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Chatham, Mass. — Two new Anglers had significant impacts in Saturday night’s game as Chatham soundly defeated the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, 6-2, despite falling into an early 2-0 hole. Bo Burrup (1-0) got the win for the Anglers in his CCBL debut while Mason Koppens helped lead the Chatham offense as they tagged starter William Montgomerie (2-2) for five runs, handing the right-hander the loss.
“They’re competitors, they really compete,” said manager John Schiffner of his constantly battling team. “They compete in batting practice, when they’re playing games, they compete with one another in word games, they just compete. When they get a chance, they do very well and they took advantage of things tonight and they beat a good team, I’m proud of them. That’s a nice win over a good team.”
Chatham (15-24-1) climbed back into the game with a two-run fourth inning, marking the first time the Anglers scored at Veterans Field since defeating Cotuit 2-1 on July 20.
DJ Artis registered the Anglers’ first hit on the night by hitting a bloop single into shallow left field to leadoff the frame. Mason Koppens then laid down a bunt that Y-D starter William Montgomerie (2-2) airmailed into centerfield on an attempt to nab Artis at second. The Liberty Flame would move to third on the wild throw.
Two batters later Hagen Owenby lined a single back up the middle, scoring Artis and moving Koppens to third, before Stuart Fairchild dropped a single into centerfield to score the Northeastern sophomore. Koppens would come around to score two more times in the game, bringing his total to four runs in his first two games as an Angler.
“I’ve just been trying to get on base whenever I can, and then just try to use my speed to get to scoring position” said Koppens. “I was just trying to do whatever coach asked me [tonight] and I’m trying to put the bunts down and use my speed.”
The Anglers would strike again in the next inning, once again as the result of a Koppens bunt. With two on and no out, the Northeastern product dropped a bunt down the third base line that JJ Muno threw just wide of the glove of Skidmore at first base. As the ball bounced into left field, John Aiello, who reached on a double to right field, came around to score while Koppens advanced to second.
“Speed kills and you can see what [Koppens] did,” said Schiffner. “He created havoc by that bunt, he hustled down the line, he forced the pitcher to make a tough throw and we ended up getting some runs off of that because he put pressure on the defense.”
Another Y-D miscue led to a Chatham run when Owenby came to the plate with two on and one out in the fifth. With two strikes, the East Tennessee State catcher swung on a low pitch that bounced off of Brent Diaz behind the plate, skipping out of his reach. Standing on third, DJ Artis broke for home on the play, seeing an opportunity to extend the Chatham lead.
“I just saw the ball a little bit too far away [from Diaz],” said Artis, who was a Freshman All-American during his rookie campaign at Liberty. “I felt like I could get there and it worked out.”
On the quick turn around throw from Diaz, Artis slid in headfirst, scoring just ahead of the tag to give Chatham a 4-2 lead.
On the very next pitch, the Anglers would widen their lead when Vasquez slapped an RBI groundout to second. The play forced the Red Sox to concede another run as Dillon Persinger was set too far back in the top of the infield to nab Koppens, who went home on contact. Koppens came around one last time when Kyle Adams walked with the bases loaded to bring the score to 6-2 Chatham.
BYU southpaw Bo Burrup made his debut on Saturday for the Anglers, getting the win after tossing five innings while giving up two runs on four hits and a strikeout. The lefty came to Chatham after playing in the Cal Ripken League this summer. Burrup features four effective pitches in his repertoire, all of which he threw for strikes in Saturday’s contest.
“I started throwing a slider about six weeks ago, so I threw that a lot, and I threw my changeup, it’s my go to,” said Burrup. “It’s just amazing, a lot of people show up [to Veterans Field], you’ve got a lot of guys who are dedicated to win, to work hard, so it was pretty sweet. And you’ve got one of the best catchers [in Owenby] behind the plate that I’ve thrown to.”
Burrup’s only hiccups came in the second and third innings as the Red Sox (23-17-0) jumped out to an early lead off of a two-out double by Brendan Skidmore in the second. After Will Toffey reached on a four-pitch walk, Skidmore roped an RBI double just off the base of the glove of a sprinting Stuart Fairchild, driving in his teammate from first.
Diaz then opened the third with a double to right field and would come around to score off of two consecutive groundouts. The second occurred when Muno slapped a grounder to first that forced Jeremy Vasquez to dive to his left, allowing Diaz to stroll home.
Isaac Mattson came on in relief of Burrup in the sixth inning and ran into trouble early, allowing back-to-back singles and walking Toffey to load the bases with one out. However, Mattson kept his composure and induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
With the win, Chatham now moves to just three points behind Brewster for the East Division’s final playoff spot with four games remaining. The Whitecaps fell to Falmouth 6-4 at Stony Brook Field.
“I think they’re more concerned about ‘let’s go to Cotuit and see what we can do tomorrow,’” said Schiffner of his team. “I don’t think the first thing on their mind is ‘we’re going to make the playoffs,’ I think it’s ‘let’s go down to Cotuit and play a good game.’”
Chatham squares off with the Kettleers Sunday at 5 p.m. at Lowell Park. Catch all the action and the Anglers Extra Pregame 20 minutes before the game on the Cape Cod Baseball Network.