A battle of the first and second place teams in the Eastern Division took place on Wednesday night but it did not turn out to be the grinder that was expected. The Anglers scored all of the runs they needed against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the bottom of the first inning to tally another win onto their impressive league-leading record.
Tom Belza led off the home half of the first inning with a single up the middle and Brian Harris did the same in the two-spot. Jeff Schaus then walked to load up the bases for catcher Mike Murray. The Wake Forest backstop delivered a single into leftfield that scored the game's first run and the Anglers were only just getting started. Matt Duffy walked to score Harris, Dean Green walked to score Schaus, then Steven Brooks was hit by a pitch to score Murray and make it 4-0 Anglers. After a couple of strikeouts recorded by relief pitcher Michael Goodnight, a Tom Belza walk scored Duffy for the fifth run of the inning. All of the runs were charged against Y-D starter Greg Holle who was unable to record an out.
The Anglers pitching staff held Y-D's offense in check for most of the game. Pete Kennelly pitched four innings of one-hit ball and has a total of 11 scoreless innings to go along with 11 punchouts on the season.
A two-run homerun in the seventh inning by Y-D's Ben McMahan off of reliever Parker Bangs was the only major damage done. Bangs pitched three innings and picked up his first win of the season.
After the Red Sox added another run in the top of the eighth inning to cut the lead to 7-3, the Anglers added on one more run in the following half inning. Belza reached base for the fourth time with a single, Matt Perry's double moved him to third base, and Duffy brought him home with an RBI-single to make it 8-3. Belza scored for the tenth time this season and now is in sole possession of the league lead in the runs category.
The loss was the fourth straight for the Red Sox who fall to 4-5 and dropped to third place in the Eastern Division. Chatham's 8-1 record is good for a total of 16 points in the league standings, which is 7 points ahead of second place Brewster in the East.
Thursday night is a long road trip for the Anglers at Wareham against the 4-3-1 Gatemen. Join Scott Braun and Brian Clark for complete broadcast coverage, starting with the Anglers Extra
pregame show beginning at 6:40 with first pitch scheduled for 7 PM at Spillane Field.
Live Audio 1-800-846-4700, code 3841