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Chatham, Mass. — John Schiffner stood on the third base foul line for the Star-Spangled Banner on Saturday evening, taking in a sun-soaked Veterans Field bustling with fans. Entering his 24th Fourth of July weekend as manager of the Chatham Anglers, Schiffner absorbed the picturesque nature of the moment.
“It’s Norman Rockwell at its finest,” said the skipper. “It’s getting tougher and tougher [to coach] each year, a lot of obstacles come up, but once I get to the field a lot of that stuff goes away. It was special, it’s just a special feeling.”
The night was made more special for Schiffner and his squad as the Chatham Anglers (9-10) halted a four game losing streak by upending the best team in the CCBL, the Harwich Mariners, 4-2.
Chatham turned in one of its best performances on the season, with a group of familiar faces leading the charge. Stuart Fairchild rebounded from a hitless game against Hyannis with a 3-for-4 performance against a Harwich pitching staff that has allowed the fewest runs in the league.
The Wake Forest outfielder catalyzed the Anglers offense on the night by driving in the winning run and scoring the first. With the game deadlocked at 2-2 in the seventh inning, Fairchild laced a single up the middle, driving in Orlando Garcia for the decisive run of the contest.
Fairchild opened up the scoring for Chatham by stroking a one-out triple to the base of the wall in right-center field in the third inning. Gunnar Troutwine’s RBI double plated Fairchild two batters later.
“It was one of those days where I was seeing the ball well. Something I worked on was staying back, that was kind of my problem yesterday,” said Fairchild. “I fixed it during [batting practice] today, carried it over to the game, and it felt really good.”
After conceding 28 runs in their past four games, the Anglers pitching staff turned in a solid outing, keeping Harwich (12-7) off the scoreboard for most of the contest. Isaac Mattson (2-1) got the win for Chatham as the Pittsburgh product went two and two-thirds innings, striking out five and conceding two hits. Harwich rallied in the top of the sixth when Austin Filiere roped a two-run double down the left field foul line. Mattson stayed composed however, sitting down the next two Mariners on strikes.
In his fourth start of the season, Tanner Chock pitched five and a third innings, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out two. The outing was Chock’s last of the season.
Patrick Mathis crushed his second home run of the season, drilling a Nick Brown pitch on to the hill in right field during for an eighth inning insurance run. While the victory moves Chatham into a tie with the Brewster Whitecaps for fourth place in the East Division, the win also allows the Anglers to leave their losing streak in the past.
“You never want to lose four games in a row,” said Schiffner. “When you come back and play as well as we did against a team as good as Harwich is, I think it says how good we can be if we’re consistent.”
The Anglers will be back in action tomorrow night at Eldredge Park where they take on the Orleans Firebirds at 7 p.m. Tune in 20 minutes early on the Cape Cod Baseball Network for the Anglers Extra Pregame Show featuring the Catch of the Day with Evan Stockton and the Manager's Show with Jake Eisenberg.