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Game 24 Preview: Chatham at Hyannis

by Graham Dietz
Friday, July 14, 2023

Game 24 Preview: Chatham at Hyannis
Hyannis is the next stop for Chatham, which just grabbed its first victory in 10 days with a 3–0 shutout of Yarmouth-Dennis. The Anglers’ starting pitcher, Ben Peterson, notched four strikeouts in 4.2 innings and didn’t allow a single run. Chatham's Aidan Meola and Zach MacDonald homered in the contest to bolster the A’s offensive front. The win marked the first for acting manager Marty Lees, who replaced former skipper Tom Holliday on Wednesday.

The Harbor Hawks unintentionally aided Chatham’s playoff chances Thursday night, defeating Brewster 7–3. The A’s are still in last place in the East Division with only 15 points, but a win and a Whitecaps’ loss yesterday inched them closer to fourth place. Chatham currently sits five points behind Brewster. 

Here are the pregame notes for the Anglers (7–15–1 East), Hyannis (15–12–1 West) matchup at McKeon Park on Friday.

Probable Starters

Tanner Witt (Texas): Witt makes his return to the Cape after going home for the 2023 MLB Draft. The Baltimore Orioles selected Witt with the 541st overall pick but the right-hander decided to decline and return to Chatham instead. After a rough first start in which he only pitched one inning and allowed six runs, Witt bounced back on June 30 against Harwich. In that start, Witt tallied five strikeouts in four innings.

Jack O’Connor (Virginia): O’Connor possesses a similar frame to Witt. Standing at six-foot-five, 235 pounds, the righty Cavalier owns a 2.07 ERA through 4.1 total innings pitched this season. O’Connor last pitched on July 8 in a 7–4 win over Brewster. He produced five strikeouts, two hits and two walks in 3.1 innings.

Chatham Players To Watch

Deric Fabian (Florida): Even though he struck out twice, Fabian recorded a hit and scored a run in the Anglers’ 3–0 win on Thursday. A day prior, Chatham’s primary shortstop was a perfect 4–4 at the plate including a solo bomb—his first homer of the season. In 26 at-bats, the righty batter has garnered 10 hits.

Aidan Meola (Oklahoma State): A true third baseman, Meola has played like a shell of himself so far this season. At OSU in 2023, Meola manufactured a .330 batting average with 29 hits, seven doubles and four homers in only 88 at-bats. But, up until Thursday’s victory over the Red Sox, Meola had registered a .175 batting average on the Cape. His solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning Thursday was his first of the summer and will likely be a huge confidence boost moving forward.

Hyannis Players To Watch

Cameron Smith (Florida State): Smith is the centerpiece of the Harbor Hawks’ lineup. His 104 at-bats this summer leads the roster by a longshot, and his 33 total hits gives Hyannis manager BJ Johnson a reason to keep sending the Seminole to the plate. Smith also leads the Harbor Hawks with four home runs this season. 

Zachary Yorke (Grand Canyon): A recent addition to the roster, Yorke has grabbed a .409 batting average in only six games played for Hyannis. In Thursday’s defeat of Brewster, Yorke went 2–4 with a walk and an RBI. He has posted an OPS above 1.000 in every game he’s played on the Cape so far except for one.

Number to Know: 6

Six Anglers from the 2023 roster were selected in the MLB Draft, which took place from July 9 to July 11. Southern Mississippi outfielder Matthew Etzel was the first selection out of the current group, going in the 10th round to the Baltimore Orioles. The others from Chatham’s 2023 squad were left-handed pitcher Matt Wilkinson, outfielder Carter Trice, right-handed pitcher Hayden Durke, left-handed pitcher Carlos Rey and right-handed pitcher Tanner Witt.

Last Time They Played

The A’s haven’t faced off against Hyannis since the first day of July, when a tumultuous series of fog-outs and rain-outs hit Chatham hard for the following two weeks.

In that contest, the Anglers fell 7–4 but didn’t get an actual chance to fully come back. The Harbor Hawks took down Chatham in only five innings as thick haze engulfed the field and halted play for the rest of the night. If a game is fogged out but is already through the fourth inning, it counts as an official game even though the final five innings aren’t played.

The Anglers took an early 4–1 lead in the bottom of the second inning but relinquished five runs in back-to-back innings as the night sky became increasingly murky. After allowing another run, the game was halted at a 7–4 final scoreline.