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Yarmouth, Mass. — It was like call and response, an exchange of runs. Back and forth. As the sun set on a warm day in Yarmouth, the Anglers and the Red Sox were deadlocked in a tie of five entering the eighth inning.
Chatham (10-12) had surrendered a lead to a four-run Yarmouth-Dennis (11-10-1) rally in the sixth, after four consecutive innings yielded tallies for the Anglers.
But one by one, Chatham sent runners along the basepaths. After second baseman Josh Shaw (St. John’s) advanced to first on a throwing error, right fielder Jacob Olson (South Carolina) drove in a double. An intentional walk fielded first baseman Nick Patten (Delaware).
With the bases loaded, designated hitter Shea Langeliers (Baylor) swung and hit the sweet spot. The ball slipped over the left field fence for Langeliers’ fourth home run — and second grand slam — of the season, securing the victory for the Anglers.
“At first, I didn’t think it was going to be a grand slam,” Langeliers said. “A guy was camped right by the fence and he was going to catch it so I was like alright — it’s a go-ahead RBI, I’ll take that. And then he jumped up and I was just praying for it to go over, and it ended up going over.”
Patten and shortstop Jeremy Peña (Maine) also found the back of fence with home runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. The shorter outfield at Red Wilson Field can influence a batter’s mindset at the plate, Langeliers said.
“Everybody sees these short fields, and everyone tries to hit big and get home runs,” Langeliers said. “If you square one up, it’s going to go on a field like this because the field’s so small. Everyone’s just trying to make sure everyone stays short, and just makes solid contact.”
“It certainly is a factor in the game [at] both ends,” said manager John Schiffner. “The hitters certainly want to take a shot at getting a home run, and the pitchers know they have to pitch real fine to make sure they don’t make a mistake.”
A series of strong performances on the mound preserved the victory for the Anglers. Starter Jack Perkins (Stetson) limited the Red Sox to one run over five innings.
“This time I was just trying to get it low in the zone, just let them hit it into the ground, and not try and do too much up there,” Perkins said. “Last time [against Falmouth], that’s not what I was doing.”
RJ Freure (Pittsburgh) denied Yarmouth-Dennis with three strikeouts over two scoreless innings of relief.
“The real key was RJ slowing things down — he just stopped them in their tracks,” Schiffner said. “They tied it up and he just said “no, no - we’re going to keep it right here,” and then Shea’s home run made the difference.”
“It was a solid performance all around,” Langeliers said. “We’re really starting to come together as a team now.”
The Anglers return to Veterans Field to host the Orleans Firebirds (14-8) Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.