CHATHAM – The 2018 Anglers got their first taste of Chatham fog last Thursday night, watching as the sea smoke rolled into Veterans Field and obliterated lines of sight between the outfield and home plate in minutes, ending their game against Hyannis in a 3-3 tie after five innings.
Players were wide-eyed at the sight of the misty plumes, but really wanted to finish the game in the hopes of earning a win. Prior to the game being called by officials, it was a battle that kicked off with Chatham's starting pitcher Cody Bradford, in his last outing with the Anglers before joining Team USA, quickly retiring Hyannis's first three batters.
The Anglers then made the most of their turn at bat, with John Rave swinging into a home run after three foul balls to put the home team up 1-0. Next up was Spencer Torkelson, also en route to Team USA, who hit a single to reach first before a steal of second during Blake Sabol's at-bat. Sabol made it to first on an error, while Torkelson took third. A single from Colin Simpson brought in Torkelson for the A's second run of the night.
The third and final run for Chatham came on a sacrifice fly to left from Drew Mendoza that allowed Sabol to race home for an unearned run, giving the Anglers a 3-0 edge early on.
A duel then ensued between Bradford and Hyannis starter Houston Roth, who both lasted four innings apiece in the game. While a walk put Hyannis' Seth Gray on base, Bradford stayed focused and ended the top of the second inning with one hit and no runs.
Unfortunately for the Anglers, Roth was also on point after the A's three-run opener, shutting down Chatham's Kyle McCann, Austin White, and Greg Jones 1-2-3. So it continued until the top of the fourth when the fog started becoming noticeably heavier and the Harbor Hawks found their way to the scoreboard with two runs, narrowing Chatham's lead 3-2. The final run of the game came in the fifth when Hyannis's Matthew Barefoot scored on a sac fly to center by Gray.
In the bottom of the fifth, Jones reached on a walk before getting caught along with John Rave in a double play, but Torkelson gave fans a fleeting hope when he swung into a double. Unfortunately Hyannis closer Adam Elliott struck out Sabol in the next at-bat to end the inning just before the fog ended the game.
The following night, blessedly fog free, saw the Anglers rally to defeat the Bourne Braves 8-6 at home, with runs scored in the second, fourth, fifth, and eighth.
The visiting Braves were first on the scoreboard, plating two runs in the opening inning, while Chatham's first three batters, Jones, Rave, and Torkelson, drew outs in quick succession. Meanwhile, four more Bourne runs in the top of the second had Anglers fans groaning, but cheers followed Drew Mendoza when he made it home at the bottom of the frame to make it 6-1.
The Anglers struck again in the fourth when Rave scored on a single from Mendoza, with Torkelson coming home on a sac fly from Tristin English, narrowing Bourne's lead to 6-3. The A's chipped away at that lead a little more in the fifth when a double from Torkelson brought in Jones and Jorge Arenas, with the Braves now holding just a one-run lead.
That lead was erased completely in the eighth when the Anglers scored three runs to overtake the Braves, with Austin Wilhite scoring on a single to center from Ben Ramirez before a wild pitch brought in Jones. Adam Fogel capped off the scoring with a sac fly that brought in Ramirez for the final and winning run.
The following day didn't go as well for the A's in their Sunday doubleheader against Cotuit at Veterans Field, with the home team falling 6-1 in the first game. Chatham's only run came in the seventh on a home run from Torkelson that prevented a shutout. The second game in the doubleheader was called due to – you guessed it – fog.
Next up, the Anglers host the Y-D Red Sox on Friday night (June 29) before welcoming the Harwich Mariners on June 30, both games set to start at 7 p.m. On July 1 Chatham travels to Cotuit, and on July 3 will visit Whitehouse Field for a 6:30 p.m. game before spending the Fourth of July at Orleans for a 7 p.m. outing.