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A's Fall in Extras, 6-5

by Brian Clark, 07-01-2008

Tuesday night's 6-5 loss to the Cotiut Kettleers is one that will be filed in the "bad loss" column for John Schiffner's Chatham A's. The leaders of the Western Division had lost their last three, while the A's came into the game rested following Monday's day off. Cotiut got to Chatham starter Jake Thompson in the third inning as the first three batters reached, loading the bases. Jason Kipnis singled to left, scoring Evan Crawford. Mike Bianucci, the next batter, hit a weak ground ball to first. Evan Ocheltree threw home, looking to force out Dallas Poulk, but catcher Joe Mercurio dropped the ball, scoring Poulk. Mercurio's tough inning continued, as a wild pitch allowed Jeff Schaus to score the third run of the inning.

The A's managed to answer back in the 5th. Grant Green walked, and advanced all the way to third on an errant pickoff throw from reliever Brandon Cumpton. This allowed Green to score on Cory Olson's RBI single, his 4th in just six games. The A's bats came to life in the sixth. Victor Sanchez led off the inning with a double to straightaway center. Evan Ocheltree promptly lined a double of his own into the leftfield corner, scoring Sanchez. Ocheltree advanced to third on a Kyle Bellows groundout, and scored on the third Chatham double in the inning, this time from AAron Miller. Miller gave the A's the lead when he scored the inning's third and final run on Corey Overholtzer's single.

It appeared as if Joe Serafin was in line for his first win of the summer, as he pitched two innings of one-hit, shutout relief before turning the ball over to Kevin Couture in the top of the 8th. However, the USC Trojan wasn't his normal self, as Evan Crawford doubled, and scored the game's tying run on Dallas Poulk's RBI single. Couture would allow another run in the top of the 9th, as Kevin Patterson scored on Jeff Kobernus's double.

Down to their final three outs, the A's rallied once more in the 9th against reliever Zach Von Tersch, who had held them to just one hit through 2.2 innings. Joe Mercurio walked, and was lifted for pinch runner Dylan Brown. He moved to second on a Corey Overholtzer bunt. With Grant Green at the plate, A's fans were confident, and their confidence was rewarded as he singled to right, scoring Brown from second to tie the game. Green moved to second on a wild pitch, and after Cory Olson flew to right, Cotuit manager Mike Roberts opted to walk Kyle Seager with first base open. With Seager aboard, he made a call to the bullpen, bringing in Drew Storen, who induced a groundout to short on the first pitch to Sanchez.

While Couture's struggles were surprising, Brad Boxberger's 10th inning was a complete shock, as the league's save leader had only allowed one hit in seven innings. He gave up his second hit to the second man he faced, as Dallas Poulk singled. Jeff Schaus hit a tricky ground ball to second. Kyle Seager, making his 2008 A's debut, dropped the ball, allowing both runners to reach safely. The next man up was Couture's catcher at USC, Robert Stock. He gave the Kettleers the lead with an RBI single.

The A's could muster up no more magic, as Drew Storen went 1-2-3 in the 10th. The 6-5 loss puts the A's record at 6-9. Storen gets his first win of the season, while Brad Boxberger takes his first loss. Fortunately for the A's, their de-facto "stopper," Sammy Solis, will take the mound Wednesday night against Y-D. Solis was masterful in his last outing, giving up just two hits to Wareham in seven shutout innings. He and the A's will square off with the 2007 League Champions at 5 PM Wednesday at Red Wilson Field. The live game broadcast begins with the A's Extra pregame show at 4:40 on chathamas.com



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