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With four games left in the regular season, Chatham (13-19-8) is set to host Bourne (20-14-6) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Field. The fifth-place Anglers are two points behind both Orleans and Harwich in the East Division, while the Braves have already clinched a playoff berth.
Ben Hampton (West Virginia) will return to a starting role after three consecutive bullpen appearances with Chatham. The southpaw has recorded a 2.75 ERA and leads the league with 39 strikeouts. Hampton has walked just four batters in 32.2 innings.
Anthony Arguelles is expected to start for Bourne. The 5-foot-10 right-hander has allowed five runs ' two earned ' over nine innings. Arguelles struck out seven batters over four innings in his most recent outing. He's walked six batters on the season, contributing to his 1.33 WHIP.
Cooper Ingle (Clemson) has logged a hit in each of his past four games and has reached safely in each of his past seven games. He continues to lead the Anglers in walks and is one shy of the league lead.
Chuck Ingram (Wichita State) has produced at the plate in each of his past four games, reaching safely in three of them and driving in two runs in the other. Ingram has raised his on-base percentage by 71 points over his past eight games.
Christopher Brito is the only player in the league with more walks than Ingle. Over his past four games, Brito is 7 for 14 with four doubles. After going 1 for 2 with two walks Friday, Brito's on-base percentage rose above .400.
Matt Shaw leads the Braves with five home runs and paces the league in batting average, hitting .368 over 125 at-bats. Shaw is the only qualified player in the league with an OPS north of 1.000.
Chatham is 0-3-0 against Bourne this season and has been outscored by seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings. The Anglers were leading 4-3 entering the bottom of the eighth in their first matchup against Bourne, but the Braves pushed across two runs in the frame and held on in the top of the ninth to secure a win.
In their second matchup, Chatham left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth after back-to-back fly outs, sealing a one-run loss.
Perhaps the season's most difficult loss came on July 14, when Bourne scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Anglers 6-2.
Chatham lost a 6-2 stunner to Bourne on July 14 at Doran Park. The Anglers held a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the ninth after solo home runs from Guy Garibay Jr. (Rice) and Jake DeLeo (Georgia Tech) and stellar pitching from Roman Kimball (Notre Dame) and Owen Stevenson (San Francisco).
The ensuing frame was a disaster for the Anglers. After a controversial balk call brought the Braves within one run of Chatham, Anglers manager Tom Holliday was ejected from the game. Bourne then tied the game on a wild pitch and sent Chatham home on a walk-off grand slam.