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Chatham begins a home-and-home with Harwich on Sunday night, its final two meetings with the Mariners in 2019. The first game of the series is set for 5:30 p.m. at Whitehouse Field in Harwich.
The Anglers concluded their season slate with the West Division on Saturday night, as Cotuit took down Chatham and ended its four-game winning streak with a 10-3 win at Veterans Field.
The Kettleers jumped on the A’s for three runs in the third and three more in the fourth, building an insurmountable 6-0 lead and cruising to a win.
Despite the loss and end to the streak, Chatham clinched a playoff berth in the division with Brewster’s loss. The Anglers now need just three wins in their final six games — potentially fewer if Yarmouth-Dennis and Orleans lose — to clinch the No. 1 seed and home field advantage in the first two rounds. The A’s final six games will all be against East Division foes.
Harwich had been one of the league’s hottest teams, winners of five of its last seven, until the Red Sox stopped them with a tie and then Y-D handed the Mariners a 13-7 loss on Saturday. While Chatham is cruising to the finish line, Harwich is in a battle for the final playoff spot. At 18-20-1, the Mariners sit level in the loss column with Brewster, and just one game ahead in the win column because of one extra game played.
Luke Bartnicki (Georgia Tech) will start for Chatham. Bartnicki was exclusively a late-inning reliever his first year with the Yellow Jackets, but has stretched out and extended well with the Anglers this summer. The lefty has thrown five consecutive scoreless innings, including two vs. Harwich on Saturday. For the summer, Bartnicki has 27 Ks in 20 innings and a 3.15 ERA.
Connor Sechler (Missouri State) is the projected starter for Harwich. The right-hander has made four starts this summer, striking out 22 in 20 innings. Like Bartnicki, Sechler also has a 3.15 ERA.
Hueston Morrill (Oklahoma State) has started three of the last four games in the middle of the Anglers infield and produced both offensively and defensively. Anglers manager Tom Holliday raved about Morrill’s glove, and the rising sophomore has five hits in his last 14 at-bats in the three starts.
Chatham pitching has shut down the Harwich hitters in every meeting this season, holding the Mariners to eight runs in four meetings. A’s pitching has held the Mariners power hitting lineup to a .213 average and .238 slugging percentage.
Chatham and Harwich played on July 20 at Veterans FIeld. The Mariners jumped out to a 4-2 lead entering the sixth, until Alex Toral (Miami) belted a two-run home run onto Depot Road to tie it up. Then in the eighth, Jorge Arenas (Stetson) mashed his first Anglers home run to give the A’s a 5-4 lead. Chatham added an insurance run and won 6-4. The A’s lead the season series with the Mariners, 3-1.