CHATHAM – Two home runs and some stellar pitching kept the Chatham Anglers situated firmly at the top of the East Division after a 4-2 victory against the Cotuit Kettleers on Monday night.
With the rain taking a much-needed breather and the sun setting brilliantly behind the scoreboard at Veterans Field on June 24, the Anglers set out on a quest to hang on to the top spot in the East, and ultimately the League, though Cotuit didn't make it easy, pushing across a run in the opening inning to take a 1-0 lead.
Fortunately for Anglers fans that lead was short lived thanks to Kaden Polcovich who stepped to the plate at the bottom of the second inning and launched a long bomb over the outfield fence to tie the game.
“He's quietly gaining a lot of respect and a reputation for maybe being one of the guys on the Cape to watch this year,” said Chatham manager Tom Holliday. “He's a switch hitter showing power from both sides of the plate, and is always in the middle of the action. I haven't had a guy in a long time that you can play in center field, second base, third base, and he plays all of them really well. He's kind of like a little superstar. I'm glad we got him.”
For the next 3.5 innings the game was held scoreless courtesy of stellar pitching from both sides, but it was the Anglers that made the next scoring move when Jamal O'Guinn II swung into Chatham's second home run of the night, putting the home team ahead 2-1 after six.
But the Anglers weren't quite finished with their scoring for the evening, as evidenced by a big seventh inning that kicked off with a single from Polcovich. Then Alejandro Toral subbed for Paxton Wallace, hitting a mighty double that saw Polcovich blaze around the bases toward home to put Chatham ahead 3-1.
With Toral on third courtesy of a Ben Ramirez single and one out on the scoreboard, Cade Cabbiness reached first on a fielder's choice before racing to second on an error by Cotuit shortstop Adam Oviedo, the same error that allowed Toral to make it home for Chatham's fourth run of the game.
Although Cotuit's Christian Robinson would score in the next inning on a single from Nick Gonzales, Chatham pitcher Daniel Federman shut the door on any hopes of a rally by striking out Coltyn Kessler and Oviedo to end the top of the eighth before forcing Parker Chavers to fly out at the start of the ninth, followed by a pair of strikeouts that ended the game.
“It was a hard game to play,” said Holliday. “Their kid was really good on the mound, and we matched them. Our kids were good too. Dabovich was good; Parker Scott was really good, and then Federman comes in in a situation, a tight game, and a tying run came to the plate two or three times and he got them out.”
Holliday said the efforts of the bullpen were key in the win.
“When you're playing a lot of baseball it really is fun to get good pitching,” he said. “Good pitching can beat anything. It was a good ballgame, I thought. I think the people got their money's worth.”
After a night off tonight (June 27) the Anglers get back to it with a home game against Wareham set for 7 p.m. tomorrow, followed by another home game against Hyannis on Saturday night, also with a 7 p.m. start. On Sunday the Anglers travel to Falmouth to face the Commodores, and on July 1 will host Y-D in a make-up game beginning at 7 p.m.