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Chatham, Mass. — As night fell upon Veterans Field Saturday, the Anglers (7-10) entered the ninth inning deadlocked in a tie of one with the Harwich Mariners (5-10-1).
Travis Monoit (Orange County Community College) hit a double to right field to claim the lead for Harwich in the top of the ninth, but Chatham would not go down without a fight.
“The last inning, we had all the pitchers come down from the bullpen into the dugout and everyone was fired up,” said starting pitcher Jeff Belge (St. John’s).
First baseman Nick Patten (Delaware) responded immediately with a leadoff single, before designated hitter Ashton McGee (North Carolina) advanced to first on a fielder’s choice, plating right fielder Josh Stowers (Louisville) to equalize the game for the second time.
Harwich relief pitcher Cole Aker (North Carolina) surrendered the game to Chatham with a two-out bases-loaded walk of center fielder Mason Koppens (Northeastern).
The victory broke a three-game losing streak for the Anglers, after the team fell to Brewster 11-1 and 6-4 Wednesday and Thursday, and Falmouth 8-3 Friday.
“We had better energy in the dugout, and once one guy would get a hit it kind of got contagious,” Belge said.
Belge dealt eight strikeouts over 4.1 scoreless innings, before Eli Nabholz (Millersville), RJ Freure (Pittsburgh) and Josiah Gray (Le Moyne) combined for 4.2 innings of relief.
“The last inning he [Belge] pitched the last time he was out … was very good,” said manager John Schiffner. “He was really strong, his velocity was very good, he had real good control down in the zone and that’s pretty much the way he pitched tonight.”
“I just wanted to go out there and try to get ahead of hitters, and just establish my fastball and work on my off speed,” Belge said.
Chatham struck first in the matchup, when third baseman Jake Palomaki (Boston College) plated Mason Koppens on a single and throwing error in the bottom of the third.
The contest marked the first outing for Josh Stowers, who arrived on the Cape after competing for the Louisville Cardinals in the College World Series. Stowers notched one hit and one run against the Mariners.
“It’s a pretty smooth transition,” Stowers said. “I didn’t really have to make an adjustment period, so I’m not really overwhelmed.”
The Anglers face the Mariners again Sunday at Whitehouse Field, Harwich. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.