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Game 8 Preview: Chatham at Cotuit

by Cooper Andrews
Sunday, June 23, 2024

Game 8 Preview: Chatham at Cotuit
The seesaw that is Chatham’s 2024 campaign tilted once more in the opposite direction Saturday evening. For the third time this season, the Anglers followed up a loss with a win.

Brewster handed Chatham a 7-4 defeat Friday where it fell behind by four runs through three innings. In response, though, the A’s put together their most eye-popping performance at the plate to deliver a 9-2 victory over Falmouth. Austin Overn (USC) and John Bay (Austin Peay) each swatted three-run homers while combining for eight RBIs on the night. Meanwhile, a shutout start by Drake George (Lewis-Clark State College) paved the way for a Chatham win.

Up next for the Anglers is a road trip to Cotuit. The Kettleers enter as victors in each of their last three games, most recently toppling the Whitecaps on the road 6-1.

Here’s what to know before Chatham (4-3, East) squares off against Cotuit (4-3, West) Sunday night:

Probable Starters

Before he and his twin brother, Malachi, leave for Team USA on June 25, Kyson Witherspoon (Oklahoma) is set to make his second start with the Anglers. The righty previously took the mound on June 17 versus Bourne and racked up six strikeouts and allowed just one earned run in four innings of work.

Kyson, who transferred to Oklahoma with Malachi from Northwest Florida State College ahead of this year, put together an efficient sophomore season with the Sooners. He garnered 17 appearances, tossed 69.2 innings and posted a 3.10 ERA. Kyson brings the heat with a fastball that sits in the high 90-MPH range and possesses a slider with plenty of break.

He will match up against Cotuit’s Anthony Eyanson, a UC San Diego product. Eyanson has totaled a 3.00 ERA on the Ketteleers through one appearance, in which he allowed one run in three frames while K’ing three batters. The right-hander was an All-Big West Second Team member this past college baseball season after recording a 3.07 ERA in nine starts.

Chatham Players To Watch

Bay has emerged as the clear-cut cleanup hitter of Chatham’s lineup. The outfielder is the only Anglers player to hit multiple home runs, knocking two of his six hits out of the park. Through six appearances, Bay has a team-best 1.206 OPS and a team-high .706 slugging percentage. He also leads the Anglers in RBIs (six).

Someone who seemed to be set to fill that role on paper before the season was Ike Irish (Auburn). Though, he’s registered just a .545 OPS thus far with no extra-base hits. Recent games suggest he’s finding his rhythm. Irish belted two base hits in Saturday’s win over Falmouth and was robbed of a solo homer in Thursday’s contest versus Orleans.

Cotuit Players To Watch

The Kettleers have gone yard more than any other team in the Cape Cod Baseball League so far. Their two leaders in that department have been Brandon Compton and Grant Jay.

Compton, who recently finished his redshirt freshman year at Arizona State, has laced two homers and driven in a team-high eight runs. The outfielder slugs .524, though he hasn’t taken a walk over six games in 2024. Compton entered the Cape after a gaudy campaign with the Sun Devils, batting .354 with nearly a 1.100 OPS and 14 home runs.

While Jay has been a tad more polished at the dish thus far for Cotuit. He only totals a .200 average, yet he’s earned a team-best four walks and boasts a .409 OBP to show for it. Jay’s 1.009 OPS ranks first among qualified hitters on the Ketteleers, providing a dangerous assignment for the Anglers’ pitching staff.

Number To Know: 3

Chatham first-year manager Jeremy “Sheets” Sheetinger preaches an aggressive mentality, especially on the basepaths. Yet, the Anglers had just three stolen bases in their first six matchups. They doubled that total in Saturday’s game alone.

Bay, Landon Stripling (Florida) and Will Gasparino (Texas) all swiped bags on the Commodores for a three-steal evening. Sheetinger’s squad found more success against Falmouth with placing runners in scoring position and capitalizing on high-leverage opportunities. Continuing that trend will only pay dividends in the future.

Last Time They Played

In the final leg of a 0-3-1 season against the Kettleers, Chatham dropped a home game 12-6 to Cotuit on July 27, 2023. It was the Anglers’ fifth consecutive loss at that point.

Current Brewster outfielder and former member of the A’s, Nolan Schubart, ripped a two-RBI single to put Chatham up 4-1 in the third inning. But, the Kettleers unleashed for a seven-run fourth frame, essentially ending any hope for an Anglers’ comeback. Cotuit’s win improved its record at the time to 26-11-1.