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Chatham, Mass. — In the early hours of Monday morning, the Anglers gathered as a team to walk in Chatham’s Fourth of July parade. The spectacle had been described by manager John Schiffner before, but had never truly set in until the team was greeted by the thousands of people packed along Chatham’s Main Street.
“When the guys walk by the people are yelling and screaming – they didn’t care what our record was,” said Schiffner. “They didn’t care if we were undefeated or defeated, they saw the Chatham A’s up close and personally and were waving. I wanted the kids to see what the community thinks of them and it was awesome, really, really awesome.”
After starting their Fourth of July off by bonding with the people of Chatham, the Anglers (10-11) capped the day off by defeating the rival Orleans Firebirds (12-9), and recapturing control of their season, 6-3.
After being held to four hits in Sunday’s shutout loss to Orleans, the Chatham offense struck for eight hits and scattered half a dozen runs across three separate innings. The Anglers iced the game with a three-run seventh inning that featured a single, two walks, and three hit batsmen.
Jordan Romero shouldered the majority of the Anglers offense, reaching base three times in four plate appearances and stroking two doubles. The LSU Tiger played a part in two of Chatham’s runs, first by scoring the Anglers' opening run off of a Sean Bouchard single in the second, before driving in Stuart Fairchild in the fifth inning with an RBI double. Romero also reached base in the seventh after being one of the three batters plunked by Orleans’ Will Stokes.
Crediting his performance at the plate to being aggressive, the catcher cited his play in the Southeastern Conference as his reason for success against the CCBL’s top of the line pitching.
“Just being aggressive like I always am, got some good pitches to hit and took advantage of them,” said Romero “It’s kind of the story of how I play – especially in the league I play in back home, the SEC. You get one good pitch to hit during an at-bat and you’ve got to take advantage of it and I think I did a good job of that tonight.”
Lincoln Henzman (1-1) turned in five and two-thirds innings of work on Monday night, striking out eight batters and allowing four hits in the righty’s first start of the year. The performance was a welcome return to strike throwing for Henzman, after the Louisville sophomore conceded five runs in an inning and two-thirds back on June 26 against Hyannis.
“Lincoln was outstanding,” said Schiffner of his starting pitcher. “Louisville is hoping that he can emerge and probably be a starter. . . .with his performance tonight it certainly makes a good step towards that.”
The lone run Orleans scored off of Henzman came as a result of two errors, the second occurring when an attempted double play ball sailed into center off of a poor throw by the right-hander. However, Henzman remained undeterred, striking out the next two Firebirds he faced.
Chatham’s bullpen kept the Orleans offense from repeating Sunday’s five-run performance by striking out seven and allowing one earned run. The mark came as a result of a Drew Lugbauer home run that cleared the right field fence by a long shot in the ninth inning.
Chase Pinder exited Monday’s game after being hit by a pitch in the seventh inning. After dropping to the ground in apparent pain, Pinder clutched his left wrist before walking off with the Chatham medical staff. There has been no update on the Clemson outfielder’s status.
With the victory, the Anglers move out of last place in the East Division and are now nipping at the heels of third place Yarmouth-Dennis by one game. Orleans drops to two games out of first but are quickly followed by the Red Sox and the Anglers as five wins separate first place from last in the East.
“We enjoy the win, we played very well, but we’ve got to go get Cotuit tomorrow,” said Schiffner. “We have to do the things that we did well tonight, again. We can’t revert back to the things we did last night [in the 5-0 loss to Orleans]….we have to repeat tonight’s performance and limit mistakes.”
Chatham welcomes the Kettleers to Veterans Field Tuesday at 7 p.m. Catch first pitch and all the action on Anglers Extra Pregame leading up to the contest on the Cape Cod Baseball Network.