Game 38 & 39 Preview: Chatham hosts Orleans in doubleheader
After dropping its fifth consecutive loss, Chatham will take on Orleans in a Friday doubleheader—the Anglers’ third and final doubleheader of the season.
Chatham is still in last place in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s East Division, 10 points behind Brewster. In order to make the playoffs, the Anglers would need to win six of its next seven games to surmount the Whitecaps, provided Brewster didn’t win a single game for the rest of the season.
Going into Friday’s doubleheader, Chatham will play under a new manager for the third time this season as well. Todd Shelton, a former Anglers assistant coach and the head baseball coach at Panola College, is slated to replace acting manager Marty Lees at the helm of Chatham’s clubhouse. Lees formerly replaced then-manager Tom Holliday, who resigned as the A’s skipper due to personal health reasons after a five-year stint, on July 12.
The Anglers helped Orleans clinch a playoff spot on Thursday night with a 12–6 loss to Cotuit. Here are the pregame notes for Chatham's (10–25–2 East) two matchups with the Firebirds (19–18–0 East).
Maxx Yehl (West Virginia): Yehl, typically a reliever for the Anglers, owns a 3.17 ERA through 17 innings pitched this season. The six-foot-six lefty features a long-swooping motion from a high arm slot. In his last outing, a 3 1/3 inning appearance at Orleans on July 21, Yehl garnered three strikeouts and allowed only one earned run.
Greyson Carter (Vanderbilt): Carter is the hardest thrower on the Cape this summer. The six-foot-five, 250-pound right-hander hasn’t made an appearance since shutting out Chatham with six strikeouts through 3 1/3 innings on July 21. Carter owns a 0.00 ERA.
Zander Sechrist (Tennessee): Sechrist’s last two showings are night and day in comparison to his first two outings. Through his last five combined innings, Sechrist has surrendered no earned runs and has notched four strikeouts. Through his first 4 1/3 innings with Chatham, Sechrist allowed six combined runs on nine combined hits.
Evan Truitt (Charleston Southern): Truitt’s last outing was also against the Anglers on July 21. Truitt was the losing pitcher in a 6–3 loss to Chatham that afternoon and surrendered three earned runs on six hits through four innings. Truitt manages a 4.50 ERA.
Chatham Players To Watch
Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek (Southern California): Grudzielanek pummeled his first home run of the season in the bottom of the ninth frame in Thursday night’s loss to the Kettleers. The righty batter went 2–5 on the day with one RBI and two runs. Grudzielanek boasts a .275 batting average in 51 at-bats.
Hudson White (Texas Tech): White needed a resurgence after going into Thursday’s contest against Cotuit with a .118 batting average. He got just that by tallying two hits in two at-bats with an RBI.
Orleans Players To Watch
Jo Oyama (California Irvine): Oyama didn’t play in the Firebirds’ 13–3 thumping of Falmouth on Wednesday. But, a day earlier, in a 10–6 win over Wareham, Oyama tallied three hits and three RBIs in five at-bats. A five-foot-seven lefty batter from Okinawa, Japan, Oyama is undoubtedly the hottest and most dangerous bat on Orleans’ roster. He tormented Chatham in the two sides’ last doubleheader on July 21, going 5–6 on the day with two home runs.
Matt Halbach (California San Diego): In 94 total at-bats this season, Halback has manufactured a whopping 30 hits, including four doubles and two triples. Halback has posted at least one hit in eight of his last nine games played and has only struck out 20 times this season.
Number To Know: 3
Chatham goes into its third doubleheader of the season with its third different team manager of 2023. Tom Holliday, Marty Lees and now Todd Shelton will all have coached the Anglers at the helm this season leading up to Game 38.
Last Time They Played
After dropping a 6–3 loss to Chatham on July 21 in the first game of a doubleheader, Orleans bounced back with a walk-off 4–3 victory over the A’s later that night.
Chatham tied the game with a Zach MacDonald RBI single, which scored Kyson Donahue in the top of the sixth frame, but an Owen Carapellotti sacrifice fly gave the Firebirds the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh.