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Coming into Chatham's game against Y-D on Friday, Anglers starters had recorded 19 outs and allowed eight runs in the fourth inning, amounting to an 11.37 ERA. Against the Red Sox, Chris Villaman ran into the same issue.
Jonathon Long worked a full-count walk to begin the bottom of the fourth. After the six-pitch free pass, Jordan Thompson sent the first pitch he saw soaring over the left-center field fence, putting Y-D ahead 2-1.
'I felt good,' Villaman said about coming out for the fourth inning. 'I think I got repetitive with some pitches. I think that's how they got some knocks, but other than that I felt good.'
Villaman finished the frame, allowing two more singles but keeping the damage to two runs. Still, Thompson's home run was a key part of the Red Sox's 3-2 victory over Chatham.
Villaman stifled Y-D (5-4-2) early. He walked the second batter he faced but ended the frame with a groundout and a strikeout. The southpaw navigated a two-out double in the bottom of the second, stranding the runner after forcing a fly out to center field. In the third inning, Villaman allowed a base runner on an infield single but otherwise went untouched.
Chatham (3-7-1) followed a familiar script in its 11th game, which marked the end of the first quarter of the season. The Anglers' pitchers did their jobs, holding the Red Sox to three runs on seven hits, but the offense lacked, scratching across a single run in two separate innings.
Y-D starter Grant Taylor hit Marcus Brown to begin the top of the fourth inning. Caden Grice then pulled a double down the right field line. Brown, who was running on the pitch, beat the throw home to give Chatham the first run of the game.
With no outs and Grice on second, the Anglers had a chance for more but failed to execute. Chuck Ingram went down on strikes and Cooper Ingle popped out to catcher Fernando Gonzalez for two quick outs. Paul Winland Jr. extended the inning with a walk, but the effort to put a second run on the board fell short when Guy Garibay Jr. struck out swinging.
The top of the fourth was the only blemish on Taylor's outing, during which he surrendered one run over five innings and struck out six. The right-hander ran into trouble in the top of the second when Ingle doubled off the center field fence to put runners on second and third with one out. However, nothing resulted from the threat after Winland Jr. struck out ' swinging and missing on three consecutive fastballs ' and Garibay Jr. flew out to center field.
'Hitting with two outs separates you from being just another player,' Chatham manager Tom Holliday said. 'Striking out with people in scoring position, not making contact with runners at third base and less than two outs, those are obvious issues of concern for anybody in baseball, and we do it all the time.'
Chatham pieced together another run in the sixth inning against Matthew Kavanaugh. Brown led off with a ground ball to first baseman Luke Franzoni but beat him to the bag for an infield single. Brown's hustle was nullified though after the left-handed Kavanaugh picked him off first. Holliday took exception to Kavanaugh's move, exchanging words with home plate umpire E. Tyler Bullock.
Holliday had more complaints as the inning progressed. Kavanaugh took his time on the mound, and Holliday contested that he was delaying the game, which is ruled when a pitcher fails to pitch or attempt a play within 20 seconds of receiving the ball. With the Red Sox leading 2-1 and the sun close to setting at Red Wilson Field, where the threat of a game ending early due to an absence of field lights is always looming, Kavanaugh's extended process took center stage.
The umpires sided with Holliday once, awarding a ball to Ingle with a full count, sending him to first base. Holliday continued to make his case throughout the inning, counting out loud the seconds it took Kavanaugh to deliver the ball, but the umpires continued play as normal.
'They use some of the rules and they don't keep the other rules,' Holliday said. 'The umpiring is like whatever they feel like doing. It's 20 seconds. They don't keep that.'
With two outs and runners on second and third, Adonys Herrera sent a ground ball to third base. Ingram scored the tying run as the grounder was mishandled and Herrera reached on an error.
With the bases loaded and Zach Veen having replaced Kavanaugh, Chatham left the game tied after Dominic Tamez flew out to right field.
The Anglers' nine runners left on base made the difference. In the half-inning after Chatham tied the game, Pascanel Ferreras belted a solo home run to right-center field against Wyatt Evans, putting the Red Sox ahead by a narrow margin, but one that was enough to give the Anglers their fourth consecutive loss.