« Back to 2018 News Archives
SOUTH YARMOUTH — In the second game of the Cape League season on June 13, the Chatham Anglers and Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox endured a dramatic finish.
What was meant to be a game-winning suicide squeeze by the Red Sox turned into a double play, ending the ninth inning. But due to the weather that day, the contest was called in the ninth and ended in a 1-1 tie.
Friday, the East Division’s top two teams found themselves in a similar situation. The game was knotted at four in the bottom of the eighth, and the sun was setting at Red Wilson Field, one of three fields in the Cape League without lights. Y-D’s Brad Beesly (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) grounded out to end the frame, home plate umpire David Chiasson turned waved his arms.
The game between the Anglers (19-17-3) and the Red Sox (23-11-5) had been called due to darkness with the score knotted at four.
“We're playing in darkness because people can't make up their mind about when to start ballgames,” Chatham manager Tom Holliday said. “That's completely out of my control.”
The A’s were first to get on the board when Drew Mendoza (Florida State) uncorked his second long ball of the year. The homer and a pitching change that saw Michael James (Hofstra) replace Brady Batten (Houston Baptist) on the hill ignited Chatham’s offense.
James came into the game within the middle of Ashton McGee (North Carolina)’s at-bat. McGee worked a walk before Jorge Arenas (Stetson) and pinch-hitter Tristin English (Georgia Tech) each lined singles to load the bases.
After McGee was picked-off at third base, John Rave (Illinois State) chopped a grounder down the first-base line, which he narrowly beat out. Batten made a toss to Andrew Daschbach (Stanford) at first base, but the throw went past Daschbach and Arenas strolled home to double Chatham’s lead.
The Anglers had many opportunities early on but could not capitalize. Batten, making his summer debut, walked Chatham leadoff batter Blake Sabol (Southern California) on four pitches. After Sabol was caught stealing second, Batten gave a free pass to Rave on five pitches. Eleven of the right-hander’s 17 first-inning pitches were balls.
“Our lousy baserunning is what the whole story is,” Holliday said. “We gave up four outs on the bases. Those are the turning points of any ball game.”
But as the game went on, Batten settled down. Despite walking four batters in the first four innings, he held the A’s to one hit — a golf-swing dribbler to the shortstop from Rave, who legged-out an infield single. Just one Chatham runner advanced past first base prior to the fifth inning as Y-D catcher Adam Kerner (San Diego) caught three runners trying to swipe second.
A’s starter Austin Bergner (North Carolina) did not have his typical start full of 1-2-3 innings and strikeouts. Rather, he battled Red Sox hitters, faced adversity and worked himself out of jams.
“Today was one of those days, you go out there and you know you don't have your best stuff,” Bergner said. “The biggest thing was pounding the zone early to keep me in counts and in the game.”
The Red Sox put two runners on base in the first inning, but Bergner forced a grounder that turning into a 6-4-3 double play. After allowing a leadoff single in the fourth, the Florida native compelled a flyout before snagging a line-drive straight at him before doubling up Jonny Deluca (Oregon) at first.
Bergner’s day ended after six scoreless innings, his first scoreless outing of the season.
“Quite frankly, that's a lot of guts to put up six zeros when you don't have your best stuff,” Holliday said about Bergner. “He gave us a chance to win this game."
Chatham doubled its lead in the top of the seventh, and it took some good fortune. With two outs, Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) drilled a grounder to Y-D third baseman Nick Quintana (Arizona), but during the transfer, the ball flipped out of his glove, allowing Torkelson to reach base.
On the next pitch, Michel Busch (North Carolina) smacked a two-run homer beyond the left-center field fence, his third long ball against the Red Sox this summer.
Bergner’s departure from the game caused the eyes of Y-D batters to light up. Reeves Martin (New Orleans), also making his Cape League debut, came out of the bullpen before being replaced three batters later as he conceded a solo-shot to Quintana, a single and a walk.
“We broke a new guy in and one of the better power hitters in the league takes him out of the yard. It's part of the game,” Holliday said. “The infield dribbler and then the walk, that's what gets you beat.”
Spencer Van Scoyoc (Arizona State) entered the game, surrendered an RBI single and recorded two outs before Andrew Daschbach (Stanford) stepped to the plate with two runners on. A strike away from being retired, Daschbach mashed a two-RBI double to right, knotting the game at four.
For the season series, the Anglers and the Red Sox each won two games, lost two games and tied two games.