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In one of the hottest days of the summer, Chatham will host Harwich at Veterans Field starting at 7 p.m. The temperature is expected to reach over 90 degrees on Saturday with a 70% humidity rate.
With a 16-17 record, Harwich is fighting for the final playoff spot in the East Division before the All-Star Break. On Friday, the Mariners defeated second place team Yarmouth-Dennis, 9-4, despite allowing 12 hits to the Red Sox. Five of Harwich’s nine runs came in the seventh inning.
Chatham hadn't played a full game since Tuesday due to lightning delays on Wednesday and rain on Thursday. Its return to the field was a loss to last place Brewster, 9-1. Chatham made a season-high four errors in the game, including two in back-to-back plays in the fifth inning.
“When you don’t play the game clean, you should get your butt beat,” manager Tom Holliday said on Friday.
RJ Dabovich (Arizona State) will get the start after his best performance of the season on July 14. Dabovich struck out nine of the 13 batters he faced, and allowed just one baserunner in four innings against Hyannis. The right-hander comes into Saturday with a 2.25 ERA, and has walked just three batters in 16 innings this season.
Austin Vernon (North Carolina Central) is expected to come in relief. Vernon, also a righty, struggled in his last appearance against Hyannis, giving up three earned runs through 1.2 innings. Vernon throws mostly fastballs and can reach it up to the mid-90s. In 15.2 innings this season, he has 23 strikeouts with a 4.02 ERA.
Carson Seymour (Kansas State) will start for the Mariners. He’s pitched twice in July so far, and comes into Saturday with a 0-2 record and 3.66 ERA. The right-hander has allowed at least a run in all five of his appearances and walked 12 batters in 19.2 innings this season.
In four games this season, Saul Garza (LSU) is 5-for-11 with a homer and three runs. The 6-foot-3 catcher has recently played in the cleanup spot, mostly as designated hitter to start his season with the A’s after an injury postponed his arrival. Against Brewster, he had two hits, one of which was a double.
Chatham’s two pitchers, Auston Vernon (North Carolina Central) and RJ Dabovich (Arizona State), have a combined 1.48 strikeouts per inning. It's the second highest possible strikeout rate for a pairing of pitchers on the Anglers, as the two have 47 strikeouts in 31.2 innings this season.
Chatham failed to record an extra base hit in the team’s last meeting with Harwich on July 9. The A’s were constrained to four hits in a 2-0 loss.