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Chatham, Mass. — After Tuesday’s meeting resulted in a 4-3 defeat, the Anglers (8-12) face the Orleans Firebirds (14-6) for the second consecutive night at Veterans Field.
Last night, Chatham flirted with victory when shortstop Jeremy Peña (Maine) hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning to come within one run of Orleans.
The Firebirds had mounted a lead of four in the first three innings, including a home run from third baseman Jaxx Groshans (Kansas) in the bottom of the third.
Three relief pitchers from the bullpen kept the chance of victory tangible for the Anglers. Andre Pallante (California — Irvine), Reiss Knehr (Fordham) and Nick Rand (Massachusetts — Lowell) denied Orleans over four scoreless innings.
“The bullpen came in and did a really nice job, all three of them,” said manager John Schiffner. “They didn’t give up a run.”
Orleans starter Logan Gilbert (Stetson) delivered a strong performance on the mound, sinking fifteen Anglers in order and striking out four over five frames.
“Most of the guys face these guys at school - we’re not really facing anything different,” Peña said. “We’re facing our teammates, we’re facing our competition, we’re facing our schools — it’s just that now it’s more of them. Now we’re facing everyone’s best.”
The contest extended Orleans’ winning streak to a league-high ten games. The team currently leads the East Division.
Adam Hill (South Carolina) will take the mound for Chatham tonight. Hill most recently took the team’s 11-1 loss to Brewster June 28, allowing two earned runs with two strikeouts over four innings.
Kevin Smith (Georgia) will start for Orleans. After earning a 2-0 win against the Wareham Gatemen (9-11) June 20, Smith appeared in the Firebirds’ 13-2 victory over Cotuit (11-9), striking out six over four scoreless innings.
The Anglers visit Cotuit Friday, before traveling to Yarmouth-Dennis (10-9-1) Saturday. Chatham squares off against Orleans again on home turf Sunday.
First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Anglers Extra Pregame Show begins at 6:40 p.m. — listen to the live broadcast here: http://bit.ly/ChathamBroadcasts