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Chatham, Mass. — It was like an eclipse. A series of small chain reactions that yielded a triumph, a sweet conquest of nature.
As a purple sky rolled over Veterans Field, the Anglers (21-21) fought to snap a tie with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (26-15-1).
Catcher Fabian Peña (Manhattan) swirled his bat above the plate in anticipation of a bullet from Yarmouth-Dennis reliever Riley McCauley (Michigan State).
He swung, and the noise rung in the air.
Pena sent the ball roaring out to center field in the seventh, knocking in the game-winning run to loud applause from the dugout.
One inning later, the audience gasped when a throwing error by Yarmouth-Dennis third baseman Christian Koss (California Irvine) strayed wild. Shortstop Jeremy Peña (Maine) surged for home plate, crossing unhindered to secure a more definitive lead for Chatham.
“We got a couple sacrifice bunts down, we took advantage of several errors that Y-D made, and that’s the key to the game,” manager John Schiffner said.
A seventh-inning Yarmouth-Dennis spark evened the tally after second baseman Josh Shaw (St. John’s) and Jeremy Peña drove in runs for Chatham in the fifth and sixth, respectively.
Starting pitcher Jeff Belge (St. John’s) was an engine on the mound, shutting down the Red Sox with ease.
“I feel like I had really good fastball command today — I got them to chase a couple of sliders and changeups that were out of the zone,” Belge said.
Belge allowed just one hit, striking out five in his outing.
“I changed a couple of things with my mechanics over the last week," Belge said. "I found what felt comfortable for me after a couple rough outings.”
RJ Freure (Pittsburgh), Andre Pallante (California Irvine) and Jack DeGroat (Liberty) kept it steady in the final three frames.
DeGroat preserved his blank ERA with a scoreless trip to the mound. The park began to clap in rhythm as he eyed his final batter, erupting in cheers when the ball soared down the middle for strike three.
“The key was Jeff Belge,” Schiffner said. "Tonight he was ahead of the hitters, kept them off balance, [and] did a great job."
The Anglers face the Orleans Firebirds (27-15) at Eldredge Park, Orleans Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.