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Chatham, Mass. — The Anglers are back in action tonight against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks a day removed from hosting the 2016 Friendly’s All-Star Game at Veterans Field. Chatham (13-21-1) comes into the contest on a two-game skid, falling in Wareham and Brewster in the latter part of last week. In their last home game, a 2-1 win over Cotuit, the Anglers struck for two homeruns on seven hits.
The Harbor Hawks (16-19-0) look to finish a season sweep of the Anglers with a win tonight, after defeating Chatham in all three of the teams’ previous matchups. In those victories, Hyannis has outscored Chatham 30-11, with nine of the Anglers’ runs coming in a July 17 loss at McKeon Park.
Both teams are currently fighting for their playoff lives as the end of the regular season looms at the middle of next week. The Harbor Hawks are currently in a tie for third place with Bourne in the West, though Cotuit still has an outside chance to sneak in. Chatham, after dropping its final contest with Brewster, sits a game and a half outside of the playoff picture and is looking to make a run at fourth place.
At the Plate: At the beginning of the season, DJ Artis and Patrick Mathis catalyzed the Anglers with their power and ability to get on base. While a number of other players have become sources of offense for Chatham, Artis and Mathis have returned to the pinnacle of the Anglers attack in the last seven days.
Artis has reached base ten times, on seven hits, in his last 18 plate appearances, roping two doubles in the process. His three RBIs are tied for the team lead this past week. The Liberty Flame has crafted a .467 batting average as well as scoring three times and in that four-game span.
A finalist in Saturday’s Chatham Bars Inn Home Run Hitting Contest, Patrick Mathis has been one of the primary power hitters for the Anglers this season. Against Cotuit on July 20, Mathis crushed his team-leading fourth home run, pushing his team-high RBI total to 15. In his last three games, the University of Texas product has hit in five of his 13 at-bats and has scored two runs.
Dylan Busby has been a constant producer offensively for the Harbor Hawks, hitting .300 over 21 games. Save for the All-Star Game, where Busby went 0-for-2 with a strikeout, the Florida State infielder has reached base in 17 straight contests, dating back to a multi-hit night in Brewster on June 29. Busby also enters tonight’s matchup riding a five-game hit streak.
On the Rubber: Parker Rigler (0-2) is slated to make his fourth start of the summer for Chatham tonight, looking for redemption against a potent Hyannis lineup. In his last outing, against these same Harbor Hawks, Rigler was tagged for eight earned runs in two and two-thirds innings and took the loss.
The Kansas State southpaw is hoping to recapture what he had on July 10 against Harwich, when he tossed six innings of one run baseball, conceding the lone Mariner tally on five hits while striking out three. Rigler was unable to factor into the decision that night as the Anglers and the Mariners drew, 1-1.
Much like Chatham, Hyannis will also tout out its starter from the July 17 matchup, as Andrew Gonzalez (2-1) toes the rubber tonight for the Harbor Hawks. The Michigan State Spartan is averaging just under five innings per start and has compiled a 4.01 ERA in seven starts this summer. Gonzalez, who earned the win against Chatham on the 17th after allowing two runs on five hits, struck out six Anglers across five innings in his previous start.
Down the Road: The Anglers will enjoy an off day on Monday before heading to Red Wilson Field for their final road matchup against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. First pitch starts at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and can be heard live on the Cape Cod Baseball Network.