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Anglers searching for win in Orleans

by David Souza
Friday, July 15, 2016

Anglers searching for win in Orleans

Chatham, Mass. — After taking Thursday’s day off to rest and recuperate, the Chatham Anglers return to action tonight at Eldredge Park where they take on the Orleans Firebirds at 7 p.m.

Both teams enter the contest 2-5-1 in their past eight games. Chatham (11-16-1) has yet to win since its walk-off victory over Wareham on July 6 while the Firebirds (14-13-1) are fresh off of their 4-0 loss to the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox on Wednesday.

At the Plate

Texas Longhorn’s product Patrick Mathis is the only member of the Anglers to start in all three games versus Orleans this season. In those contests, the right fielder has gone 2-for-10 with a walk and two RBIs. His most impactful moment in the rivalry came back on June 12 when he smoked an opposite field triple that scored two runs, including the game winner, in the eighth inning.

Though Mathis is hitting .214, his value has come with runners on base. The lefty currently leads the team in runs-batted-in with 14 – the next highest total on the Anglers is six. Mathis also leads Chatham in hits with 18, games played with 24, and home runs with three.

Over the last seven days, Brian Miller of North Carolina has spearheaded the Orleans offense. The sophomore centerfielder has hit .524 in his last five games, after going 11-for-21. Miller enters tonight’s contest on a six game hitting streak, dating back to a two-hit performance against Y-D on July 6. However, Miller has not produced consistently against the Anglers this summer. Leading off for the Firebirds in all three games, the UNC Tar Heel has gone 2-for-14 with two walks.

On the Rubber

Simon Matthews (1-1) will trot out to the hill tonight, looking to become the first current Anglers starter to record multiple wins on the season. In four appearances for Chatham, Matthews has posted a 2.25 ERA and has struck out nine over 16 innings pitched.

His last start came against the Brewster Whitecaps where he took the loss despite giving up one earned run across six innings. A pitch to contact type thrower, Matthews thrives off of getting his opponents to ground into double plays. Matthews also gets ahead early in the count often, throwing first pitch strikes 76.5 percent of the time.

Pitching has been a thorn in the side of Chatham all season, as the Anglers have seen eight starters depart either due to temporary contracts, injury, or – in JB Bukauskas’s case – to play for Team USA. Recently, the Anglers have been forced to deal with more roster movement, as pitchers James Karinchak and Nick Meservey have both been released.

“It’s not easy, it’s very difficult,” said manager John Schiffner about coaching with a constantly changing roster. “But, it’s what we have to deal with. . . .if you’re playing professional ball, guys go down and you’re getting guys from your organization who know what is expected of the organization.”

Vanderbilt's Chandler Day (0-0) toes the rubber tonight for Orleans. The six-foot-five righty has appeared in seven games for the Firebirds, but has yet to make a start. In his freshman year with the Commodores, Day made three starts and went 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA.

Day has primarily been used as a short term reliever this summer, his longest outing coming against Falmouth on July 5 when he pitched two innings of one-hit baseball. In seven and two-thirds innings this summer, Day has compiled a 4.69 ERA while striking out eight.

Down the Road

Chatham returns home to Veterans Field tomorrow where they’ll play host to the Y-D Red Sox at 7 p.m. Following the division contest, the Anglers will get back on the bus to head to Hyannis for a 6 p.m. battle with the Harbor Hawks. Catch all the action, and the Anglers Extra Pregame Show 20 minutes prior to first pitch, on the Cape Cod Baseball Network.