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Game 31 Preview: Yarmouth-Dennis at Chatham

by Graham Dietz
Thursday, July 20, 2023

Game 31 Preview: Yarmouth-Dennis at Chatham
What hadn’t occurred in a while for Chatham reared its ugly head on the Anglers’ road trip to Cotuit. Pitching had been an issue for Chatham all season long but in the last three games leading up to its matchup with the Kettleers, the A’s pitching staff was locked in.

In Chatham’s 6–3 win over Wareham on Monday, reliever Jack Seppings pitched 4.1 innings and garnered seven strikeouts and no earned runs. The next day, right-handed reliever Jack Sokol pitched 4.1 innings, totaling five strikeouts, only three hits and no earned runs as well. Even in the Anglers’ Tuesday night showdown with Falmouth, first-time starter Carson Pierce boasted five strikeouts across five scoreless frames before surrendering a few runs in the sixth.

Wednesday night, however, 11 runs were scored against Chatham’s starter, Trey Gibson, seven of which were earned. Cotuit put the Anglers on the end of a lopsided match from the beginning, taking a 12–2 lead by the end of the fourth inning. Nevertheless, Chatham’s bats somehow found a way to reinsert the A’s back into the game.

Tyler Wulfert’s line drive to shallow right field had tied the game 12–12 in the top of the seventh. Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek came up to bat with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth, but play was officially halted due to darkness before he even took a real swing.

Here is what you should know before Chatham (9–19–2 East) welcomes East-Division leaders Yarmouth-Dennis (17–14–1 East) at Veterans Field.

Probable Starters

Tanner Witt (Texas): Witt needed Tommy John surgery in 2022 and his road back to being a top-tier collegiate hurler is far from finished. In three starts this season, Witt allowed six earned runs in two of them. The highlight of his summer came in his second start, an 8–1 win over Harwich on June 30. Against the Marienrs, Witt mustered five strikeouts across 4.1 scoreless frames.

Finnegan Wall (California Irvine): Wall’s last start was against the Anglers. On July 13, Wall registered seven strikeouts and only two earned runs in six innings pitched. The A’s shutout the Red Sox 3–0 that day, however. Wall holds a 3.52 ERA this summer in 23.0 total innings.

Chatham Players To Watch

Tyler Wulfert (Oklahoma State): A new righty addition to the lineup, Wulfert went on a tear at Lowell Park on Wednesday night. He went 3–4 in the four-hole against Cotuit, grabbing four RBIs in the process. Wulfert owns a .353 batting average in 17 at-bats so far.

Kyson Donahue (Hawaii): One of the few remaining players from the very first practice of the summer, there isn’t really any reason to not play Donahue after going 3–5 against the Kettleers Wednesday afternoon. Chatham’s depleted roster is likely to make Donahue more and more hungry for playing time. Donahue was thrusted into left field over the last couple of games but is a natural infielder.

Yarmouth-Dennis Players To Watch

Enzo Apodaca (Gonzaga): Apodaca has manufactured 20 hits in 66 at-bats this summer, making him a 2023 Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star. In the Red Sox last three games, though, the lefty has recorded just one hit.

Hunter Hines (Mississippi State): Batting at just a .259 clip, Hines leads the Cape League with an astounding nine home runs this season. His lefty bat will run well with Veterans Field’s short porch in right field.

Number To Know: 4

Chatham is currently riding its best four-game streak of the season, which has featured two back-to-back wins, a tie and a loss. Prior to that run, the Anglers hadn’t won consecutive games all season and had only tied once. 

Last Time They Played

On July 13, Chatham topped Y-D 3–0 at Veterans Field. The first four innings of the game were scoreless but the Anglers finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth and then proceeded to post three consecutive one-run frames.

Aidan Meola notched his first home run of the season in the fifth inning, Kaeden Kent singled in the sixth to score Deric Fabian and Zach MacDonald launched a solo homer in the eighth to make it 3–0.

Chatham starter Ben Peterson went 4.1 innings, totaling four strikeouts, only one hit and two walks on the bump. Aiden Jimenez closed the game, going unscathed in the final 1.2 innings of the affair.