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Game 4 Preview: Chatham at Hyannis

by Cooper Andrews
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Game 4 Preview: Chatham at Hyannis
A mere glance at Monday’s hit discrepancy between Chatham and Bourne would make the average eye believe the Braves delivered a drubbing. That wasn’t close to the case at Veterans Field, however.

The A’s found a way to defeat the two-time defending Cape Cod Baseball League champions in spite of a laundry list of unfavorable statistics. Nineteen strikeouts at the dish. Six fewer hits than Bourne. Two knocks the entire game. Yet the difference came through the free pass. Ten walks were issued to Chatham, while its pitching staff never recorded one.

Patient plate appearances carried the Anglers to their 5-1 toppling of Bourne..After scoring a couple runs off walks with the bases loaded, John Bay (Austin Peay) drilled a two-run sixth-inning homer to deep center field, giving Chatham a comfortable cushion.

Though, efficient efforts on the mound by Kyson Witherspoon (Oklahoma), Hayden Murphy (Auburn) and Karson Ligon (Mississippi State) were enough to carry the A’s past the Braves.

Chatham’s next test comes against the lone unbeaten team remaining in the CCBL — Hyannis. The Harbor Hawks have outscored their opponents 25-5 over their opening three contests, most recently crushing Brewster 10-4.

Here’s what to know ahead of Chatham’s (2-1, East) matchup on the road against Hyannis (3-0, West) in its fourth game of 2024:

Probable Starters

The A’s are expected to send right-hander Jacob Weaver (Austin Peay) out to the bump to face the Harbor Hawks. Sheetinger named Weaver as an under-the-radar prospect before the season, saying he fits Chatham’s aggressive style and deserves more national attention.

Weaver’s put together a solid resume with the Governors in three seasons thus far. He earned 2022 OVC All-Freshman Team honors as a reliever, while he tossed over 140 innings and grew into a starting role his last two years. On a loaded Austin Peay pitching staff, Weaver threw the most innings (79.1) and accumulated the most K’s (66).

Weaver will go up against Hyannis’ Ryan Dromboski, a righty out of the University of Pennsylvania. Dromboski, a rising senior, was the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year in 2023 after leading the conference in ERA (2.27) and holding opponents to a measly .165 batting clip. Dromboski poses a threat as a high-strikeout, high-stamina guy who’s tough to hit once he gets on a roll.

Chatham Players To Watch

Luke Cantwell (Pittsburgh), albeit through three games, has arguably been Chatham’s most interesting player. As of June 18, the first baseman led the CCBL in OBP (.667) despite not tallying a hit. He’s the definition of someone who waits for their specific pitch to be thrown, and his violent swing combined with that patience will only lead to consistent results.

At the same time, Bay showed off an aggressive plate approach in Monday’s win over Bourne. He laced the first pitch of a sixth-inning at-bat over the center-field fence to give Chatham a 4-1 lead. It was Bay’s first home run and second hit of the season. With teams across the CCBL not displaying gaudy slugging numbers, Bay has stood out as one of two A’s players (Will Gasparino, Texas) to hit a homer in 2024.

Hyannis Players To Watch

Harbor Hawks’ infielder Jon Jon Gazdar is putting together one of the best campaigns in the Cape thus far. The Austin Peay product has five hits through three games, including one home run, and currently posts the third-highest OPS in the league (1.227). He’s also been a machine producing runs with the most RBIs in the CCBL — six.

Elsewhere in Hyannis’ infield is Wallace Clark, who’s coming off a two-hit, two-RBI performance in its win over Brewster Monday. Clark, who originally attended Oklahoma before transferring to Duke, has been a tough out, possessing a .583 OBP and .500 batting average. He’s patient at the plate, doesn’t strike out much and kills opponents with simple base knocks, which has encapsulated Hyannis’ winning formula thus far.

Number To Know: 6

Speaking of being patient, Harbor Hawks Kane Kepley fits into that mold the most. The left fielder has been issued six walks through three contests, a total that’s two higher than the next closest player. Kepley, a walk-on at Liberty, is coming off a year in which he racked up a .477 OBP — the second-best mark in C-USA.

Last Time They Played

The A’s fell 9-3 at home to the Harbor Hawks on July 25, 2023, in the third defeat of a six-game losing streak. Chatham allowed seven runs across the sixth and seventh frames, allowing for Hyannis to develop a lead it never relinquished. In all of the 2023 season, the Anglers went 0-4 versus the Harbor Hawks.