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Game 6 Preview: Wareham at Chatham

by Graham Dietz
Friday, June 16, 2023

Game 6 Preview: Wareham at Chatham
Chatham and Cotuit were the only two teams in the Cape Cod Baseball League that played a Thursday contest after the first week of action.

At Lowell Park, the Anglers started well early to build up a 2-0 lead, but lackluster defense in the fourth and fifth innings blew the game open in an eventual 10–3 loss to the Kettleers. For Chatham, two new faces in West Virginia’s JJ Wetherholt and Oklahoma State’s Nolan Schubart, made an introduction. Arguably the best hitter in college baseball, Wetherholt, tallied an RBI double in the second inning while Schubart, a six-foot-five freshman outfielder and third baseman, went 0–3 with one walk and three strikeouts.

The Anglers now go into their third home game of the season with a streak of two losses. Wareham, on the other hand, enters the affair riding a two-game win streak. Despite holding the East division’s worst record, Chatham’s are undefeated at Veterans Field so far in 2023.

Here's everything you need to know about Chatham's (1–3–1 East) home matchup against Wareham (3–2–0 West):

Probable Starters

Hayden Durke (Rice): Durke is on the hot seat, despite displaying the fastest speeds of any pitcher on the Anglers’ roster. He reached triple digits twice as a reliever in the fifth inning, replacing Chatham starter and Rice teammate Parker Smith in the A’s opener against Brewster, but allowed seven runs in a single frame. The appearance entailed Durke’s first live action in a game since he started in Chatham the previous summer before breaking his arm. If he can learn to consistently nail the strike zone at that velocity, he might not only be one of the best pitchers on the Cape, but also solidify his first-round pedigree.

Will Koger (Louisville): Koger has pitched one inning for the Gatemen this season in a loss to Cotuit, walking two batters with no strikeouts. The sophomore relief pitcher registered a 4.81 ERA last season in 24.1 innings pitched, notching just 25 strikeouts to 16 walks. This could be exactly the type of pitcher the A’s need to get back on track at the plate and morph into its original form with more firepower in the toolshed in Wetherholt and Schubart.

Chatham Players to Watch

JJ Wetherholt (West Virginia): Wetherholt, the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2022, mustered a .449 batting average in 2023 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs. The lefty hitter produced an RBI double in his first game with the A’s, accounting for one of just three Chatham runs in the game. Come the end of June, Wetherholt will most likely join Angler pitchers Brody Brecht and Parker Smith at USA camp.

Nolan Schubart (Oklahoma State): Schubart was a reckless hitting machine in his first year as a Cowboy, posting an OPS of 1.118. The rookie started in nearly every game for OSU, capturing a team second-best 17 homers and a team-best 20 doubles. Before the season started, Holliday compared Schubart to Yankee great Joe DiMaggio.

Wareham Players to Watch

David Glancy (St. Johns): Glancy leads Wareham with the most at-bats for good reason. In five games this summer, the outfielder has totaled five RBI’s compared to just two strikeouts. His two home runs lead the Gatemen and have contributed to their wins over Orleans and Falmouth. Coming off of his redshirt junior year at St. John’s, the righty slugger registered a .284 batting average and produced 46 runs in 45 appearances.

Sebastian Murillo (Georgia): Though Murillo hasn’t notched any no-doubters in 2023, the Athens, Ga., native has registered a .294 batting average across five games with Wareham. Murillo’s highlight of the young 2023 season came in the Gatemen’s 12-1 battering of Harwich when he finished with two RBI’s in four at-bats. In his junior year with the Bulldogs, Murillo totaled six home runs and 45 hits in 49 starts.

Number To Know: 2

Both Chatham and Wareham are on a two-game streak. The Gatemen have won their last two, most recently besting Orleans 5-2 while the Anglers have lost their last two, falling 10-3 to Cotuit on Thursday evening.

The goal for the A’s is simple. If Durke can command the mound and the Angler bats can stay hot throughout all nine innings versus Wareham, Veterans Field could potentially be the stage where Chatham flips the script on its early season blues to kickstart a more positive streak.

Last Time They Played

Chatham defeated Wareham 11-2 on July 20, 2022 to garner its fourth straight victory. The Gatemen’s four costly errors at Spillane Field led to the first double-digit scoring night for the Anglers last season.

On the bump, Roman Kimball made his second start for the A’s and, though he struggled to get going early on, the righty eventually settled into his groove. Offensively, Chatham’s Cooper Ingle, Guy Garibay, Anthony Nunez, Jake DeLeo, Caden Grice, and more all registered a run on the scoresheet.

A game later, the Anglers defeated Orleans to stay hot but Cotuit eventually halted their win streak at Lowell Park on the eve of the CCBL All-Star Game.