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Chatham returns home for the final two games of its regular season, still looking to end its recent losing streak. After Chatham lost on Tuesday night in Orleans, the Firebirds travel down Route 28 to Chatham to take on the Anglers at Veterans Field at 7 p.m.
Both teams have clinched a playoff spot now, and will finish somewhere in the top three of the East Division standings. If Chatham wins either Wednesday or Thursday, the A’s will clinch first place in the East Division for the playoffs and play Harwich. But if the A’s lose both games to the Firebirds, Orleans would finish in first, and Chatham would play Yarmouth-Dennis in the first round of the playoffs.
The Firebirds enter Wednesday night’s game as winners of their last three games. Orleans took care of the three fellow East Division opponents, beating Y-D, Harwich and Chatham in two days. Meanwhile, the Anglers are slumping. They have just 21 hits in five games since clinching a playoff spot and mustered just five hits in a 4-0 defeat to the Firebirds on Tuesday night.
Since securing its playoff berth with eight wins in nine and holding the Cape League’s best record, the Anglers have commenced a five-game slide that includes losses to three different East Division foes.
Noah Skirrow (Liberty) is the projected starter for Orleans. Like Tuesday night’s starter Jared Shuster, Skirrow was an East Division All-Star. He hasn’t appeared against the A’s but in six starts and 24.2 innings, the righty has allowed six runs and struck out 35.
Nick Krauth (Connecticut) is the Anglers probable starter. Krauth was added to the Chatham staff this week following departures of other pitchers. He’ll make his Cape League debut. In 2019 with Diablo Valley College, the right-hander threw 86 innings with 74 punchouts and a 2.20 ERA.
Brady Smith (Florida) missed five days with a minor injury, but returned to the lineup as a designated hitter in game one of the doubleheader and played first base in game two. Smith didn’t register a hit but he’s an All-Star bat that should provide a needed boost to a slumping offense. Smith is slashing .248/.358/.421
Orleans outfielder Max Troiani has 47 hits this summer, the third most of any hitter on the Cape League. The most remarkable number, though, is one, his total number of extra-base hits. He has 46 singles and one double, leading to a .346 batting average. Troiani had two singles against Chatham Tuesday night.
Chatham leads the season series with Orleans, 3-1. The Anglers swept a home-and-home on July 3-4, beating the rival Firebirds 8-7 in both games. Parker Scott (Oklahoma State) threw seven shutout innings in game three of the series, as Chatham won 6-1 on July 8.
Tuesday night, Orleans won its first game of the series, 4-0.