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On its way to make a playoff push, Chatham added five new players to its roster in the last three days. The additions include three pitches and two position players.
Nick Krauth (UConn) was added to the A’s pitching staff on July 29 while four more — Logan Walters (Memphis), Andy Hague (UConn), Aaron Palensky (Nebraska Lincoln) and Dane Kapande (Louisiana Tech) were activated on Wednesday.
So far, three of the five have seen action in an Anglers uniform. Expect them to play a role during Chatham’s postseason, which begins at 7 p.m. on Friday against Harwich at Veterans Field.
It’d been a week and a half since Krauth had pitched. But on Wednesday, in one of the Anglers biggest games of the season, he was tasked with starting on the mound.
“I was pretty excited,” Krauth said. “Sitting all day Tuesday, I wanted to throw.”
He’s pitched this summer but not too much, he said, because of a couple of summer classes. Krauth was the first Angler of the five to play, and he delivered.
The right-hander threw 97 pitches in seven innings of work and left the game with a 4-3 lead. After allowing three runs in the second and third inning, Krauth buckled down and ate up innings for manager Tom Holliday.
His workload wasn’t that strenuous because he’s used to it.
“I just wanted to give them a chance,” Krauth said. “I threw a couple of complete games this year so 100 pitches is nothing.”
At Diablo Valley College, Krauth started 13 of his 15 appearances with a 2.20 ERA in 86 innings of work. He threw in at least five frames in 12 games and struck out 74 batters in 2019.
Krauth’s fastball can touch 90 mph, and he threw his curveball early in counts. He’ll be a reliable option for Holliday if the A’s need help from their pitching staff in the playoffs.
Walters has yet to pitch for the A’s, but the right-hander spent his last season at Motlow State in Tennessee.
In the National Junior College Athletic Association, he started 14 games with a 3.82 ERA and a 7-2 record. He struck out 72 batters in his last collegiate season.
Prior to coming to Chatham, Walters pitched for the Winchester Royals in the Valley Baseball League in Virginia. In eight appearances, he struck out 42 batters in 38 innings. He also allowed just a .218 batting average.
The 6-foot-2 junior was a three-sport athlete — basketball, football and baseball — in high school. He’ll be another righty added to Holliday’s pitching staff going forward.
Krauth’s future teammate, Hauge, provides infield depth for a team that’s struggled with injuries. Hauge was inserted in Wednesday’s game as a pinch hitter at first base for Ben Ramirez (USC), and came around to score on Kaden Polcovich’s (Oklahoma State) bases-clearing double.
Hauge, a Woodbridge, Connecticut native, spent his 2018 summer with the Bristol Blues in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. He had 18 hits and grabbed 5 RBIs.
He hit .231 in his freshman season for the Huskies but didn’t play this year. Before arriving to the A’s, Hauge played in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League for the Adirondack Trail Blazers.
There, he was one of the Trail Blazers most consistent position players, hitting .356 in 135 at-bats. Hague homered three times and drove in 20 RBIs in 39 games. He also swiped 16 bases with a .911 OPS. Hague last played on July 28 before pinch-running on Wednesday.
“I will be living out a childhood dream playing in the Cape Cod Baseball league,” Hague said on Twitter.
Palensky is the A’s lone outfielder in its roster additions. He joined broadcaster Cooper Boardman on “Catch of the Day” before his first action as an Angler.
The right-hander came to Chatham a little bit after midnight on Tuesday. Under 24 hours later, he pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth inning for Keaton Rice (Bradley) and popped out to left.
“My coach came up to me right before the last day of the season and said ‘I just got a call from coach, do you want to play there'’” Palensky said, shaking his head in shock. “And I had to say yes.”
Palensky started his collegiate career batting .417 at Southeast Community College before playing for Nebraska. “Being from Nebraska, it was a dream come true,” Palensky said.
In 2019, he was named Second-Team All-Big Ten with a .320/.420/.902 line. Palensky led the Cornhuskers with seven home runs. Nebraska went 1-2 in the Oklahoma City Regional, including a game where Palensky hit a three-run homer off former Angler, Parker Scott.
Now he’s teammates with some of his former opponents in the regionals, like Hueston Morrill (Oklahoma State). And he’ll play a role in Holliday’s playoff lineup.
“Meet new people, play baseball,” Palensky said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Kapande is the third senior on the A’s this season, and the second on their current roster along with Jorge Arenas (Stetson).
On Wednesday, Kapande made his first appearance for Chatham. He went 1.1 innings and allowed three runs on two hits. The Louisiana Tech reliever pitched three innings in 2019 with three strikeouts.
This summer, he posted a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings of work for the Winchester Royals. Before pitching for Louisiana Tech, Kapande played for Hill College in Texas. He worked 38 innings with a 4.97 ERA and 30 K.
“If they take some innings off the board and help us from getting hurt, that’s a good addition,” Holliday said.