CHATHAM – A five-run second inning on the part of the Brewster Whitecaps put the Chatham Anglers in a big hole on Friday night, but the A's rebounded after the 10-1 loss to enjoy a triumphant weekend that included a doubleheader sweep against Bourne on Sunday.
“It was a lousy game from the start,” said Chatham head coach Tom Holliday. “We were four games in a row and we played like that.”
Holliday dubbed the game a reality check, especially considering the Anglers trounced the Whitecaps the previous night with a final score of 8-0. The tables turned completely on Friday night (June 15) when the defending Cape League champion Whitecaps came to Veterans Field, pushing across five runs in the second to take a lead the home team couldn't overcome.
A dropped third strike put Brewster's Jared Melone on first to lead off the inning, with Melone advancing to second on a single to right from teammate Hunter Bishop before an error by the A's right fielder Spencer Torkelson plated Melone for the visiting team's first run. Bishop then raced to third on a single from Hernen Sardinas before scoring on a wild pitch from Chatham starter Jackson Wark.
A single from Randy Taveras moved Sardinas to third before Jeremy Houston drew the first out, but Houston's sac fly to right was enough to bring in Sardinas for run No. 3. Next up was Joseph Donovan, who reached on a walk, with Taveras seizing the opportunity to steal second before scoring on a double from Gage Workman. A fielder's choice from Conor Grammes led to Donovan being tagged with the inning's second out, but Workman scored an unearned run next following a single from Jesse Franklin for run No. 5. Another fielder's choice from Melone ended the inning, but the damage to the home team had been done.
Chatham's lone run came at the bottom of the third inning when leadoff batter Greg Jones hit a beautiful solo homer, the only run Brewster's starting pitcher Zach Linginfelter would allow. Meanwhile, the Whitecaps went on to score one more run in the seventh on a homer from Grammes, before adding four more to their tally in the ninth.
“We kind of came out tonight and got ambushed early,” said Holliday. “We did things wrong like letting a strikeout get by us, and then the house caved in.”
Holliday explained that his decision to leave Wark in for three innings was based on the team's numbers as the season gets started.
“You can't very much take a starter out early when you're still short on bodies, like we are,” he said. “It's got to settle down, and it did. (Cam) Jabara gave us a chance, (Colin) Peluse gave us a chance, but when we had the bases loaded and nobody scored that kind of maybe threw the knockout punch at us.”
Holliday was referring to the bottom of the second when Chatham's Kyle McCann, Ben Ramirez, and Blake Sabol all got on base before three consecutive outs from Jake Taylor, Jake Snider, and Austin Wilhite ended the inning.
“Until we get some of our other guys, these guys are here to get an opportunity,” Holliday said, referring to the team's temporary players. “There was no inning that was a gimme, but when you walk out and you can't throw the ball over the plate, it's a tell of your own tale.”
The A's fared much better the following night when they hosted the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, playing to a 10-1 victory that began with a home run from Torkelson in the opening inning. After Hyannis scored their lone run at the top of the second, fans cheered as Kyle McCann swung into a three-run homer at the bottom of the second that gave the Anglers an early 4-0 edge.
Chatham scored four more runs in the third, the first when John Rave scored on a single from Ben Ramirez, with Blake Sabol swinging into the game's second three-run homer to put the A's ahead 8-0. Jorge Arenas scored on a wild pitch in the fourth, followed by Greg Jones, who came in on a sac fly from Torkelson to cap the scoring. From then it was up to winning pitcher Dan Hammer, who went five innings with one hit, one walk, and five strikeouts.
The Anglers traveled to Doran Park on Sunday for a doubleheader against Bourne, pushing across a pair of runs in the third, fifth, and sixth innings before adding one more in the seventh to take a 7-2 victory in the first game, taking game 2 with a final score of 4-1.
The Anglers host Hyannis again tonight (June 21) with a 7 p.m. start, with their next home game set for June 22 against Bourne, also starting at 7 p.m. On June 23 the team travels to Falmouth for a 6 p.m. start, and on June 24 will play a doubleheader against Cotuit with game 1 starting at 5 p.m. at Veterans Field.