SOUTH YARMOUTH – The Chatham Anglers were hoping for just one more inning when they faced the Y-D Red Sox in South Yarmouth on July 27, but the chance to erase a tie and eke out a win evaporated along with the last of the daylight when the game was called at the end of the eighth inning due to darkness with a 4-4 final score.
The game pitted the top two teams of the East Division against one another, with the outing going without a single score until the fifth inning in spite of hits, walks, and men in scoring position. Chatham's Drew Mendoza put the Anglers on the scoreboard when he swung into a deep home run at the top of the fifth, the first of two runs scored in the inning.
Following Mendoza, Ashton McGee reached on a walk, advancing to second on a well-placed single to left from Jorge Arenas. Tristin English then stepped in for Blake Sabol, hitting a single to right to load the bases and set things up nicely for John Rave, but it was an error by Y-D pitcher Michael James that brought in Arenas for Chatham run No. 2.
With the A's holding a 2-0 lead, Austin Bergner continued his solid outing on the mound, quickly retiring the Red Sox side 1-2-3, paving the way for Chatham to return to the batter's box. Though the visitors once again loaded the bases, this time on an intentional walk of Mendoza, the Sox defense thwarted any scoring chances.
The bottom of the sixth saw things get dicey for Bergner when the Red Sox leadoff batter, Bradlee Beesley, was hit by a pitch, but Bergner quickly regrouped, striking out Andrew Daschbach, forcing a fly out from Jonathan Deluca, and closing the inning with an easy third out from Christian Koss.
Another home run, this time from Spencer Torkelson, back with the A's after a stint with Team USA, also brought in Michael Busch and boosted Chatham's tally to 4-0, but the lead dissolved quickly in the bottom of the seventh when four Red Sox runs were scored to tie up the game even as the light was fading fast from Red Wilson Field.
After the Anglers side was hastily dispatched in the top of the eighth, they held onto the hope of one more chance to score in the ninth, but the setting sun put a stop to the game before that could happen.
The A's fared better the following night when they traveled to Hyannis to face the Harbor Hawks, coming away with a 9-2 victory, scoring out of the gate. Blake Sabol led off with a single, scoring soon after on a double from Colin Simpson that also brought in Busch, with Simpson coming home on a single from English to put Chatham ahead 3-0 in the first.
The Anglers ratcheted up the score in the fifth with two more runs, the first when Busch came in on a sac fly from Kyle McCann, and the second when Simpson came home on a wild pitch, but it was the sixth inning that had Chatham fans cheering when Simpson swung into a grand slam, bringing home Sabol, Rave and Busch, while putting the A's ahead 9-1.
Meanwhile, solid work from the Angler bullpen kept the home team Hawks from too many runs. Starting pitcher Jack Conlon went four innings with five strikeouts, while reliever John McMillon earned the win in two innings with two strikeouts, two hits, and one run allowed. Reeves Martin stepped in for one inning with one hit, one run, and two strikeouts, followed by Joe Lowder and Kyle Hurt, who each went one inning with one strikeout apiece.
On Sunday night the Falmouth Commodores got the best of the Anglers, defeating the A's 6-1, with Chatham's only run coming in the first when Sabol was able to score during Simpson's at bat.
The Anglers were set to wrap up their regular season this week with games against Harwich and Orleans, with eyes on the playoffs, which start Aug. 4. Follow @ChroniKat on Twitter for updates on playoff games, locations, and start times.