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Chatham's 2023 pitching staff breakdown

by Tyler Schiff
Friday, June 09, 2023

Chatham's 2023 pitching staff breakdown
Chatham begins its 2023 campaign with a mostly new-look roster, featuring 24 pitchers represented across 22 colleges and universities. The Anglers’ arms will start the summer on the road against Cotuit on Saturday before playing in its home opener at Veterans Field the following night.

With five A’s pitchers set to compete in the upcoming NCAA Super Regional, Chatham is still without its full roster. But after the first three days of practice, Anglers manager Tom Holliday has already named Hayden Durke as a starter against the Kettleers.

Here is a look at Chatham’s pitching staff this season, equipped with insight, analysis and expectations from Holliday:

Caden Aoki (RHP) - Southern California

Making just four appearances for Notre Dame his freshman year, Aoki’s transfer to USC this past season has led to 11 starts in 13 appearances. Described by Holliday as a “pitcher’s pitcher,” the righty has produced a 2.98 ERA in 63.1 innings pitched, notching 52 strikeouts along the way.

Matt Becker (LHP) - South Carolina

In his second year with the Gamecocks, Becker has seen a dip in ERA from a 5.21 to a 4.83 through 11 starts. Holliday said Becker carries a solid breaking ball, one that could be on display in South Carolina’s Super Regional matchup against Florida.

Brody Brecht (RHP) - Iowa

Once a dual-sport athlete, Brecht also suited up as a wide receiver for the Hawkeyes in 2022. That same season, Brecht earned Perfect Game second-team Freshman All-American honors and was named to the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman Team. In his sophomore year, Brecht managed 109 strikeouts with a 3.74 ERA, including a whopping 13 K’s against Maryland on March 31. Holliday said Brecht will most likely leave the A’s for USA camp in late June.

Cam Brown (RHP) - TCU

One of six returning pitchers for the A’s, Brown mustered a 7.00 ERA in seven games during his first summer on the Cape. Brown registered a 5.50 ERA in 15 appearances with the Horned Frogs in 2023. He finished with 59 strikeouts in just over 52 innings pitched. Holliday said that Brown is a capable starter but has issues heating up quickly.

Gabe Davis (RHP) - Oklahoma State

Davis’ freshman season in Stillwater was highlighted by a seven strikeout performance in OSU’s midseason win over Kansas. Across 22 appearances and 25 innings pitched, Davis recorded a win and two losses while sporting a 7.92 ERA. Though Davis has not been present at preseason practice, Holliday said that the six-foot-nine pitcher will most likely serve as a closer.

Hayden Durke (RHP) - Rice

Durke will start for Chatham on Saturday in his second summer with the A’s. Before transferring to Rice, Durke spent two seasons with Louisiana, averaging a 5.63 ERA in 24 appearances. Although Durke was ineligible for the Owls in 2023 due to illegal substance use, Holliday said he’s looked “really good” early on at Veterans Field.

Aeden Finateri (RHP) - Georgia Tech

Finateri’s second season with the Yellow Jackets entailed a significant decrease in ERA but an uptick in innings pitched. He tallied his first collegiate win in late February over Tennessee Tech, and produced just 17 walks throughout the year. Holliday said he plans to bring Finateri in as a late reliever.

Trey Gibson (RHP) - Liberty

Gibson performed well for Liberty as a first year, earning ASUN Freshman of the Year and All-Conference second-team honors while posting a 3.32 ERA. Although Gibson was ineligible for his sophomore campaign, Holliday said he was “electric” in his first practice with Chatham.

Eric Hammond (RHP) - Southern California

Hammond joins Aoki as the second Trojan to suit up for the A’s this summer. After his first practice with Chatham, Holliday said he was eager to see more from the redshirt freshman. Hammond racked up 14 starts and produced 41 strikeouts in 52.1 innings pitched in 2023.

Griffin Herring (LHP) - LSU

In Herring’s first collegiate season, the Texas native notched four wins and 35 strikeouts. A former MaxPreps All-American out of high school, Herring registered a 4.55 ERA and did not concede a homer this past year.

Brian Holiday (RHP) - College of Central Florida

Holiday, a recent transfer pickup for the Patriots, impressed in 2022 with the A’s, posting one win and a 2.28 ERA. Holiday has notched 16 starts in 17 appearances for Central Florida, fanning a NJCAA-leading 141 strikeouts. Last summer, Holliday said Holiday’s “great spin” could help his MLB draft case.

