HARWICH – A home run, solid pitching, and timely hits led the Chatham Anglers to another victory against the Harwich Mariners, this time with the Anglers earning an 8-3 win at Whitehouse Field on July 14.
The first inning made it seem as though the fourth match between the A's and the Mariners was destined to become a pitcher's duel as both sides were quickly retired in the opening frame. But Chatham struck quickly in the second with Blake Sabol leading off with a homer to put the Anglers on the scoreboard.
Two more runs would follow, with Drew Mendoza and Colin Simpson both racing home on a wild pitch from Harwich starter Ty Buckner, with the duo reaching first on respective singles and advancing on a walk from Jorge Arenas.
The third inning saw three more runs from the visiting Anglers. After Michael Bush hit a fly ball to center for the first out, Sabol swung into a single to get on base. Next up was Tristin English, who drew the second out when his ball was caught in foul territory by Harwich first baseman Andre Lipcius.
A sneaky steal put Sabol on second just in time for a single from Mendoza that brought in Sabol for Chatham's fourth run of the game. Their fifth came moments later when Simpson's single brought in Mendoza, with Arenas hitting his own single to bring in Simpson to give the A's a 6-0 lead before John Rave ended the inning with a fly out to center.
The Mariners hit the scoreboard in the bottom of the third when Brad Debo scored on a putout from Tanner Morris, narrowing the Anglers' lead to 6-1. Unfortunately for Harwich, after a scoreless fourth, Chatham got back to it, with Simpson leading off the top of the fifth with a triple to left. A single from Arenas sent him home for the seventh Anglers run, with Arenas coming in on a wild pitch just before the inning ended with an out against Greg Jones.
A home run from Harwich's Nate Eikhoff gave the Mariners a bit of a boost in the sixth, but the home team wasn't able to muster enough of a rally to overtake their opponents in spite of adding one more run in the seventh when Lipcius came home on a bases-loaded walk from Debo.
“We play well here,” said Chatham head coach Tom Holliday. “There's times when you walk into a ballpark and the ballpark excites a team. They like this ballpark. It's beautiful. It plays good. The grass is pretty. It's a true dimensional field, and for some reason our guys walk in here, get really comfortable, and play well.”
Holliday dubbed Harwich a “really good team” with “good arms,” but added that his Anglers are strong against right-handed pitchers.
“I still think we're a really good ball club against right-hand pitching,” he said. “I hope when we get Torkelson back we'll be a little more balanced against left-hand pitching. Then we could be a really good offensive team.”
Holliday gave kudos to starting pitcher Alek Manoah for his work on the mound. Menoah went six innings, giving up just three hits and two runs with 11 strikeouts to earn the win. John McMillon stepped in for the final three, earning the save with five strikeouts, two hits and one run allowed.
“Manoah extended himself to six innings tonight and was beautiful,” he said.
Meanwhile, Harwich head coach Steve Englert was disappointed with the loss but said the Mariners will continue soldiering on.
“They seem to have our number,” he said of the Anglers. “We just keep plugging away. Maybe the worm will turn one day against them. They're a good-hitting team. We were in the first two games with them, but they've got a difficult lineup, 1-9.”
Englert said he appreciates that his team remains determined regardless of the score.
“I liked the way we competed. We got down a bunch of runs but we kept fighting to get some good at-bats in there,” he said. “That's all you ask of the kids, is just to give a good effort. We'll keep plugging away. We've just got to stay healthy and get hot at the right time.”
The Mariners fell by one run to Wareham the following night before enjoying a day off at Fenway Park on Monday, with the Anglers also losing to the Y-D Red Sox on Sunday. Next up for both teams is the July 22 All-Star Game (see page 40 for more). Before that Harwich hosts Wareham tonight (July 19) at 6:30 p.m., while Chatham travels to Brewster for a 5 p.m. start. On July 20 the Anglers venture to Cotuit for a 5 p.m. game, with Harwich hosting Falmouth at 6:30 p.m., and on July 21 the Mariners travel to Orleans and Chatham hosts Y-D, with both starting at 7 p.m.