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Game 15 Preview: Chatham at Orleans

by Zak Wolf
Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Game 15 Preview: Chatham at Orleans
For the first time in over a week, Chatham won a nine-inning game. Following an unexpected two-day break, the Anglers got back to winning ways, defeating Brewster 2-1.

The A’s game against Harwich on June 30 was rescheduled due to rain while July 1 was a scheduled off day due to the Cape Cod Baseball League’s annual “Fenway Day.” After back-to-back off days, Chatham’s bats were quiet early against the Whitecaps.

Austin Overn’s (USC) triple in the top of the seventh inning tied the game at 1-1 while Ashton Larson’s (LSU) double the next inning put the Anglers on top for good. Karson Ligon (Mississippi State) and Brian Zeldin (Georgia) combined for 7.1 innings pitched, allowing just one earned run. Then, Titan Hayes (Austin Peay) recorded five outs for his second save of the season to secure the win.

Now, the Anglers face East Division rival Orleans for the second time this summer. Chatham defeated the Firebirds a couple weeks ago and will look to record its first winning streak of the season.

Here’s everything to know ahead of Chatham’s (6-8, East) matchup versus Orleans (4-10, East) at Eldredge Park:

Probable Starters

Griffin Herring (LSU) will become the second Chatham pitcher to make three starts this season. He’s been a steady presence on the mound for the Anglers, allowing just one earned run in 5.2 innings.

The lefty has built on his elite spring with LSU out of the bullpen. Herring was nominated for National Stopper of the Year but has shown his abilities as a starter with Chatham. He’s allowed only two hits while striking out six batters. His last outing came against Hyannis on June 26, going two innings with one earned run.

Matt Ager is set to start his first game for Orleans. It will be Ager’s second appearance of the season. In Ager’s debut, he pitched two innings and allowed a home run, two runs and three hits. With UC Santa Barbara this spring, Ager was utilized as both a starter and reliever. He started nine games, but also recorded a team-high 11 saves.

Chatham Players To Watch

Larson continues to stay hot in the middle of Chatham’s lineup. His double against Brewster produced his first RBI of the season. Even though that was his lone hit, Larson had two other sharply hit ground balls, but both went straight to Brewster infielders. Larson has eight hits so far in 20 at-bats with the A’s since joining the roster on June 24.

He also made a clutch defensive play after his go-ahead double. Cooper Vest drove a single into right field and JD Rogers rounded third. But Larson threw a bullet to get Rogers out at home and keep Chatham up 2-1.

Another defensive standout against Brewster was Ike Irish (Auburn). Facing Brewster, the most aggressive baserunning team in the league (38 steals), Irish held his own behind the plate. He threw out two batters, first Nick Dumesnil and then Vest, both of whom previously combined for 17 steals without being caught this season.

Orleans Players To Watch

In a struggling Orleans lineup, Roch Cholowsky is the Firebirds’ most dangerous hitter. He proved that in his first appearance against Chatham. Cholowsky registered three of Orleans’ four total hits, including a solo home run for its only run of the game. Cholowsky’s 11 hits and four RBIs both are the most on Orleans. He’s also struck out just five times, which is the least by any Orleans player with at least 25 at-bats.

Outside of Cholowsky, the only other Orleans hitter with double-digit hits is Mike Mancini. The third baseman has two triples and four RBIs but has struck out 12 times. With James Madison this spring, Mancini was second on the team with a .329 batting average. He also blasted 15 home runs and drove in 49 RBIs.

Number To Know: .187 

Orleans is dead last in the CCBL with a .187 batting average. The next closest team to the Firebirds is Bourne at .225. They’ve struggled to put together consistent offense with just one player batting above .300. Along with batting average, Orleans sits at the bottom of every offense category across the Cape League.

Last Time They Played

Despite recording just three hits in the first five innings, Chatham had a late surge to defeat Orleans 2-1 on June 20. Kyle Johnson (Duke) put the Anglers on the board with an RBI single in the second inning before Cholowsky answered in the fourth with a homer.

Stellar pitching on both sides kept each offense quiet until the ninth inning. Three singles loaded the bases for Aiva Arquette (Washington) with one out. Arquette nearly grounded into a double play but beat out the throw at first. Hayes then closed out the ninth for Chatham’s third win of the season.