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South Yarmouth, Mass. — Stuart Fairchild stood in the batter’s box on Tuesday night with a chance for redemption. After striking out in a vital the bases loaded situation in Sunday night’s loss to Hyannis, Fairchild strolled to the plate with two on and his team trailing by two runs in the top of the ninth. The Anglers had already rallied from 4-0 to cut the deficit to two when, with two strikes and two outs, Fairchild turned on a Calvin Faucher fastball and deposited it over the right field fence, giving Chatham the 5-4 lead.
“I was just looking to battle,” said Fairchild. “I was going to be on time for a fastball and that’s what he gave me and he left it up over the plate so I put a good swing on it. . . .it’s a really good feeling.”
The blast would prove to be the difference maker as the Anglers overcame the first place Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, 5-4.
After trailing 4-0 and only mustering up one hit through eight innings, the Anglers entered the ninth looking to rally as they have done numerous times throughout the season.
After back-to-back singles by Jake Palomaki and DJ Artis, Sean Bouchard walked to load the bases for Gunnar Troutwine. The Wichita State catcher then cut the Red Sox lead in half by roping a two-run double to center, setting the stage for Fairchild's blast.
“This team has done this a lot this year, coming back late,” said A’s manager John Schiffner. “It seems to be the 7th, 8th, and 9th are our innings instead of the first five innings. Again, I’m proud of the kids to hang in there. . . .I’m proud of them for the win, it’s a good win.”
Save for a three-run second inning by Y-D, Chatham’s pitching was stellar, striking out eleven Red Sox and issuing one walk as Caleb Gilbert (1-2) got the win for the Anglers.
Starter Lincoln Henzman went six full innings for Chatham, giving up three earned runs on six hits – five of which came in the second – and striking out six. Moises Ceja earned his fifth save of the season after retiring all three Red Sox he faced in the ninth.
Y-D starter Jared Janczak allowed a single to the game’s first batter, Jake Palomaki, however, that would be the only hit any Red Sox pitcher would allow until the final frame. Janczak tossed the one-hitter for six innings before turning things over to Eastern Michigan’s Sam Delaplane in the seventh. The junior right-hander continued the lights out pitching by retiring seven straight Anglers, before loading the bases and being lifted for Faucher in the ninth.
“I did not feel we were dominated,” said Schiffner. “We hit balls on the nose, I mean I can think of five or six line drives that should’ve been or could’ve been base hits. Again, they had luck, we finally got a little luck in the top of the ninth, and hopefully the tide changes.”
The Red Sox opened the scoring in the second inning, slapping five singles in the frame’s first six batters. After Wil Toffey reached base, the Vanderbilt Commodore promptly stole second before being moved over to third on a single by USC’s Cory Dempster.
Connor Wanahan broke the scoreless tie by singling in Toffey on a shot that also brought Dempster around after Donovan Casey’s throw skipped past third baseman Sean Bouchard.
After Nolan Brown moved Wanahan to third on a groundball back to the pitcher, Tyler Houston recorded his 15th RBI of the summer by slapping a grounder into left field past an outstretched Bouchard. Y-D would add another run in the eighth inning as Dillon Persinger crushed a solo home run to deep center, but would ultimately fall as Faucher (3-1) took the loss.
The rally was another in a long line of comebacks this season for Chatham as three of the Anglers’ last four wins have come on runs scored in the ninth inning or later.
With the win Chatham improves to 14-22-1 and now stands one point out of a playoff spot as Brewster fell to Wareham in extra innings on Tuesday. Paired with Harwich’s win over Orleans, the Red Sox loss puts Y-D in a first-place tie with the Mariners after dropping to 23-14. The Anglers will now look to garner the momentum from Tuesday’s win as they take on Harwich Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Veterans Field.
“It’s a good [comeback win],” admitted Schiffner. “When your back is against the wall 4-0, and you come all the way back in the ninth against the first place team, arguably one of the best teams in the league, it’s a big win. It’s a huge win for us. But we’ve still got a lot left.”