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Chatham will make its final regular season road trip to a West Division opponent on Friday night. With the possibility for both teams to clinch their playoff spots on Friday, the Anglers travel to Doran Park to take on Bourne at 6 p.m.
The A’s enter Friday night as winners of seven of their last eight, with one loss sandwiched in between a four-game and three-game win streak. After three off days, Chatham swept a home-and-home with division foe Yarmouth-Dennis by dominating the Red Sox lineup.
Wednesday, Chatham won in a shutout, 5-0. Thursday, it was more late magic as Alex Toral (Miami) hit a two-run home run and Ben Ramirez (USC) scored the winning run on a stolen base and throwing error.
Bourne, despite its subpar 15-20-1 record, has played the Anglers well this season. The Braves hold a 2-1 series lead and can clinch the fourth and final West Division playoff spot with a win against Chatham, or a Hyannis loss to Brewster.
Should Hyannis beat Brewster, then the A’s could become the first East Division team to clinch their playoff spot, with a win against the Braves.
Bourne’s offense has struggled all season as the Braves are near the bottom of the league in batting average, slugging percentage and runs scored. Earlier this season, Chatham pitching struck out 15 hitters in a seven-inning game.
Ty Madden (Texas) will start for Chatham. Madden hasn’t technically pitched since July 11, when he had his worst outing of the season against Falmouth. The right-hander has been a consistent starter for Chatham despite that start, and has struck out 19 batters in 19.1 innings.
Mac Lardner (Gonzaga) is the projected starter for Bourne. Lardner was named a Cape League All-Star and has been a shutdown left-hander all summer. In 28 innings and five starts, Lardner has conceded just four runs and struck out 22. Opponents are hitting just .200 against him.
Alex Toral’s (Miami) home run on Thursday night was the longest home run hit at Veterans Field in 2019. He smashed a low 2-1 fastball onto Depot Road atop the right field hill to tie the game at three. It’s been a long time coming for the A’s first baseman, who has 10 hits in 10 games.
"That's definitely not staying in the yard,” Toral said of his home run. “I just took a second and admired it, you know, got my trot on."
A’s manager Tom Holliday typically likes to put righties in the lineup to face left-handed pitching, but neither side of the plate has found success against Lardner. Righties are hitting just .182 against him, with 10 hits in 55 at-bats.
Chatham and Bourne played at Doran Park on June 26. After a split doubleheader at Veterans Field, Bourne lefty Harrison Rutkowski shut down the Anglers lineup at home with five innings of one run ball. Chatham made a few costly errors and walked in a couple runs to give the Braves a 4-1 win.