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Game 5 Preview: Chatham at Cotuit

by Tyler Schiff
Thursday, June 15, 2023

Game 5 Preview: Chatham at Cotuit
In Chatham’s last two games combined, it mustered just 10 hits—two less than the A’s had in their season opener. On Wednesday night at Yarmouth-Dennis, those struggles continued at the plate in a 5–3 loss.

Y-D opened the contest hot, scoring a run in each of the first three innings. The A’s answered with a Lyle Miller-Green home run in the top of the second and eventually tied the game at three apiece with hits from Sam Antonacci and Kyson Donahue. But the Red Sox tacked on two unanswered runs off reliever Miles Langhorne to clinch their third win of the season.

Chatham will now face West division leader Cotuit at Lowell park in a matchup that was previously postponed to rain on June 10. The Kettleers are coming off of a 6–2 loss, their first of the season, to Brewster, which Chatham tied in a thrilling 10–10 draw at Veterans Field on opening day.

Here is everything you need to know before Chatham (1–1–2 East) faces Cotuit (3–1–0 West).

Probable Starters

Caden Aoki (Southern California): At USC this past season, the righty totaled 11 starts, notching a 2.98 ERA in 63.1 innings pitched. Prior to the season, Chatham manager Tom Holliday described Aoki as a “pitcher’s pitcher,” meaning that while he probably won’t reach the high 90’s in speed, the Trojan will paint the corners with his deliveries in a smooth and concise manner.

Christopher Kahler (George Washington): Kahler, a rising senior, is coming off his best season with the Revolutionaries, recording a 3.57 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 85.2 innings pitched. In 2023, the Coral Gables, Fla. native produced a career-high 10 strikeouts in a win over VCU on April 23. This is Kahler’s first summer in the Cape League. Last year, he registered 38 K’s with Vermont in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

Chatham Players to Watch

Brian Holiday (College of Central Florida): Penciled in as Aoki’s reliever, Holiday is back with Chatham for his second straight summer. In 2022, Holliday said Holiday’s “great spin” could help his MLB draft case after the righty posted one win and a 2.28 ERA for the Anglers. In his first season at the College of Central Florida, Holiday fanned a NJCAA-leading 141 strikeouts in 88 innings pitched.

Kyson Donahue (Hawaii): Heading into Chatham’s showdown with the Kettleers, Donahue had played almost everywhere in the infield. His performances at the plate, however, have been inconsistent. Donahue’s three-strikeout performance at Hyannis was sandwiched between two clutch hits against Brewster and Yarmouth-Dennis, respectively, both of which resulted in RBIs. If Donahue can find his stride early by channeling a more disciplined approach at the plate, Chatham’s offense could potentially blossom at Lowell Field.

Cotuit Players to Watch

Brock Rodden (Wichita State): In a team-high 12 at-bats, Rodden has put up two RBIs and registered three walks. During the Kettleers’ season opener against Yarmouth-Dennis, Rodden’s solo home run in the top of the ninth inning ensured an 8–6 Cotuit win. At Wichita State, the senior produced a .371 batting average and charted 64 RBIs in 2023.

Jay Harry (Penn State): Harry’s .299 average with the Nittany Lions this year resulted in 37 RBIs and six homers. Harry has recorded two hits in four at-bats to go along with one earned run in four games on the Cape.

Number to Know: 3

Chatham has conceded a run in the first inning in three of its four games. Most recently, playing on the road against Yarmouth-Dennis, the Anglers allowed two Red Sox players on base before Y-D’s Max Viera fired a line drive between second and third base for an RBI single.

On the flip side, Cotuit isn’t the most prolific team to start affairs. In three of its four games, the Kettleers haven’t tacked on a score in the first frame.

Last Time They Played:

Chatham beat Cotuit 10–2 in a blowout on July 19, 2022. Anthony Nunez belted a grand slam in the sixth inning of the contest, which Holliday described as a “monster” home run for the team and a “sigh of relief.”

The win marked Chatham’s first and only win over the Kettleers in five matchups during the 2022 season.