The Chatham Anglers continued their winning ways last night with a 10 inning, 6-4 win over the Wareham Gatemen. In their 9-1 start to the season, the Anglers have found many different ways to win. Late-game heroics powered Chatham to a 10-7 win over Orleans in a game in which they trailed 7-1 in the seventh inning. In their next game, Chatham wasted no time in putting up five runs in the first inning on their way to an 8-3 win over Y-D.
Last night, led by two solo homeruns by Washington State's Shea Vucinich, Wareham seized momentum from Chatham, but the hosts' shoddy pitching in the extra frame allowed the Anglers to escape Spillane Field with the victory.
The winning rally began when David Fischer walked Tom Belza to lead off the inning. Whit Merrifield pinch-ran for Belza. With Phillip Pohl up in an obvious sacrifice situation, Fischer compounded his problems when he fielded the bunt but made a poor throw to first base, allowing Pohl to reach safely. Bruce Kern was brought in to face Addison Johnson and Johnson neatly executed a sacrifice bunt to move Merrifield to third and Pohl to second. With Steven Brooks at the plate, Kern uncorked two wild pitches to allow both baserunners to score the eventual winning runs.
A two out, two run rally in the third inning off the previously untouchable Eric Pfisterer gave Chatham the lead. Brooks walked and stole second. Brian Harris singled sharply to score Brooks and Harris advanced to second on the throw home. Jeff Schaus came through with another single to plate Harris. Vucinich hit the first of his homeruns in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit in half. Vucinich's shot cleared the visitors bullpen in leftfield.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Brooks doubled and Pfisterer walked Harris and Schaus. It looked like Pfisterer was going to escape unscathed when Parker Bangs hit a tailor-made double play grounder to shortstop Derek Dietrich. Dietrich flipped the ball to second baseman Jake Lemmerman for the second out of the inning, but Lemmerman's throw to first sailed wide and two runs scored.
Wareham scored two in the sixth to pull within a run. Dietrich led off the inning with a single and, with two out, came home on a single by George Springer. Springer stole second and scored easily when Cole Leonida smashed a double in the right-centerfield gap.
Chatham wasted a golden opportunity in the seventh when Wareham reliever Matt Barnes worked out of trouble after walking the first two batters. Barnes came back to strikeout Matt Perry, Matt Duffy and Joey Terdoslavich to end the threat. Facing Kevin Scanlan, Vucinich tied the game when he led off the bottom of the inning with another homerun; this one landing in the Chatham bullpen.
Each team stranded two baserunners in the eighth but neither team threatended in the ninth. They moved to the tenth inning where Chatham capitalized on Fischer's and Kern's mistakes. Oklahoma State's Thomas Keeling retired the three batters he faced in the bottom of the tenth - the first two by strikeout - to earn his first save of the season.
NOTES: Boston College's Mike Dennhardt started for Chatham and pitched a serviceable 5 2/3 innings, allowing 7 hits and 3 runs..... Pfisterer came into this game not having allowed a run or a hit over 12 innings in his first two starts. He allowed 5 hits, walked 4, and gave up 4 runs in 4 2/3 innings..... As mentioned in yesterday's post, Chatham's Pete Kennelly had allowed only 3 hits and did not give up a run in 11 innings over 4 appearances. With the arrival of new players, he has been dropped from the Anglers roster. With numbers like that, hopefully the Fordham righthander will be able to hook on with another team..... Johnson (Clemson) made his '09 debut for Chatham. Johnson was a sparkplug for the 2007 Chatham team but missed last year due to injury..... Russell Brewer picked up his second win of the summer and lowered his ERA to 1.17 in the process..... Fischer took the loss in his first decision of the year..... The announced attendance figure was 375. It was a very small crowd, even for a mid-week game in June..... The Gatemen team batting average is a palty .195. Leonida and Springer lead the team at .267..... Chatham only had 6 hits in the game but they left 13 runners on base..... Wareham had 9 hits and left 9 on base..... Hard to imagine that in a ten team league, only two teams - Chatham (9-1) and Cotuit (5-4-1) - have records that are better than .500..... Chatham hosts Bourne tonight at 7:00. Cotuit visits Wareham this evening for a 7:00 start.