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When the Chatham Anglers (13-12-2) battled the Orleans Firebirds (10-16-1) on July 5 at Eldredge Park, nothing was going for the A’s bats. Chatham mustered only five hits, scored no runs and was struck out 12 times while scoring zero runs.
It was a similar story the night before at Veterans Field when the A’s had three hits and grounded into two double plays in a 3-0 defeat to the Firebirds. Four days later, Chatham managed five hits yet again in a 9-3 loss, marking its third-straight loss to the Firebirds.
When the two teams face off Friday night at Eldredge Park, the Anglers will hope to reverse the narrative and pick up their first victory of the summer over Orleans.
Thursday, the A’s completed a season sweep of the Bourne Braves with a 5-3 victory. Michael Busch (North Carolina) got the scoring started in the first with a two-run home run. The Minnesota native has been impressive in his first ten games in Chatham, hitting .306 with two homers and four multi-hit games.
On the mound, Austin Bergner (North Carolina), Troy Miller (Michigan) and Greg Veliz (Miami) combined to hold the Bourne offense to four hits and strikeout 14 batters, with Bergner contributing eight of the punchouts.
The Firebirds fell to the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox on Thursday, 11-8. Y-D scored five runs in the first inning behind a Noah Campbell (South Carolina) home run and Luke Waddell (Georgia Tech) two-RBI single. Orleans managed to cut the deficit to 9-8 in the eighth inning, but an Andrew Daschbach (Stanford) round-tripper in the bottom of the frame was the final nail in the coffin.
Since getting his first start at the plate on June 29, two-way player Nick Osborne (Tennessee Tech) has been one of the best hitters in the league. Osborne is hitting .370 with five home runs and three doubles on the season. He has not been as successful coming out of the bullpen — an 8.00 ERA with 14 strikeouts — but has been shut down when facing Chatham.
Osborne pitched in all three of the previous meetings against Chatham, tossing a combined four innings while surrendering two hits and one run via a John Rave moonshot.
Chatham is starting to get healthy from their injuries over the last few days. After Jake Taylor (Oklahoma State) returned to the lineup Wednesday, Greg Jones (UNC Wilmington) and Branden Fryman (Samford) saw their first action since July 7 and 8 on Thursday. Jones went 1-for-4 with a run scored and Fryman drew two walks.
However, it was not all good news for the Anglers on Thursday. In the third inning, Ben Ramirez (Southern California) — who has been dealing with a nagging groin injury this week — was thrown out at third base after pulling up gingerly while running. After the play, Ramirez was taken out of the game.