Groundhog Day For Chatham
by Brian Clark
Friday, July 18, 2008
For the second straight Thursday, the A's let a late lead slip before falling to the Harwich Mariners 4-3. Unlike last week's loss in Harwich, tonight's affair at Veterans Field took ten innings to determine a victor. In a pitching rematch of last Thursday, J.J. Hoover ran into early trouble. The West Virginia- bound right hander's second pitch to Grant Green was hit over the fence in right, giving Chatham a 1-0 lead on Green's team leading fourth home run of the season. The A's added an unearned run in the second, as a throwing error from third baseman Shaver Hansen allowed Kyle Bellows to score. Chatham tacked on another in the fourth, as Kyle Seager scored on a sacrifice fly from Yan Gomes.
Unfortunately for the A's, they would not have another base hit until the bottom of the seventh inning. Harwich got on the board in the fourth, as D.J. LeMahieu scored on a wild pitch. That was the only run given up by Justin Marks, who departed after the fifth with a 3-1 lead. The Mariners would wait until late to make things even more dramatic. Carmine Giardina, pitching his third inning of relief, struck out Jeff Cusick to lead off the eighth. LeMahieu then reached on a Grant Green throwing error. After striking out Jason Stidham and allowing a single to Brandon Belt, Giardina was taken out in favor of righthander Dave Hale. Upon entering, Hale gave up an RBI single to catcher Tommy Medica.
Heading into the ninth with a 3-2 lead, Brad Boxberger came out for his first save opportunity since he got the loss in last Thursday's affair. Unfortunately for Brad, he was unable to record the save. He hit Shaver Hansen, the first man he faced, who moved to second on a bunt from D.J. Belfonte. Joe Sanders flew out to center, but for the second straight week, Jeff Cusick tied the game with an RBI single.
With their 3-0 lead gone and only one hit to show for the previous four innings, the A's looked to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. Victor Sanchez led off with a walk, advancing to second on a Kyle Bellows sacrifice bunt. Evan Ocheltree was called out on strikes and then ejected, while Joe Mercurio was intentionally walked. Corey Overholtzer then walked, loading the bases with two outs for Grant Green. From the bullpen came Steve Kalush, and he promptly struck out Green on three pitches.
The Mariners wasted no time capitalizing on their momentum in the tenth. With lefthander Jeff Lorick now on the hill for the A's, he hit Jason Stidham, the first man he faced. After a walk to Brandon Belt, Tommy Medica flew out to left. Chase Leavitt lined a ball off the middle that deflected off of Lorick's glove, leaving Grant Green with only a chance at first base. Shaver Hansen came to the plate, and with Stidham on third, a wild pitch allowed him to score the go-ahead run.
Kalush retired the A's in order in the bottom of the tenth, and the Mariners had their second straight dramatic win over Chatham. Jeff Lorick falls to 1-2 with the loss, while Kalush goes to 2-2. With their record now standing at 13-16, the A's open a weekend home and home with the Brewster Whitecaps Friday night at Veterans Field. Adam Warren will face his former club for the second straight week at 7 PM. Coverage on chathamas.com begins at 6:40 with the A's Extra Pregame Show