Harwich’s 13-1 win in game two of the East semis Saturday was easy to peg as a return to normalcy. One day later, that game – not Chatham’s series-opening win – proved to be the outlier.
The Anglers pushed the top-seeded Mariners out of the playoffs with a 3-1 win Sunday at Whitehouse Field, their second 3-1 win of the series.
Parker Rigler (Kansas State) wasn’t quite as good as Simon Matthews in game two, but his performance yielded the same result – an out-dueling of the best pitching staff in the league. Rigler, who had a 4.03 ERA and was 0-4 in the regular season, picked a good time for his first win, allowing one run in six innings and striking out five.
Isaac Mattson (Pittsburgh) was terrific in relief, striking out four of the six batters he faced. Connor Moore (Seattle) retired the final batter of the eighth inning and Moises Ceja (UCLA) worked around a pair of singles for a scoreless ninth to clinch the win.
Chatham played with the lead thanks to two runs in the first inning and another in the third. Jeremy Vasquez (Florida) had an RBI double and Stuart Fairchild (Wake Forest) an RBI single in the first. John Aiello (Wake Forest) hit a solo home run in the second.
Harwich got a home run from Austin Filiere (MIT) – who wrapped up a great summer with eight long balls – but it was the only run the Mariners would get.
The best pitching staff in the league allowed seven runs in the three-game series, just a little above their average for the season. I think the Mariners would have signed up for that number heading into the series, but they didn’t know what Chatham had in store.
The Anglers will move into the East finals for the first time since 2013, when they lost to Orleans. They’re looking for their first finals appearance since 2001.
What to Watch
It’s Chatham vs. Y-D at Red Wilson Field at 4 p.m. to kick off the first day of the division finals. Bourne visits Falmouth at 6 p.m.