Miles Langhorne (RHP) - Charlotte

Langhorne struggled during his redshirt freshman season at Charlotte, as the Connecticut native put up a 7.11 ERA. In 25.1 innings pitched, he produced 25 strikeouts and allowed 21 runs.

Tommy Molsky (RHP) - Penn State

Molsky’s first summer with the Anglers followed an impressive 2022 season where he threw over 1,000 pitches for the Nittany Lions. Although he notched an ERA of 7.17 in 2023, Holliday said Molsky isn’t the type to throw 100, but paint the corners instead as a reliable option.

Liam Paddack (LHP) - Gonzaga

Paddack, who recently transferred into Gonzaga after two years at Spokane Community College, piled on 69 strikeouts with a 3.20 ERA in the Northwest Athletic Conference in 2023. Holliday praised Paddack’s breaking ball and strong arm. Before playing in the Cape League, Paddack started five of 12 games for Port Angeles in the 2022 West Coast League.

Mario Pesca (RHP) - St. John’s

Pesca didn’t enter the 2022 MLB Draft as a heralded high school recruit, committing to St. Johns instead. In his first season with the Red Storm, Pesca finished with a 7.86 ERA across seven starts in 14 appearances.

Ben Peterson (RHP) - North Carolina

Peterson, another returner for the A’s, has played for three collegiate programs in just as many years. He featured in five games this season at UNC, posting a 5.52 ERA with 17 strikeouts. Holliday mentioned the Tar Heel’s ability to handle late-game situations.

Carlos Rey (LHP) - Nova Southeastern

In 2023, Rey tallied a career-high 102 strikeouts with a 2.73 ERA, including crossing out 12 batters against Palm Beach Atlantic on March 3. This summer will be the junior’s second with Chatham after he totaled a 5.57 ERA in 21 innings pitched for the Anglers in 2022. Holliday was content with Rey’s performance on the Cape last year and said he hopes Rey will perform just as highly this summer.

Parker Smith (RHP) - Rice

Smith is a USA Baseball Collegiate National Team invitee and 2023 All-Conference USA first-team selection. Along with Brecht, Smith will leave by the end of June, but Holliday plans to utilize him in Chatham’s season opener versus Cotuit. In his sophomore year with the Owls, Smith produced a season-high 14 strikeouts in a win over Charlotte on April 14.

Ervis Solis (LHP) - Miami Dade College

Solis tallied a 7.36 ERA and 19 strikeouts during his freshman season with Miami Dade College. Holliday said he was impressed with Solis’ slider and was surprised the lefty didn’t pitch more throughout the year. Originally committed to Florida International University out of high school, the lefty opted to join the Sharks and notched 12 appearances this past season.

Kurt Thomas (RHP) - Central Connecticut State

Hailing from East Harwich, Thomas grew up frequenting the Cape League. He recorded a 16.88 total ERA across two seasons in just eight appearances with the Blue Devils.

Jacob Widener (LHP) - Oral Roberts

Before even stepping onto Oral Roberts’ campus, Widener spent summers in the Northwoods and Coastal Plain Leagues, totaling a 5.33 ERA. Holliday described Widener as a “really good, situational lefty.” Coming off his redshirt sophomore season with the Golden Eagles, Widener achieved his first two career starts and struck out 74 batters in 45 innings.

Matt Wilkinson (LHP) - Central Arizona

In two years with the Vaqueros, Wilkinson—at six-foot-one, 265 pounds—has logged 85 strikeouts and a 1.87 ERA. Nicknamed “tugboat,” Wilkinson previously spent four summers in the Western Canadian Baseball League playing with the Okotoks. Holliday labeled Wilkinson as the best junior college pitcher in the country.

Tanner Witt (RHP) - Texas

After earning Freshman All-American and Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selections in 2021, Witt missed his second year with the Longhorns after undergoing season-ending surgery. As a redshirt sophomore, the Houston native only pitched 9.2 innings, finishing with a 9.31 ERA. Holliday strongly believes Witt will start and said if the Longhorn pitches well for the Anglers, he could be a potential first rounder.

Maxx Yehl (LHP) - West Virginia

Yehl posted a 3.54 ERA in 17 appearances during his freshman season to help West Virginia go to its first Big 12 baseball regular season title in program history. He fanned 19 batters and gave up 11 runs in 2023. Holliday said Yehl will most likely come in as a relief pitcher.