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Chatham, Mass. — The turning point in Game 2 of the East Division Series came early for the Chatham Anglers, who aimed to eliminate the Harwich Mariners with a win at home on Saturday night. With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the second inning, Nick Dalesandro turned on a Bo Burrup changeup and deposited it onto the hill past right field to break open what was a 1-0 game. The Mariners (28-16-2) tacked on seven more runs as they thoroughly defeated Chatham (18-27-1), 13-1.
“The great thing about baseball is you get to play again tomorrow,” said Jake Palomaki. “Everybody’s on the same page here, we know what we’ve got to do. It’s a team, we’re having a good time, we’re not ready for it to be over yet, so we’re going to have fun with it and play hard again tomorrow.”
With the win, Harwich forces a Game 3 after falling to the Anglers on Friday night. The deciding contest will be played at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday at Whitehouse Field.
As Simon Mathews’ eight-inning gem propelled Chatham to victory on Friday, so too did BJ Myers’ (4-1) stellar performance for Harwich on Saturday. The West Virginia Mountaineer tossed eight full innings and allowed one run while surrendering eight hits and striking out four.
“He was hitting his spots with all his pitches,” said Palomaki of Myers. “He didn’t have anything overpowering but he was able to consistently work ahead, change speeds, and if you’re able to do that you're going to be successful no matter what.”
Myers continued the trend of strong pitching at Veterans Field for the Mariners as the righty built off of a combined no-hitter by four Harwich hurlers last time they visited Chatham. Notching his fourth win of the season, Myers was perfect through the first three innings as he set down nine consecutive Anglers to start the game.
Bo Burrup (1-1) took the loss for the Anglers after allowing five earned runs across three innings. Chatham then brought in Reed Howell in relief, who tossed three innings of no-hit baseball before being lifted in favor of Alex Person. Things further unraveled in Person's inning and two-thirds, as the Mariners posted seven more runs – though only three were earned.
In three separate innings, Harwich struck for multiple runs including a five-run second inning, a three-run seventh, and a four-run eighth.
Johnny Adams had a hand in seven of the Mariners’ 13 runs after going 2-for-4 with five RBIs and two runs scored. The Boston College product’s big swing came in the eighth, when Adams uncorked a bases clearing double that landed on the warning track in centerfield and scored three runs. He would come in to score a batter later as Connor Simmons delivered an RBI single to finish off the Harwich onslaught.
Despite the strong outing from Myers, the top of the Anglers order was able to string together multiple hits as Palomaki went 2-for-3 while Mason Koppens collected three hits in four at-bats.
“I was just trying to hunt fastballs and then put good swings on them,” said Koppens, who is hitting .300 since joining Chatham eight games ago. “[Myers] kept the ball down in the zone and worked his curveball in on good counts. . . .I just got the pitches that I wanted, so I was able to [succeed]."
Chatham would finally break through as they stretched across their lone run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Orlando Garcia singled to left before moving over to second with a base hit by Koppens. A batter later, DJ Artis laced a single to right field that allowed a sprinting Garcia to come home and slide in safe on a play at the plate.
As the series shifts back to Harwich, the Anglers now face a win or go home scenario. Much like their last stretch of games in the regular season, the Anglers have to win a vital matchup against a team with a potent offense and a lethal pitching staff if they are to advance further in the playoffs and keep their season alive.
“We’ve had our backs against the wall before,” said Koppens. “We had to scratch to get into the playoffs. We’ve been there before so we know what it takes to get the win and move on.”
Game 3 gets underway at Whitehouse Field tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. Catch all of the action plus the Anglers Extra Pregame Show 30 minutes before first pitch on the Cape Cod Baseball Network.