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Game 21 Preview: Chatham at Harwich

by Graham Dietz
Sunday, July 09, 2023

Game 21 Preview: Chatham at Harwich
Unpredictable weather has consumed the lives of Chatham baseball players for the last week.

The Anglers have not played a full, nine-inning game since they defeated Harwich 10–6 on July 3, which put Chatham back in the win column after a two-game drought. Since then, Chatham has either been rained out or fogged out in every game leading up to its next contest—a Sunday affair with the same team the A’s last defeated, the Mariners, at Whitehouse Field.

To make up for the lost time, the Anglers participated in an intrasquad home run derby after their game with Orleans on Wednesday was suspended due to the fog. The idea originated from Chatham manager Tom Holliday, who correctly perceived an angry full house of baseball goers who wanted to see action. The derby was a blast for players and fans alike, and pitchers even participated in the hitting aspect.

But Saturday night, amid another edition of thick haze settling above the diamond, there was no special event in place of the game. Before the contest, however, Chatham hosted its annual First Responders and Coast Guard Appreciation Night.

Luckily for the A’s roster—who have never experienced anything of this caliber—they are playing on the road, which hopefully means a game will actually be played.

Here are the pregame notes before Chatham (6–13–1 East) takes on Harwich (12–12–0 East).

Probable Starters

Jack Sokol (Pittsburgh): In his last outing, a 7–4 loss to Hyannis on July 1, Sokol tossed three innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits and two walks. Sokol earned a win in his first appearance for Chatham, on June 24, pitching four innings of one-run baseball with nine strikeouts.

Collin Rothermel (Kansas State): So far, Rothermel owns a 3.85 ERA this summer through seven innings pitched. Rothermel went scoreless in his first two appearances, but in his most recent showing, the righty gave up three earned runs on four hits and three walks in a 7–6 loss to the Harbor Hawks on July 2.

Chatham Players to Watch

Zach MacDonald (Miami Ohio): MacDonald was slated to start the last two games Chatham was scheduled to play, but hasn’t due to the inclement weather. The righty batter totaled 13 homers and 35 RBIs for the RedHawks in 2023 and managed a .251 batting average.

Trace Willhoite (Lipscomb): Another newcomer for the A’s, Willhoite posted a career-best .309 batting average with 66 RBIs for the Bisons in 2023. The righty played in 62 games this past season and tallied 17 home runs in the process, charging an NCAA Regional appearance for his squad.

Harwich Players to Watch

Mason Guerra (Oregon State): The last time the Anglers faced Harwich, Guerra totaled three hits in four at-bats. He also produced a walk and an RBI in the contest on July 3. Since then, Guerra has only notched three hits in 11 at-bats. The six-foot-three righty batter currently leads the Mariners with a .306 batting average.

Bryan Arendt (North Carolina Wilmington): Arendt’s three-game hit streak was snapped in Harwich’s 5–0 win over Orleans on Saturday, but he recorded two walks and scored once. Arendt has clubbed 12 hits in 46 total at-bats this season.

Number to Know: 25

Sunday marks the first day of the MLB Draft, which begins at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. In 2022, 25 total Anglers were selected in the draft. Kevin Parada, the 11th overall pick to the New York Mets who played for Chatham in 2021, highlighted the staggering amount of draft picks from the organization.

Last Time They Played

On July 3, the Anglers toppled the Mariners 10–6 at Veterans Field. Chatham scored eight combined runs from the fifth inning to the seventh inning to capture its sixth win of the season.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Austin Peay’s Lyle Miller-Green blasted a three-RBI moonshot to put the A’s ahead 6–4 and they never looked back. North Carolina State’s Carter Trice dialed a solo home run in the same inning, and Chatham tacked on three more insurance runs to safely exit with a win.