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Chatham, Mass. — The Chatham Anglers will look to extend their season by at least one more day tonight in Game 2 of the East Division Championship Series against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. at Chatham’s historic Veterans Field.
In Game 1, Chatham and Y-D jockeyed back and forth early on as both squads wrestling leads from each other in the contest’s opening innings.
After watching the Red Sox take the lead, Chatham responded quickly, tying the score before going up 4-3 in the top of the fourth. However, Y-D would not be deterred as the Red Sox tagged the A’s pitching staff for six consecutive runs to put the game seemingly out of reach.
Chatham never relented though, storming back to come within a run of tying the game, before ultimately falling 9-8.
Tonight, the Anglers look to force a Game 3 as they face their second do or die scenario of this postseason. In that only other must-win, Chatham downed the top-seeded Harwich Mariners 3-1 to vault themselves into the EDCS.
At the Plate: This postseason, the Anglers have thrived when the top of their order gets on base. Spearheading that lineup is Jake Palomaki, the leadoff hitter from Boston College. Palomaki, along with Mason Koppens – who hits second – have reached base in critical times for Chatham down the stretch.
In 17 plate appearances this postseason, Palomaki has reached base six times thanks to four hits and a pair of walks. Koppens has posted even better numbers, crafting an on-base percentage of .500 due to his five hits and three walks in 16 plate appearances.
DJ Artis, who reached base three times last night after dropping down to seventh in the order, is getting on base at a rate of .313 in the postseason and has a hit in all but one playoff game.
By getting on, the top of the order sets up numerous RBI situations for the heart of the A’s lineup. Power hitters like Jeremy Vasquez have largely capitalized on those chances.
A left-handed hitting first baseman from the University of Florida, Vasquez has amassed a team-leading three RBIs this postseason. In the last two games for the Anglers, Vasquez has gone 4-for-8 while driving in Koppens twice and Palomaki once.
“[Vasquez] has played very well, very very well,” said A’s manager John Schiffner. “He’s swinging the bat really well, very comfortable at the plate, ball looks like a beach ball to him.”
The effects of quicker players at the top of the order reaching base has also impacted other power hitters like Gunnar Troutwine, and Stuart Fairchild, who both have RBIs in the playoffs.
On the Rubber: The last time Lincoln Henzman (1-2) took the mound came back on August 2 when the Louisville right-hander faced off with the Orleans Firebirds in a pivotal matchup that had immense playoff implications for the Anglers. Tonight, as he takes the mound, the stakes are even higher.
In that crucial outing, Henzman turned in one of his best starts of the season. He struck out five Firebirds, allowed one earned run on six hits, and issued a pair of walks. Henzman’s lone run allowed on the evening came in the first inning – a frame where he conceded a double and a single.
The six-foot-two sophomore has faced Y-D twice this season, as both a reliever and a starter. In his first appearance as an Angler, Henzman pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning against the Red Sox on June 22. He struck out the last batter he faced – Dillon Persinger.
Just over a month later, on July 26, Henzman allowed three runs in five innings pitched while striking out six Y-D batters as Chatham won, 5-4.
The Anglers have crippled William Montgomerie (2-2) in both games that the right-hander has started against Chatham. Touching the University of Connecticut sophomore for seven combined runs, the Anglers have handed Montgomerie his only two losses of the summer and have done so both at home and away.
In his last start against the Anglers on July 30 – which was also the last time Montgomerie pitched in a game – the righty took the loss after conceding five unearned runs on six hits in five innings.
On June 22, Montgomerie lasted just an inning and two-thirds after giving up a two-run homerun to Joe Freiday in the second inning. After Freiday’s blast, Montgomerie lost his composure as he walked a batter, allowed a single, and plunked Jake Palomaki before getting the hook from manager Scott Pickler.
However, the freshman has shown the ability to strike batters out while limiting the damage of stout offenses. In that late July outing against Chatham, Montgomerie struck out a season-high eight Anglers while issuing one walk. Squaring off with Brewster – who scored the most runs in the CCBL this summer – Montgomerie held the Whitecaps to two runs in his Cape Cod debut.
Down the Road: The road diverges again today with the Anglers standing at the intersection. With a win, Chatham would continue to play more baseball by traveling to Y-D for a decisive Game 3 tomorrow at 4 p.m. If the Anglers lose today’s contest, the season would come to an end for John Schiffner and the rest of the Chatham squad.
Make sure to tune in at 6:30 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.