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Game 11 Preview: Harwich at Chatham

by Graham Dietz
Thursday, June 22, 2023

Game 11 Preview: Harwich at Chatham
On a night in which Chatham manager Tom Holliday got tossed out of the game and extra innings were required to close the affair, it is safe to say that the Anglers, Mariners series will be one to closely follow this season.

Two runs in the eighth inning and one in the ninth, respectively, gave Chatham a shot to defeat Harwich. But, in the tenth inning of the contest, a single off right-handed relief pitcher Aedan Finateri led to the final run of the game and a 5–4 A’s loss on Wednesday night. Upon watching the ball scutter to the outfield on a beeline, the entire Mariners dugout filtered onto the field in giddy cries and sprightly rejoices.

East division leaders Harwich (7–3–0 East) will now visit the Anglers (3–6–1 East) at Veterans Field for Thursday’s matchup. Here is everything to look out for between the two sides.

Probable Starters

Gabe Davis (Oklahoma State): Chatham is expected to start the Cowboys’ six-foot-nine right-handed pitcher. In his first outing, a 6–2 loss against Cotuit, Davis faced six batters in 1.2 innings and registered two strikeouts. Davis put up a 7.92 ERA as a freshman at OSU in 2023, pitching 25 innings while allowing eight home runs and a .290 batting average against.

Andrew Armstrong (Florida State): Armstrong has started one game this season, a five-inning performance in which the righty tallied seven strikeouts and only two walks. The six-foot-two Seminole appeared in 32 innings in 2023, recording a 4.19 ERA.

Chatham Players to Watch

Carson Benge (Oklahoma State): If it weren’t for a strikeout he had in Wednesday’s loss at Whitehouse Field, the OSU product would be 8–8 at the plate this season. A two-way player, Benge boasts six hits, including a triple, and three RBIs in only two games for the A’s this season. Benge fastened a team-leading .345 batting average and .468 on-base percentage with the Cowboys in 2023 while also appearing in 10 games as a pitcher.

Mark Shallenberger (Evansville): While Shallenberger may not start for Chatham—he hasn’t started in the Anglers’ past two games—he can produce. The lefty outfielder leads the A’s roster with four RBIs, six walks, and two HBP (hit by pitch) in only 15 at-bats, which is 15 less than Chatham’s leader in at-bats, Janson Reeder. Shallenberger has done all this while displaying a .333 batting average.

Harwich Players to Watch

Kaelen Culpepper (Kansas State): Harwich’s leadoff man, Culpepper, made quick work of Chatham starter Ben Peterson on Wednesday night. Culpepper roped an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning en route to a 2–4 day at the plate with a walk and an RBI. The righty has nine hits in 35 at-bats this season.

Hunter Fitz-Gerald (Old Dominion): All lefty batters have an advantage at Veterans Field, which features a short porch in right field, and so will Fitz-Gerald. Fitz-gerald has manufactured 10 hits in 31 at-bats this season, but has not knocked out a homer yet. In his freshman year with the Monarchs, he recorded a .316 batting average with 22 home runs.

Number to know: 2.032

Through two games this season, Benge has produced an otherworldly 2.032 OPS. OPS is a baseball statistic that is calculated by dividing a player’s number of plate appearances by the number of times the player reached base. An OPS in Major League Baseball that is considered “All-Star” is .900 or higher. Benge has only featured in two games, but if the OSU product can keep up anything that resembles his first two appearances, a Cape League MVP season could be on the rise.

Last Time They Played

Chatham lost to the Mariners at Whitehouse Field Wednesday in extra innings. Harwich’s Ali Camarillo sprayed a walkoff single to left field to make it 5–4 in the bottom of the tenth inning and capture the extra inning’s thriller. The A’s used four pitchers in the affair who allowed three runs on 10 hits.