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Chatham, Mass. — After a day off on Thursday to rest and recuperate, the Anglers embark on a six-day stretch of consecutive baseball. That span first begins by revisiting the Harwich Mariners – the team who no-hit Chatham on Wednesday – at Whitehouse Field tonight at 6:30 p.m.
The Anglers (14-23-1) venture to Harwich three points back of the final playoff spot in the East Division, trailing the Brewster Whitecaps by a game and a half. As Chatham now has only six games left in its regular season, precious time remains for the Anglers to whittle down the Whitecap lead.
If they are to overtake Brewster and make the playoffs, the Anglers must go through the three teams with the most points in the CCBL, as well as a Cotuit team that has won two of three games against Chatham, before enduring a home-and-home series with the rival Orleans Firebirds.
Harwich (23-13-2) holds the top spot in the East thanks to its win over Chatham on Wednesday coupled with an 8-5 loss by the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. In the Mariners’ combined no-hitter over the Anglers, Steve Englert’s squad pounded Chatham pitching, scoring 10 runs on 17 hits.
The only staff to allow less than 100 runs this summer, the Mariners’ pitching has the ability to stifle offenses. This season, Harwich has allowed just a hair over two runs per game and has a combined team-ERA of 1.97.
At the Plate: All-Star Gunnar Troutwine currently spearheads the Anglers offense with his .269 batting average over 23 games. The Wichita State Shocker has croaked 18 hits in 67 at-bats while reaching base eight other times via walks. Though he has appeared in nine games less than team leader DJ Artis, Troutwine still is third on the Anglers in RBIs with nine, trailing only Artis and Stuart Fairchild.
Against Harwich this year Troutwine has gone 4-for-13, good for a .308 average, and has scored a run while driving in another.
Pavin Smith has been the driving force behind the Mariners in their last four games. In that span, in which Harwich has gone 3-1, Smith has amassed a colossal .673 batting average on eight hits in 13 at-bats. Smith has been all over the score sheet in recent outings, including Wednesday night’s game where he slugged a home run and collected three RBIs on two hits.
The University of Virginia sophomore enters tonight’s contest riding a six-game hitting streak that dates back to a 1-for-4 performance against Falmouth on July 20.
On the Rubber: Simon Mathews (1-2) attempts to lock up his second win tonight after not earning a decision in last Friday’s controversial loss to Brewster. In that outing, the Georgetown right-hander tossed five innings in the searing heat, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out four.
Making his fifth start on the season, Mathews has allowed ten runs in 25.2 innings, and has struck out 16 batters between his time as both a starter and a reliever.
The Mariners will send Hunter Williams (1-2) of North Carolina out to the hill tonight, looking to give the southpaw his first win since opening night against Cotuit.
Though the six-foot-three hurler pitched an inning of relief in the All-Star Game as well as one against Falmouth on July 20, Williams has yet to make a start since tossing seven shutout innings against Cotuit on July 15. Though he surrendered two hits in the affair, Williams did not factor into the decision as the Harwich offense was blanked in a 2-0 loss.
On the season, Williams has sat down 31 batters on strikes over the course of 37 and two-thirds innings. Not allowing more than two earned runs in an outing, the UNC sophomore has posted a 1.43 ERA with the Mariners while lasting an average of roughly six innings per start.
Down the Road: The Anglers return home to Veterans Field tomorrow to play host to the Y-D Red Sox at 7 p.m. The following day, Chatham gets back on the bus as they close out the month of July with a road contest against Cotuit.
Make sure to tune in at 6:10 p.m. today for the Anglers Extra Pregame Show on the Cape Cod Baseball Network. Evan Stockton will introduce you to his Catch of the Day while Jake Eisenberg sits down with manager John Schiffner.
The full broadcast of today’s game is available online and over the phone at 1-800-846-4700, code 3481. Visit Broadcast Central for more details.