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Game 5 Preview: Chatham at Orleans

by Zak Wolf
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Game 5 Preview: Chatham at Orleans
Riding high following an unconventional 5-1 win over Bourne in which the A’s were outhit 8-2, they were brought back down to earth against the hottest team in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Hyannis dominated Chatham in every facet of the game Tuesday en route to an 11-0 win, which ended via run-rule in the seventh inning.

The Harbor Hawks jumped on Anglers’ starting pitcher Jacob Weaver (Austin Peay) early. Two first inning walks were punished with a three-run home run from Zach Yorke and Hyannis never looked back. Two more runs in the second created a 5-0 hole, which was doubled in the fourth to create an insurmountable lead.

Following an off day, Chatham gets a chance to bounce back against the Orleans Firebirds, who are coming off a 5-2 loss to Wareham.

Here’s everything to know ahead of Chatham’s (2-2, East) matchup against Orleans (1-3, East) in its fifth game of the 2024 season:

Probable Starters

Liam Paddack (Gonzaga) is set to make his first appearance with the A’s this summer. Paddack is the only returning player from Chatham last season after primarily being used out of the bullpen, making one start in nine total appearances. The lefty pitched 20.1 innings, recorded 17 strikeouts and finished with a 1-1 record in 2023.

After two seasons at Spokane Community College, Paddack transferred to Gonzaga and became its most frequent starter. In 12 starts and 14 appearances, Paddack pitched the most innings (65) on the Bulldogs’ roster while also leading them in K’s with 77. Paddack's premier appearance came on April 13 against San Francisco where he pitched seven scoreless innings and only allowed three hits.

On the opposite side, Evan Truitt from Chareleston Southern will get the start for Orleans. Despite not being a starter, Truitt pitched 64 innings across 16 appearances and accumulated a 3.80 ERA — the second best mark for the Buccaneers.

Chatham Players To Watch

Prior to the season, A’s manager Jeremy “Sheets” Sheetinger described Jayden Davis (Vanderbilt) as someone who “rolls out of bed and knows how to hit.” Though Davis has just two knocks in four games with Chatham, he’s bound to break out after a strong season with the Commodores. Davis batted .315, drove in 35 runs and only struck out 21 times in 2024.

Kyle Lodise (Georgia Tech) is another hitter who drew high praise from Sheetinger during the preseason and like Davis, has yet to find his groove with Chatham. Lodise registered a .369 batting average with Division-II Augusta this season and got on base at least every other at-bat, registering a .498 OBP.

Orleans Players To Watch

Through four games, Landon Moran has been Orleans’ best hitter with five hits in 14 plate appearances so far. Moran is the only Firebird batting above .275 and leads the team with an OPS of .829. The infielder is coming off a season with 62 appearances for Stetson where he registered a .430 OBP.

Jack Gurevitch is another strong hitter in the Firebirds’ lineup. As a sophomore, Gurevitch finished with a .324 batting average at San Diego. Gurevitch was third on the Toreros with a .509 slugging percentage.

Stat To Know: 49

Strikeouts have been a glaring issue for the A’s this season. In 112 plate appearances, Chatham has struck out 49 times, tied for the most in the CCBL with Bourne. Though it ended in a win, the Anglers struck out in nearly 50% of their at-bats against the Braves. That performance was followed by 12 more K’s against Hyannis.

Chatham has competed with long-drawn out at-bats due to their patience but at times, it has struggled to finish them and get on base.

Last Time They Played

Chatham took on Orleans in the final game of its centennial season on August 3, 2023. The A’s defeated the Firebirds 14-12 to complete a four-game winning streak to round out the regular season, despite being eliminated from playoff contention four days prior.

A seven-run third inning was just enough for Chatham to get by despite a late rally from Orleans. The Firebirds chipped away at the A’s lead, scoring four runs in the ninth and bringing the tying run to the plate. But Alec Ritch struck out Eddie King Jr. to seal the win.