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Chatham, Mass. — When Kyle Adams played for the Chatham Anglers in 2015, the Richmond product struggled at the plate, turning in eight hits on the season. This season, Adams has already registered more hits than he did all of last season. In a breakout performance on Tuesday night, in a 7-1 loss against Cotuit, Adams reached base three times on two hits and a walk.
“I was just seeing the ball really well, being aggressive early in the count, and not chasing pitches,” said Adams. “I think it’s just confidence and being able to stay positive. Obviously struggling a little bit [at the plate], but just coming to the ball park early everyday, staying positive, and keep working.”
The loss drops Chatham’s record to 10-12 at the halfway point of the season. For Cotuit, the win was its fourth in six games, moving Mike Roberts' club to 6-16. The Kettleers are 2-0 against the A's.
For the Anglers it was a game of missed opportunities as Chatham left ten runners stranded on base after recording seven hits. On five different occasions on Tuesday, the Anglers put two runners on before ultimately squandering the opportunity to climb back into the game.
“I can’t hit it for them,” said manager John Schiffner. “It’s all up to them, and it’s all right here,” said the skipper pointing to his heart in a level voice.
Taylor Lehman (3-1) got the win for Cotuit after pitching two and two-thirds innings in relief. The Penn State southpaw struck out one batter and allowed four hits in his third win for the Kettleers. Andrew Karp dropped to 0-1 with the loss, after being tagged for four runs in five innings of work.
Walks and errors once again played an integral role in the loss for the Anglers. Chatham pitching combined for four walks to their five strikeouts on the evening, while the Anglers defense committed four errors, resulting in two unearned runs for Cotuit.
“We did not get the pitching we needed, we made four errors again – we must lead the league in errors by twice the number of the other teams – we’re just allowing the other team to have too many people on base,” said Schiffner. “We’re not playing real good baseball right now and I feel sorry for the guys because it could affect [their future].”
Cotuit pushed two runs across in both the fourth and the fifth innings to take an early 4-0 lead. AJ Balta went 4-for-5 at the dish, scoring two runs and driving in three others. All but one Kettleer reached base on Tuesday.
Mike Roberts’ squad has now won four of its last six games and is currently streaking after beginning the season at an abysmal 1-12. The Kettleers had been floundering at the bottom of the West Division with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks for the better part of the season, but are now trending upward as both Cotuit and Hyannis continue to climb in the standings. Both teams are a combined 4-0 against the Anglers.
Schiffner cited Roberts’ ability to put pressure on the opposition with runners on base, describing how Chatham’s issues with walks and errors further buried them against the aggressive manager. Cotuit had twenty base runners in the contest, seven of which came as a result of Angler mistakes. Four batters walked, while two reached on errors. Clay Fisher also made it to first following a dropped third strike that trickled away from Chatham’s Hagen Owenby. The Kettleers stranded nine runners on base in the contest.
The loss is the latest in a string of disappointing follow-ups to wins for Chatham this season. Six times the Anglers have won, only to see their team drop the following game. Chatham has won back-to-back games three times through the first half of the season.
“First half we were a C-. We just haven’t done enough, haven’t been consistent enough in all aspects of the game,” said Schiffner. “I’d give us below average. I think we’re there, I think we can do it, I think we have the players. . . .but somebody has to take the bull by the horns.”
The Anglers round out their three game home stand when they take on the Wareham Gatemen Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Veterans Field. Tune into the Cape Cod Baseball Network 20 minutes prior to first pitch to hear Jake Eisenberg and Evan Stockton take you through the Manager’s Show and Catch of the Day.