CHATHAM, NJ - Jack Voight and Sam Blanchard pitched well for Chatham out of the bullpen, keeping the game within reach for the Cougars against Roxbury.
But Roxbury's bullpen was a little bit better as the Gaels held on for a 5-3 baseball victory over the Cougars on Monday.
Roxbury (5-1) held a 4-3 edge when submarine pitcher Voight came on to strike out the side in the fourth inning. After Voight hit the first batter of the fifth inning, Blanchard came on and pitched three strong innings. Blanchard's only blemish was a jam-shot RBI single that dropped in right field in the sixth.
"Jack Voight came in and did a great job," Chatham coach Todd Leathers said. "Sammy came in and bottled everything up like he was supposed to. He got some bad baseball luck on a pitch the kid jammed himself on. But, beside that, we did a very nice job, we came in and pounded the strike zone like we're supposed to.
"We expect those things. We've seen them and know we can do it. Those are the expectations."
Jake Bevich led off the bottom of the first with a single and came around to score on Robbie Moskowitz's double that bounced over the fence in center, tying the score at 1-1 for Chatham (1-3).
Connor Young's two-run double in the third handed Roxbury a 4-1 lead before the Cougars rallied for two runs in the fourth. Ryan Barnett walked and Matt Devlin followed with a single to put runners on first and second. Jimmy Cunningham pinch-hit and put down a bunt, but Roxbury managed to get the force at third on the play.
Brian Brady followed with a single and Bevich drove in a run with a fielder's choice grounder. Cunningham then scored on a wild pitch, slicing the Chatham deficit to 4-3.
However, Chatham couldn't solve the pitching of left-hander Bradley Kahn, who pitched two scoreless innings, nor Dan Hankowski, who closed out the seventh for Roxbury.
"We're just not executing collectively as a team, as a coaching staff, we don't seem to be executing in times that we need to," Leathers said. "We need to do a better job of that. It's the small things.
"I tell these guys all the time, it's not the big things that are going to win or lose the game. It's fielding a routine ground ball, making a pitch in a certain spot, it's executing a bunt, executing with runners on third and we haven't found a way to do that yet. We're battling, we're not giving up. At some point it's not going to be good enough. There aren't too many positives in losses and there shouldn't be."