MORRIS PLAINS, NJ - Another game, another strong pitching performance from the undefeated Chatham baseball team – this time, it was Matt Devlin dominating on the mound.
The senior threw five shutout innings for the Cougars in their 5-0 victory against Parsippany Hills on Monday. Devlin allowed just two hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter.
“We’re getting ahead of batters early and we’re mixing up pitches well,” Chatham coach Todd Leathers said. “It’s nice when you can roll out a guy like Devlin, who is going to Franklin & Marshall to pitch.”
Sam Blanchard came in to relieve Devlin in the sixth. He allowed two base hits, but struck out two in his lone inning of work. Billy Gyves shut the door on the Vikings in the bottom of the seventh with a 1-2- 3 inning.
The Cougars earned their fourth victory of the season, each of them coming in the form of a shutout. Chatham's pitching staff has gone 26 innings without allowing a single run to the opposition.
“We have a very deep staff,” Leathers said. “I talked about it before the season started: pitching is our strong suit. I expect our pitchers to keep us in the game every time we play.”
The Cougars had a bit of trouble offensively in the early going, but they managed to score in the fifth, sixth, and seventh on route to the victory. Credit the play of Parsippany HIlls for fending off the Cougars for the first four innings.
“They did a great job keeping us off balance,” Leathers said. “They made some good plays, and until the last few innings they did everything they could to keep us out of the game.”
The two teams were locked in a pitcher’s duel until the fifth inning, when the Cougars put up their first two runs of the game. After Connor Winans singled to right and Jack Lamar walked with no outs, Sean Lee laid down a sacrifice bunt. Vikings pitcher Jack Picado threw to first in time, but the ball was dropped by first baseman Frank Baccaro. With the bases loaded, Jimmy Cunningham hit a sacrifice fly to left to put Chatham on the board.
After a Peter DeMaria walk in the same inning, Chris Delsandro came up with the bases loaded and only one out. He drove a ground ball up the middle to the shortstop Casey Gorczyca, who got the out at second but could not get Delsandro out at first, forcing in the second run of the inning.
The Chatham bats stayed hot in the top of the sixth inning. With wo outs, Winans and Lamar again got a rally started with a walk and a single. Back-to-back RBI singles by Lee and Cunningham put the Cougars on top 4-0.
Delsandro led off the top of the seventh with a double down the right field line, and reached third after a bunt single by Devlin. With runners at the corners and nobody out, Sam Browning brought in Delsandro on a squeeze bunt to extend Chatham’s lead to 5-0.
Chatham resumes action on Thursday, April 13 when they host Bernards at 11 a.m.