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Chatham, Mass. — The 2016 Friendly’s All-Star Game was played on Saturday evening within the historic confines of Veterans Field. In the contest, the West defeated the East, 8-0, on the strength of a four-run eighth inning and a second inning that featured three solo homeruns.
Isaac Mattson pitched one full inning, allowing no earned runs and one hit in the fourth. The University of Pittsburgh right-hander’s night was highlighted by a five-pitch strikeout of Falmouth’s Tyler Lawrence. Mattson would have had a perfect 1-2-3 inning save for an infield hit by Zach Rutherford.
“I was getting warmed up in the third inning and right after I got done getting warmed up I had a little time down in the bullpen,” said Mattson, savoring the beauty of that moment. “Just looking over the crowd and the outfield, a big smile came across my face. Just playing here in front of this many fans with incredible talent, it’s a humbling moment. . . .going out there and trying to perform the best I can and using what God has given me to glorify Him, it was definitely an enjoyable moment.”
Gunnar Troutwine caught four innings behind the plate for the East All-Stars and came up in two at-bats. In his first plate appearance, Troutwine struck out looking after toughly battling, fouling off three straight two-strike pitches. The second time around, Troutwine struck out looking, but still remained happy with being apart of the All-Star experience.
“It was cool to catch some other guys from other teams, it was a little diverse behind the plate,” said the Wichita State catcher, grinning from ear to ear. “But it was also a great experience.”
Chatham outfielder Patrick Mathis came a pair of homeruns away from winning the Chatham Bars Inn Home Run Hitting Contest, falling to Hyannis’s Kameron Esthay in the final round, 4-3.
“I had the crowd behind me, I heard everyone yelling and screaming, and that was a huge part of it,” said Mathis. “It amped me up so I enjoyed it, had a lot of fun.”
The Texas product hit a bevy of homers to deep right field, including multiple bombs that found their way onto Depot Road. He swung so hard that in the first round, after cranking eight homers – the most of any batter in the derby – Mathis walked off with his pitcher, Texas Tech outfielder Tanner Gardner, after recording just six outs.
“I just needed a break,” laughed Mathis. “I felt like I was already in [the final] so I didn’t need to swing anymore, trying to save some energy.”
With a day off spent at the ballpark, numerous Anglers enjoyed participating and watching the 2016 All-Star Game, knowing that tomorrow they’ll return to Veterans Field to continue their late-season playoff push.
“I think our team chemistry is there, it’s just going to come down to execution,” said Mattson. “We’ve had glimpses of it where all facets of the game – hitting, pitching, defense – they all come together. . . .just putting it together and executing is the biggest thing.”
Troutwine had a more simplistic approach for his team if they are to be successful in Sunday’s contest.
“We’ve got to swing it and we’ve got to pitch.”