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Brewster, Mass. — It’s a simple energy. The inherent drive to persevere, to ensure survival in the face of adversity. A trait that becomes quietly evident in the urgent movements, the quick decisions that are executed with the rough grace of the soldier.
As the setting sun peeked through the trees at Stony Brook Field, the Anglers (18-19) wrestled with the Brewster Whitecaps (16-19-2) for the third place seat in the East Division.
Chatham’s first steps were strides, leaps that set down a lead of three in the opening frame. Left fielder Josh Stowers (Lousiville), first baseman Nick Patten (Delaware) and third baseman Ashton McGee (North Carolina) each knocked in runs to get the Anglers’ blood pumping.
But Brewster grappled its way back. Hunter Bishop (Arizona State) answered with a two-run home run in the second, before Mickey Gasper’s (Bryant) two-run single snatched the lead in the third.
The waves silenced Chatham for two innings. But only until instinct took over in the sixth.
A sacrifice bunt from catcher Cody Roberts (North Carolina) sent two into scoring position for the Anglers, before McGee knocked in a run on a single. Right fielder Landon Kay (Furman) recovered the advantage with a two-run single, giving Chatham some room to breathe.
“I’ve been waiting for a good one like that for a while,” Kay said. “Yeah, it felt good. I just got a pitch I could hit, and took advantage of it.”
“Cody Roberts’ bunt to get the men into second and third was fantastic,” said manager John Schiffner. “That gave us the chance to do it, so execution was the real key there.”
Relief pitcher Rodney Hutchison (North Carolina) paralysed the Whitecaps over five scoreless innings, stepping in for starter Jacob Stevens (Boston College).
Jack DeGroat (Liberty) and Adam Wolf (Louisville) kept Chatham steady under pressure in the final two frames. DeGroat stranded two Whitecaps in scoring position on back-to-back strikeouts, while Wolf lowered the curtain with one K, leaving runners on the corners in the bottom of the ninth.
“With Hutch in there, and then bringing in DeGroat and Wolf, you feel pretty confident,” Kay said. “When you have confidence in those guys, you end up being more loose at the plate and the field, and it just overall works really well.”
Stevens allowed four earned runs with one strikeout over two innings.
“This was a good example of what you need to do to win in this league,” Schiffner said. “We had very good pitching — especially the relief pitching was excellent, we got some clutch hits, we executed and played good defense.”
The Anglers return to Veterans Field to host the Falmouth Commodores (18-17-1) Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.