By AUSTIN POLLACK
WAREHAM, MA: Starting pitcher Andrew McGee (Monmouth College) pitched 5 shutout innings, struck out 9 and scattered 3 hits to set the stage for solid opening night win for the Chatham Anglers who would go on to defeat the Wareham Gatemen 4-0 on the the opening night of play in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Wareham pitching coach Terry Thompson said after 2012 being the year of the home run, 2013 would be the year of the pitcher.
Thompson was right on when Wednesday’s game between Chatham and Wareham was scoreless through seven innings, but the Anglers walked away with a 4-0 opening night victory at Spillane Field.
Anglers starter Andrew McGee from Monmouth went five innings giving up only three hits and nine strikeouts. Neither Gatemen or Angler hitters were able to score runs off the opposing starter. Sean Newcomb of Hartford pitched six innings giving up five hits while walking four and striking out six.
Thompson said on Tuesday afternoon that if a team scores fewer than four runs, they could lose because the league looks to be more oriented toward pitching this year.
Dillon Ortman, a rising senior from Auburn, came in to pitch the top of the eighth inning and erased what was a pitching dual earlier in the game. Connor Joe from San Diego State led off the inning with a double and the next batter, Jimmy Pickens from Michigan State doubled as well to score Joe, earning his first RBI of the season and putting the Anglers on the scoreboard 1-0.
A.J. Murray from Georgia Tech then sliced an Ortman pitch to right field which was scored a single, but an error from right fielder Brock Stewart allowed Murray to advance to second base, while Pickens filled the other base in scoring position at third.
In desperate need of outs, Ortman intentionally walked Brandon Sedell to load the bases but give a force at any base for the next batter, Josh Eldridge.
Manager Cooper Farris brought in Chris Huffman of James Madison to pitch to Eldridge. Huffman had two strikes on Eldridge and the strikeout would have been key at the time, but Eldridge picked up the walk and Pickens scored the second run of the game for the Anglers.
With Sedell on third and Eldridge on second after Kenny Koplove grounded out into a 1-2-3 double play, Sheehan Planas-Arteaga singled and scored Sedell and Eldridge, giving Chatham a 4-0 lead.
From there, the Anglers never looked back. After McGee departed at the end of the fifth inning, Ryan Leach of Franklin Pierce pitched an inning of no-hit baseball and lefty Andrew Chin on Boston College finished the last three innings giving up one hit, walking one and striking out two. He earned the win for the Anglers, while Ortman earned the loss giving up three runs on three hits for the Gatemen.
The next game for the Gatemen is tonight when they welcome the Hyannis Harbor Hawks to Spillane Field. Kyle Cody, a rising sophomore from Kentucky gets the start for the Gatemen, while Cy Sneed of Dallas Baptist takes the hill for the Harbor Hawks.