Anglers Begin New Era Under First-Year Manager Sheetinger

by Brad Joyal

CHATHAM – A new day of Chatham Anglers baseball is upon us.

The Anglers began a new era under first-year manager Jeremy Sheetinger over the weekend. Following a season-opening 11-1 win at Wareham on Saturday and a 2-1 loss to Yarmouth-Dennis on Sunday, the team improved to 2-1 with a 5-1 victory over two-time defending champion Bourne on Monday night.

Although Sunday’s home opener didn’t go Chatham’s way, the experience of leading the Anglers in front of a packed Veterans Field crowd couldn’t have been better for Sheetinger, who is affectionately known as “Sheets” around baseball circles.

“This is heaven on earth, there’s no doubt about it,” Sheetinger said. “As I’ve been told several times, there’s a hundred years of angels out here in this outfield. So, to see it in action and peek out of the dugout and see the fans and the people up on the hill, it’s just a special place. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this organization.”

Sheetinger comes to Chatham as a proven winner. Since taking over as head coach at Georgia Gwinnett College, his GGC teams have posted an overall record of 223-45 and captured an NAIA national championship.

He understands Chatham is desperate to return to the postseason for the first time since 2019 and is determined to help restore the winning tradition that has helped make the Anglers one of the most prestigious clubs on the Cape.

“We have a fantastic organization with fantastic leadership and people that are passionate about wearing this logo,” Sheetinger said. “They just want to win and want something they can be proud of. When you’re firing on all cylinders from an organizational standpoint, then it’s our job as coaches and players to put a product on the field that equals that.”

The new chapter of Anglers baseball couldn’t have started any better. The team exploded for 11 runs on opening day to put the Gatemen away early and leave Wareham with a lopsided win intact after a seven-run mercy rule.

After dropping a pitcher’s duel to Y-D in its home opener, Chatham rebounded to upend the defending champion Braves and claim a spot alongside Harwich and Y-D atop the East Division standings with matching 2-1 records after three games.

There have been plenty of standout performances thus far, including a pinch-hit solo home run by Will Gasparino (Texas) on Sunday night that cut the team’s deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning.

“It’s awesome. It’s amazing,” Gasparino said after the game. “I came off the bench to pinch-hit and was just trying to have a good at-bat and put a good swing on it. I happened to get my pitch.”

Sheetinger was hardly surprised to see the Longhorn go deep in his first plate appearance of the summer.

“That’s what we expected,” said the skipper. “He had a great freshman campaign and for him being in a tough league, getting the at-bats and the experience that he got, it was only a matter of time. Getting him out here and into the lineup, I’m the least-shocked guy in the ballpark that he put a barrel on the ball the way that he did. He’s going to do that all summer for us and I’m really happy to have him with us.”

Aside from the strong start, it’s clear that there’s new energy around Chatham. Sheetinger is determined to create a loving and supporting environment that permeates throughout the organization, and that is what he’s been able to do in his first week leading the Anglers.

“It’s been really smooth and I’d attest a lot of that to Coach Sheets,” said Griffin Herring, a left-handed pitcher from LSU who started Sunday’s game. “He’s done a really fantastic job getting the guys fired up and excited to be here. I think that’s really important and he really emphasizes the team aspect. We went line dancing the other night and we’ve been doing a ton of stuff as a team. I really like the culture that he’s created.”