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Chatham, Mass. —Following the Anglers’ fourth consecutive loss on Saturday night, manager John Schiffner gathered his players on the left field foul line to conduct his post-game meeting. Though his team had fallen to the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, 8-4, the skipper provided constructive criticism to his struggling squad.
“They were battling, but they’ve got to battle sooner,” said Schiffner. “They’ve got to get that energy they’ve got in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings and they’ve got to do it in the first inning.”
For the fourth time in its last seven games, Chatham rallied late – this time cutting a six-run Y-D lead down to three. The Anglers did their damage with a three-run eighth inning, but where unable to complete the comeback. Chatham (11-18-1) is now winless in its past seven games.
The loss, coupled with an extra-inning win by Brewster, further sinks the Anglers playoff hopes after seeing the gap between the fourth place Whitecaps and the last place Anglers double to two games.
“They haven’t been embarrassed,” said Schiffner of his team. “They’ve been in almost every one of [the last seven] games. . . .that’s what you tell them, ‘Keep staying in the game, get in it sooner.’”
The win allows Yarmouth-Dennis (19-11) to keep pace with first place Harwich after the Mariners trounced the Orleans Firebirds, 11-0, at Whitehouse Field.
Caleb Gilbert (0-2) was handed the loss after conceding six earned runs on eight hits and one walk. Though Chatham’s starting pitcher faltered, relief appearances by Paul Balestrieri, Mike Fitzgerald, and Donovan Casey kept the Anglers’ hopes alive. Combined, the three right-handers allowed one run on three hits while striking out six across six innings of work for the Chatham bullpen.
Y-D scored early and often after Deon Stafford mashed a two-run homerun three-quarters of the way up the right field hill in the top of the first. A five-run third inning turned a two-run lead into a seven-run lead as the Red Sox broke the game open on five hits and a pair of Angler errors.
Despite scoring four runs in the contest, Chatham was rendered powerless against Y-D starter Oliver Jaskie (2-0) of Michigan. The freshman southpaw turned in his second straight six-inning performance, allowing three hits while striking out eight Anglers.
“He threw three pitches for strikes,” said Schiffner. “He changed speeds, his breaking pitch was very good, his changeup was good, fastball had velocity, and he located his fastball.”
Chatham’s rally began with the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Tanner Gardner laced an RBI single into shallow center field scoring a run, before a wild pitch by Y-D’s Nathan Kuchta made the score 7-3. The Anglers would add one more run in the inning when All-Star Gunnar Troutwine drove in Patrick Mathis with a fielder’s choice to shortstop.
The Anglers will return to action on Sunday at 6 p.m. at McKeon Park, where their woes of underwhelming baseball began back on June 26 with a 9-2 loss to Hyannis. In that contest, Joe Freiday was lost for the summer, as Chatham lost a vital part of its team identity and its team leadership. Catch all the action, along with the Anglers Extra Pregame Show, live on the Cape Cod Baseball Network starting at 5:40 p.m.