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Anglers quieted by Wareham, 5-0, in game 1 of doubleheader

by KJ Edelman
Sunday, June 16, 2019

Anglers quieted by Wareham, 5-0, in game 1 of doubleheader

The Anglers had a pulse. Jamal O’Guinn (USC) reached first on a ground ball to left. His college teammate, Ben Ramirez (USC) snuck a single through the middle of the infield. And a wild pitch advanced both of them into scoring position. Down 5-0 in the sixth inning, this was their chance.

O’Guinn, standing at third, teased off the base closer to home. A fly ball was too short to run on. A walk wouldn’t move him closer. And two strikeouts, including one with two outs, ended the inning. O’Guinn, like the rest of the A’s, couldn’t make it home.

In Chatham’s first five games, there hasn’t been a shortage of close finishes. Its deficits of three and four in the first two games of the season, respectively, quickly turned into comeback wins. And its only contest of the season prior to Sunday was in a one-run ballgame. But in the first game of a doubleheader at the Wareham Gatemen (3-1-1), the Chatham Anglers (4-2) couldn’t orchestrate a run in a seven-inning, 5-0 loss.

“We were shut down,” manager Tom Holliday said. “First game, we had no shot.”

The A’s scoring hole started early in the first frame following back-to-back singles. A ground-ball single poked through the infield to bring a runner home, and gave Chatham a quick one-run deficit.

Daniel Federman (Miami), Sunday’s game one starter, struck out two batters in a scoreless second to keep it within a score. Drenis Ozuna (Oklahoma Wesleyan) drove the A’s first hit of the game to right center in the top of the third, but after moving into scoring position, a third strike from O’Guinn ended the inning.

“We didn’t come in swinging as good as we have,” O’Guinn said. “Kind of dead, flat.”

When Federman returned for a third inning of work, a double snuck into left field corner moved runners to second and third with no outs. The Gatemen’s third base coach warned his runner on second base for a line drive, but a slow dribbler through the middle of a close infield had the same effect.

Down 4-0, O’Guinn saved any more damage with a 3-6-3 double play that ended with the first baseman stretching his arm for the final out.

The only other time the Anglers faced a four-run deficit this season was against Cotuit on Tuesday. Down four in the first two innings, Chatham struck back in the top of the third with two sacrifice flies, and gained an advantage with five unanswered runs. On Sunday, the A’s waited for that kind of run again.

A leadoff double in the gap came from Ben Ramirez (USC) in the fourth and could’ve jump started the offense, but like O’Guinn, he couldn’t make it past third base after a pair of shallow fly outs.

“With runners on base, and you wanna move them around, you gotta put balls in play,” Holliday said.

Relieving Federman, Jack Conlon (San Jacinto) slowed the Gatemen offense after their three-run third inning. His only mark on the night was one run off a wild pitch.

When right-handed pitcher Trent Palmer stranded the A’s two runners in scoring position to the dugout, the A’s Zach Cable (Kentucky) did the same getting out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth unscaved.

The rally of the A’s never came, though. In the final inning of the seven inning game, O’Guinn struck out in four pitches to end the game. He shook his head briefly, but as he walked to the dugout, he held his head up instead of looking down. O’Guinn was ready to shake game one off. 

“Wareham beat us,” Holliday said. “They beat us in just about every phase of the game.”