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A's Blow Another Lead, Lose 11-4 in 12

by Kyle Whitehead
Sunday, July 01, 2007

A's Blow Another Lead, Lose 11-4 in 12
Mama said there would be nights like these.

Saturday was one of those nights for Chatham. The A's blew a two-run lead in the ninth and lost 11-4 to Bourne in 12 innings.

It was the third straight blown save for a Chatham bullpen that had been a strength of the team prior to the trio of collapses.

Gregg Shannon (San Jose St.) bears of the brunt of the responsibility this time. Leading 4-2, Shannon gave up back-to-back singles to start the ninth and then walked Addison Maruszak (South Florida) to load the bases.

After Shannon struck out two straight Braves, it looked like the A's might escape with a victory. Josh Satin (UC-Berkeley), already with a homer and a double in the game, came to the plate as the last chance for the Braves. He roped a single through the hole on the left side to tie the game at four. Shannon got Matt Hall (Arizona St.) to ground out to end the inning, but the damage had been done.

The wheels came completely off for Chatham in the top of the twelfth. Reliever Jeff Lorick (UVA), who pitched a scoreless ninth and tenth, started the inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Chatham decided to intentionally walk Adam Zornes (Rice) to load the bases. Kyle Smith (Cal-Poly) came through with a double to plate two, giving Bourne a 6-4 lead they would not relinquish.

After Lorick gave up another hit and walked two straight batters to stretch the lead to 8-4, it became clear he was not going to be able to finish the inning. With Lorick having thrown so many pitches and not wanting to get someone else up in the bullpen, manager John Schiffner decided to bring in rightfielder Kevin McAvoy (Maine), a position player by trade, to try to get the final two outs.

McAvoy forced in Bourne's eleventh run with a walk and let two more runs score on a Hall single before retiring the side to stop the bleeding.

The A's went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the twelfth.

Chatham built a 4-2 lead after four innings with small ball. Three of the four runs came on sacrifice flies by the A's, with one each in the first, third and fourth innings. Also in the fourth, Addison Johnson (Clemson), who was 3-4 on the day, singled to drive in a run.

Matt Giannini (Rutgers) started the game for Chatham. The New Jersey native gave up two runs on four hits in five innings while walking one and striking out nine. Giannini left the mound with a 4-2 lead, but, as had been the case in the two games prior, the bullpen could not close it out.

The A's will try to rebound tomorrow at 5pm in Hyannis. Tom Milone (USC) will try for his third win of the year against another 2-0 pitcher, Hyannis' Andrew Doyle (Oklahoma).

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