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Anglers lose 4-2 at Harwich, drop 2nd straight contest

by Zak Wolf
Monday, June 24, 2024

Anglers lose 4-2 at Harwich, drop 2nd straight contest
Chatham’s season through eight games has been a seesaw — literally. The Anglers have followed up a win with a loss four straight times. Monday was the first time Chatham bucked that trend, but not in its desired way.

The A’s looked to get back on track following a tight 4-1 loss to Cotuit the night before, but a lack of timely hitting cost the Anglers once again to drop their second straight.

For the first time this season, Chatham (4-5, East) fell below .500 following a 4-2 loss to Harwich (6-3, East). The Anglers fell behind 4-0 and couldn’t recover. Though Chatham surpassed Harwich's hit total (seven) with nine, it wasn’t enough in the end.

The Anglers’ offensive struggles bled into Monday. They went the final four-plus innings without a hit in a 4-1 loss to Cotuit while their only run came on the first pitch after Austin Overn (USC) blasted a home run.

Ike Irish (Auburn) drilled a ball into center field for a two-out single, but Luke Cantwell (Pittsburgh) popped up to end the first inning. Yet, the ensuing frame looked promising for the Anglers, placing their first two runners on base.

Aiva Arquette (Washington) drilled a hard-hit ball into left field and Kyle Johnson (Duke) was hit by a pitch. But the Anglers' threat was soon thwarted. Kyle Lodise (Georgia Tech) squared to bunt, but popped the ball back to catcher Macon Winslow.

Two pitches later, Will Gasparino (Texas) made great contact but drove the ball straight to Jake Ogden at third base. To make matters worse, Arquette was caught taking too far of a lead from second base, getting doubled up as a result.

Ike Irish trots to first base after knocking a sharp line drive into center field for a single in the first inning of Chatham's 4-2 loss at Harwich / Photograph by Ella Tovey

Jacob Weaver (Austin Peay) took the mound for his second start of the year with Chatham. Weaver’s outing Monday started off better than his previous one, where he allowed six earned runs in two innings of work against Hyannis.

Weaver’s location was much better, pounding the zone with strikes. The righty allowed a base runner in each of the first two frames but quickly got out of trouble. Irish caught Robbie Burnett stealing second prior to an Ogden strikeout to conclude the first frame.

Tommy Barth produced Harwich’s first hit with a one-out liner into left. But Weaver then forced Sam McNulty to ground a ball directly to Lodise. The second baseman easily got the force out at second and easily converted the double play to Cantwell at first.

Chatham manager Jeremy “Sheets” Sheetinger said Weaver “made a complete 180” from his first start and got back to who he was.

“That's the guy we recruited to come up here,” Sheetinger said.

It wasn’t until the third when Weaver suffered his first blemish. Cam Maldonado grounded a slow dribbler to Landon Stripling (Florida) at third base. Stripling fired low past Cantwell, who couldn’t come up with the pick as Maldonado advanced to second.

Ryan Weingartner stepped to the plate with two outs. Weaver fired a strike to make it a full count, but Weingartner proceeded to drive the ball into left field, putting Harwich up 1-0.

Chatham’s bats had a chance to respond in the coming innings, but the Anglers failed to produce any hard contact on Harwich starter Ryan DeSanto. The lefty from Saint Joseph's only struck out a single batter but forced the Anglers into numerous ground balls.

The lack of offense came back to bite the A’s the next time Harwich came to the plate. After scoring the Mariners’ first run, Maldonado came up big in the bottom of the fifth. With Matt Scannell on first, the right fielder roped a ball deep down the left field line, easily scoring Scanell.

Weaver soon exited as Micah Ashman (Utah) entered in relief. Ashman’s second batter was Weingartner. Already with an RBI to his name, Weingartner crushed a ball deep to left field for Hawich’s third run of the fifth.

Overn attempted to provide the Anglers with some life the following inning. He legged out a leadoff triple before scoring on a wild pitch from DeSanto to get Chatham on the board.

DeSanto exited after striking out Jayden Davis (Vanderbilt) to make way for Andrew Evans. Back-to-back walks from Irish and Cantwell preceded an Arquette single up the middle to load the bases. Johnson stepped into the box looking to cut into Harwich’s lead, but was fooled by an Evans breaking ball for the Anglers’ third strikeout.

Lodise followed up Johnson’s effort with a grounder to short as the Anglers spoiled their best offensive chance of the game.

“It's a learning opportunity for us when you get in those spots. We just got to put together some better bats and give (ourselves) a shot,” Sheetinger said.

The Anglers’ next runner in scoring position came in the top of the eighth as Arquette grounded into a fielder's choice to advance Cantwell to second. But Evans forced Johnson into a flyout to keep Chatham’s deficit at three.

Even though Harwich failed to add to its cushion the final three times it came to the plate, Chatham couldn’t take advantage.

Sam Tookoian entered to try and close out the game for the Mariners as Chatham had one last chance to battle back.

John Bay (Austin Peay) drilled a pinch-hit single into center before Jett Johnston (Texas A&M) drew a walk as the Anglers looked to rally. Overn capitalized by drilling a ball into center field on the next at-bat to cut Chatham’s deficit to two.

Ashton Larson (LSU) represented the tying run coming up with runners on first and third and one out. On the second pitch he saw, Larson chopped a ball to McNulty at second base who combined with Weingartner for a game-ending double play.

“We preach a 30-second memory,” Sheetinger said. “We've already forgotten about that loss. We're moving on, we got an off day tomorrow and a great opportunity to get back to work on Wednesday.”