivery, Freiday crushed a fastball over the right field fence.
The home run gave Chatham a 2-0 advantage early in the ballgame, a lead they would refuse to give up en route to a 5-0 victory over the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
Tony Dibrell (1-0) turned in the longest start of the year for the Anglers, crafting his way through six shutout innings while allowing just three hits. The Kennesaw State product struck out seven Red Sox hitters on the night.
Dibrell was highly successful using his breaking pitches late in the count. Faced with a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first inning, the right-hander struck Will Toffey out with a 12-6 curveball that dropped out of the zone right as Toffey swung.
“I just had confidence in [my curveball],” said Dibrell. “When I’ve got two strikes on a batter I like to go curveball because it’s a swing and miss pitch, and it worked today.”
Six of his seven strikeouts came swinging.
The Angler bullpen once again put together an impressive display of control in the victory, allowing three hits and walking one batter across the final three frames.
Louisville’s Lincoln Henzman and North Carolina-Wilmington’s Austin Magestro both made their debuts for Chatham pitching in relief. Simon Matthews, who started last Thursday’s game against Bourne, also made a relief appearance, lifting the Anglers out of a no-out bases loaded jam in the seventh inning.
“If we have a lead, our pitching staff is going to hold the lead,” said manager John Schiffner. “We’re not going to lose a lot of games late. This bullpen is very strong, the starting pitching is good as well.”
Chatham broke the contest open late for the second straight game, this time off the bat of Donovan Casey. After flying out with the bases full in the second inning, Casey stepped into the box with a chance to redeem himself in the eighth.
Again facing a bases loaded situation, the Boston College outfielder delivered, roping a two-run single into right-center. The moment mirrored a similar one in the ninth inning of Chatham’s 7-1 win over Wareham, where another BC Eagle – this time Jake Palomaki – smoked a pitch off of the left-field wall, plating two runs.
Yarmouth-Dennis had a rough night at the plate, striking out ten times while failing to score a run for the second straight game. Harwich blanked the Red Sox 3-0 on Monday night.
William Montgomerie (0-1) took the loss on Wednesday after being pulled with two-outs in the second inning with the bases loaded.
Chatham heads to Whitehouse Field on Thursday night for their first contest with the divisional power Harwich Mariners. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Make sure to catch the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:10 on the Cape Cod Baseball Network.