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Chatham, Mass. — The Anglers (21-24, 0-1) face the Orleans Firebirds (30-15, 1-0) in the second game of the playoffs at Veterans Field tonight.
Following Saturday’s 7-2 loss to the Firebirds, the Anglers must emerge victorious from tonight’s contest in order to stay alive in the best-of-three series and advance to the next round of the playoffs.
Last night, Chatham’s offense was quiet in the matchup at Eldredge Park. Right fielder Josh Stowers (Louisville) tied the game with a two-run home run over the left field fence in the second inning, but the Anglers fell to a stream of Orleans runs.
Jimmy Herron (Duke) and Ethan Paul (Vanderbilt) plated runners in the bottom of the second to reclaim the lead for the Firebirds. Orleans secured the victory with a trio of unearned runs in the seventh.
“We have not hit very well, and we’re not getting clutch hits — that’s pretty much what we have to do,” manager John Schiffner said. “We need to hit with men on base and we’re not doing that right now.”
On the mound, Rodney Hutchison Jr. (North Carolina) kept it steady, striking out seven over 4.2 innings.
“I’m a five pitch guy, and I used them all effectively,” Hutchison said. “They all felt good coming out.”
Hutchison stepped in for starter Jack Perkins (Stetson), who allowed four earned runs over the opening pair of frames.
Dan Metzdorf (Boston College) and RJ Freure (Pittsburgh) kept the slate blank in the final 1.1 innings.
Austin Bergner (North Carolina) will take the mound for Chatham tonight. Bergner compiled an ERA of 1.16 over seven appearances in the regular season, earning a trio of wins. He most recently appeared in the team’s 2-1 extra innings loss to Harwich July 30, allowing one earned run over five frames.
“Especially with Schiff’s last year, we want to win it for him, so it starts one game at a time,” Hutchison said Saturday. “Tonight didn’t go our way, we’ll be back tomorrow and hopefully we’ll string a few wins together and win it all for Schiff.”
First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. The extended Anglers Extra Pregame Show begins at 6:30 p.m. — listen here: http://bit.ly/ChathamBroadcasts