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CHATHAM — When the final out was recorded in the first inning Monday, the Chatham Anglers were sitting in prime position.
Chatham (18-16-2) had just exploded for five runs against the Cotuit Kettleers (16-16-3), and dating back to its last game against Cotuit, the Anglers had scored 12 straight runs.
When the A’s strolled off the field after the top of the fifth, the tables had turned. The Kettleers had scored 15 consecutive runs to flip the game from a Chatham dream scenario to a nightmare.
An inning later, the umpires called the game due to the fog with Cotuit taking the 15-5 victory.
“When umpires take control of a call, and they make the call, and I’m down 10, I’m not going to argue it,” Anglers manager Tom Holliday said. “I asked ‘Are we not going to wait 30 minutes'’ And they said ‘No.’ It’s foggy. Could you have played' I think if it’s 2-1, we are playing. Down 10, it’s almost a favor for us.”
Chatham’s first-inning rally started with Michael Busch (North Carolina) lining a single to left field. Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) and Colin Simpson (Oklahoma State) followed with a walk and a single to load the bases.
Kyle McCann (Georgia Tech) knocked in the first two runs with a double that scored Busch and Torkelson. Greg Jones (UNC Wilmington) then walked on four pitches. The fourth ball got past catcher Garrett Wolforth (Dallas Baptist), allowing Simpson to score. Ben Ramirez (Southern California) then cleared the bases with a two-run double.
“It was about as good an offensive inning first inning as you can do,” Holliday said. “We hit the ball on the nose. We set people up, got them in. We played really good offense.”
The Kettleers immediately responded with five runs in the second inning. Duke Ellis (Texas) walked and Cory Wood (Coastal Carolina) doubled to put two runs in scoring position. Michael Salvatore (Florida State) then drew a walk to load the bases before Brady Smith (Florida) knocked in a run with sacrifice fly.
Jonathan Robertson (Creighton) then doubled home two runs before scoring on a Zachary Biermann (Coastal Carolina) two-run homer.
After a balk in the fourth gave Cotuit the 6-5 lead, Biermann added to the Kettleers’ advantage with an RBI double. Garrett Wolforth (Dallas Baptist) scored Biermann with a single followed by a throwing error from Jones.
In the fifth inning, the game was blown wide open and again Ellis and Wood started the rally. Noll walked the Ellis to start the inning and then walked Wood. McCann tried to back-pick Ellis — who had stolen second base — but the throw bounced into the outfield and allowed Ellis to score.
More defensive misplays expounded the Cotuit rally. Throwing errors from Busch and Ramirez helped extend the Cotuit inning. The icing on the cake for Cotuit was a three-run home run from Michael Toglia (UCLA) in the fifth that gave the Kettleers a 10-run lead.
“You can hit all you want. You still have to play defense for nine innings,” Anglers manager Tom Holliday said. “That defensive episode tonight was, without a doubt, as embarrassing as I’ve ever [seen] in organized baseball.”
All three Chatham pitchers gave up at least four runs, albeit all five runs given up by Riley were unearned. Holliday said the pitchers need to be better.
Monday’s matchup was the first game Ramirez played in since July 12 against Bourne Braves. In that game, Ramirez pulled up while running to third base in the second inning
The left-handed hitting infielder said it was fun to be back playing on a baseball diamond.
“Sitting around and watching the games for so long,” Ramirez said. “It was good to come out here and play some ball again.”