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Wareham, Mass. — It’s always those final innings, the last scenes of a drama of decision, action, response. The curtain closing on a nine-act play, a show of endurance on a stage of dust and worn-out grass.
As the lights came on at Clem Spillane Field, the Anglers (11-13) cruised towards extra innings against the Wareham Gatemen (10-13-1). Tied at two in the eighth, the teams had answered one another’s calls to action — Wareham first, then Chatham.
Until a five-run frenzy blighted a chance at redemption for the Gatemen.
Beginning with right fielder Jacob Olson’s (South Carolina) single, the Anglers mounted a late offensive charge in the eighth inning. Designated hitter Shea Langeliers (Baylor) knocked in a two-run home run — his fifth of the season, and shortstop Antonio Ralat (Alabama — Birmingham) drove home two on a single. Josh Stowers (Louisville) kept the momentum up, plating third baseman John Aiello (Wake Forest) on his first RBI with the Anglers.
“I was just trying to keep the rally going, trying to put the ball in play,” Ralat said. “Every night you come here, you’re facing good pitching, so it’s a matter of timing.”
Ralat put Chatham on the board in the fifth, driving first baseman Nick Patten (Delaware) home on a single to tie the game.
On the mound, two stubborn performances stymied the Wareham offensive threat.
Chatham relief pitcher Rodney Hutchison Jr. (North Carolina) froze the Gatemen with one strikeout over 3.1 scoreless innings.
“Rodney just came in and slammed the door shut,” said manager John Schiffner. “3.1 innings for the save — for the win, he got the win — that was outstanding.”
Starter Austin Bergner (North Carolina) preserved the tie, limiting the Gatemen to two earned runs with his fastball.
“We kept fighting,” Ralat said. “We had good at bats, and good things happened.”
The Anglers face the Cotuit Kettleers (14-9-1) at Lowell Park, Cotuit in a makeup game Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.