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Chatham, Mass. — The Wareham Gatemen (8-6-1) make their first visit to Veterans Field this season to square off with the Chatham Anglers (8-7).
Back on June 20, the two teams met at Spillane Field in Wareham, where Chatham pitchers struck out 15 Gatemen, as the Anglers won decisively, 7-1. Since that time, the Anglers have put together three solid wins in five games, with losses coming against the Harwich Mariners – who own the best record in the Cape League – and the lowly Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
The past week has been full of numerous ups and downs for the Anglers, but manager John Schiffner has been happy with his team’s reactions to both the dramatic victories and the frustrating defeats.
“We’ve had some bad losses, and some great wins, and you’d never know what we did. We act the same, and I think that’s fantastic,” said Schiffner. “They’re getting an even keel. They’re not too high on the wins and they’re not too low on the losses and I think that’s a very important ingredient to have in creating team chemistry and being successful.
That’s not to say this Anglers group has no emotion. During Chatham’s 2-0 win over the Brewster Whitecaps, catchers Alex LeFevre and Joe Freiday led their team – and eventually the majority of the crowd at Veterans Field – in cheering on teammate John Aiello’s lengthy at-bat with a series of slow claps.
The moment brought smiles to the faces of the players and fans alike as the Anglers progressively cheered more and more raucously with each foul ball that Aiello clipped. The Wake Forest infielder eventually drew a walk after a twelve pitches. Schiffner said after the game that the collective cheering was, “college baseball at its finest.”
Chatham hopes to recapture some of that joyous charisma tonight, after being tagged for nine runs on 13 hits in Sunday’s loss to Hyannis.
Leading the way for the Anglers these past five games has been a pair of college teammates, Jake Palomaki and Donovan Casey. The two Boston College products have combined for 15 hits since the last time the Anglers faced Wareham, while driving in seven total runs.
Casey enters the contest hitting .348 in his last five games while Palomaki, who scored twice and smoked a double off the left field wall against the Gatemen last Monday, leads the team with a .333 total batting average.
While it was Bryant’s James Karinchak making his debut last time against Wareham, it will be Florida State’s Andrew Karp who will do the same tonight.
The redshirt freshman made just nine appearances for the Seminoles this season, compiling a 1-1 record with a 6.91 ERA. Primarily used as a reliever, Karp struck out eight batters in 14 and a third innings pitched.
In his 2014 Major League scouting report, Karp’s best attribute was the velocity on his fastball, which topped out in the low-90s when the report was published just over two years ago.
Velocity is so important in the CCBL that John Schiffner says it is one of the main attributes he looks for when scouting a pitcher to add to the Anglers.
“You need velocity down here unless you have some unbelievable breaking stuff,” said the skipper. “The other night over in Wareham two pitchers [threw] 93, one guy threw 95, and the other threw 92. There’s a reason we struck out 15 guys.”
Since losing to Chatham, the Gatemen have gone 2-2-1 in the past week, holding on to second place in the West Division by half a game.
Pitching for Wareham tonight will be Jeff Bain (0-1) of California-Berkeley. The sophomore right-hander has made three relief appearances for the Gatemen this season, conceding six earned runs in eight innings.
Anglers Extra Pregame begins today at 6:40 p.m. Tune in to hear Jake Eisenberg and Evan Stockton take you through the Catch of the Day and the Manager's Show before the first pitch. For the full broadcast of today’s game, go online to the Cape Cod Baseball Network or listen by telephone at 1-800-846-4700, code 3481. Visit Broadcast Central for more details.