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Chatham and Orleans will meet for the second time in as many days for their traditional July 4 matchup at Eldredge Park on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Orleans.
Thursday’s meeting is the second meeting of a home-and-home. Wednesday at Veterans Field, the Anglers won a wild game on a walk-off throwing error. The A’s (11-6-1) snapped the Firebirds’ (10-5-2) five-game winning streak and pushed their own winning streak to four games.
Despite the A’s eight runs, Orleans pitching staff remains easily the best in the league in ERA, average and shutouts.
Cole Ayers (State College of Florida) will start for Chatham. He spent his entire spring at Kentucky as a reliever and will make his first Chatham start on Thursday. Ayers threw four innings in his last outing against Wareham on Friday. He allowed three runs in his first frame, but dominated the next three. He has a 3.75 ERA for the A’s this summer.
Jack Owen (Auburn) will look to bounce back in relief after he allowed four runs, three earned, in his first inning against Wareham since returning to the Cape from the College World Series. Owen recovered well and pitched a 1-2-3 second inning. The lefty posted a 2.75 ERA for the Tigers this spring.
Mike Vasil (Virginia) is the Firebirds’ projected starter. Vasil threw 3.2 innings against Cotuit, allowing two earned runs and five hits in the Orleans win on June 28. As a freshman, the right-hander posted a 5.73 for the Cavaliers.
Charlie Welch (St. John’s River State College) mustered just one hit in his first 25 at-bats. But his two hits in the last two games have sparked comeback victories. Welch notched an RBI single on Tuesday at Harwich and ripped a two-run home run on Wednesday to put the A’s on the board. He continues to make solid contact.
Entering Wednesday’s game, Orleans had the fewest errors in the Cape League. However, the Firebirds made three errors, pushing their number to 17, tied for 6th most.
For the first time, Chatham will play the same team on consecutive days. Chatham won 8-7, after trailing 4-0 after four innings. Welch began the comeback and Kaden Polcovich (Northwest Florida) tied the game with a two-run double.
Once Chatham blew a three-run lead in the ninth, they scored the winning run on an Orleans throwing error.