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SOUTH YARMOUTH — After Chatham Anglers reliever R.J. Freure (Pittsburgh) walked his third straight batter with one out in the bottom of the ninth, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox had a chance to break a 1-1 tie and walk-off their second-straight game.
To accomplish this task, Y-D decided to use small-ball tactics, but the plan backfired.
Luke Waddell’s (Georgia Tech) first suicide squeeze attempt went foul. On his next attempt, he popped the ball up into the air toward Fruere. The Chatham pitcher caught the ball and threw it to Greg Jones (UNC-Wilmington) at third base, doubling up the Red Sox and killing their opportunity.
“He tried to squeeze, hit it foul,” Freure said. “Went right to the curveball, tried to get him to chase it, just low. Then came back with the fastball again. He elevated the bunt. I tried to make the first play first, get the catch. Then, try not to overthrow third base but got the double play.
That was the final play of the day as Chatham (0-1-1) failed to win its first game of the season as it tied Y-D (1-0-1), 1-1.
Red Sox left fielder Charlie Concannon (St. Joseph’s) single-handedly got Y-D on the scoreboard in the second. After singling to start the frame, Concannon advanced to second base on a wild pitch,to third on a groundout to the right side of the infield, and then home on another wild pitch.
But the Red Sox lead did not last long, as the Anglers responded quickly thanks to the bat of Jones. The shortstop led off the inning with a home run — Chatham’s first of the season — over the right field wall.
“I knew the lefty had a lot of tail to his fastball so I'm just trying to work backside and got a pitch that I could elevate,” Jones said. “With the cozy dimensions I got it out of here.”
Kyle Hurt (Southern California) started the game for the Anglers and went four innings, giving up only three hits and striking out four batters during his outing. Jeff Belge (St. John’s) replaced Hurt and struck out five batters of his own in four innings.
Belge also had his own bases-loaded dilemma that he had to terminate. After giving up two singles to start the sixth inning, the southpaw forced a groundout and recorded a strikeout to get two outs. Belge then walked Vito Friscia (Hofstra) to load the bases.
Kale Emshoff (Arkansas - Little Rock) watched the first three pitches from Belge fly outside the strike zone. Despite the self-made deficit, Belge worked back, striking out Emshoff looking to kill the Red Sox rally.
“I got away from what I had being doing the rest of the game and got outside of myself,” Belge said. “I had to regroup, refocus and make a couple pitches.”
Chatham struggled at the plate, accumulating only four hits on the day and none coming in the final four innings of play. The Anglers managed to draw four walks, including two from Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State).
Because of two-plus hours of pregame rain that fell on Red Wilson field, neither team held batting practice. Chatham manager Tom Holliday said that the lack of BP, in addition to the “twilight atmosphere” of the game, made it a tough day to be a hitter.
“It's a good baseball game in a hard environment,” Holliday said. “No BP. No infield. No nothing. Some of these guys had never seen this field. That’s a hard game to play.”
Chatham will resume play on Thursday at 5 p.m. with game third of its season against the Brewster Whitecaps in Brewster.