More Ocheltree Heroics Lift A's Over Cards
One night after forcing extra innings with a game-tying homer in the ninth against Bourne, Evan Ocheltree's encore was even better. The Wake Forest outfielder's single down the right field line propelled Chatham to a 9-8 win over the Orleans Cardinals. Chatham's second straight win draws them closer to the second place Harwich Mariners in the hunt for postseason baseball. For the second straight night, things didn't begin well for the A's, as Justin Marks gave up a three run home run to Angelo Songco in the top of the first. Cory Olson scored in the bottom of the inning on a Grant Green single to put the A's on the scoreboard.
Down 3-1, matters got much worse for the A's in the top of the third. The Cardinals scored four runs, all unearned, off of Justin Marks. The A's committed three errors in the inning, and found themselves trailing 7-1, as the outing ended prematurely for Justin Marks. Chatham began to chip away in the bottom of the third, as Kyle Seager scored on a wild pitch, and Evan Ocheltree singled in Grant Green. On to pitch for the A's came David Hale, and the righthander from Princeton was masterful. He retired the side in order in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. Kyle Seager and Grant Green both scored once again in the fifth, and it was a 7-5 Orleans lead.
The A's would tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. After a walk to Olson and a Seager double, Green grounded to short, scoring Olson. Kyle Bellows delivered a two out single to score Kyle Seager, and tie the game. Orleans would take the lead right back in the eighth. Hale walked Angelo Songco and was removed, replaced by Kyle Blair. The San Diego righty quickly found trouble, as he hit Kyle Spraker and gave up a bunt base hit to Mike Murphy. Blair was then pulled for Carmine Giardina. Pitching for the second straight night, Giardina threw a wild pitch that scored Songco. After a groundout and another walk, the bases were still loaded with just one out, when Tim Wheeler lined out to Kyle Bellows, who stepped on first to double off the runner, as the A's dodged a major bullet.
Chatham was still trailing in the ninth, as Alex Hassan was summoned to nail down the save and clinch a playoff berth for Orleans. Cory Olson walked to lead off the inning, and was pushed to second on a Kyle Seager bunt. Grant Green was walked intentionally before Victor Sanchez was called out on strikes. A four pitch walk to Kyle Bellows loaded the bases, as Evan Ocheltree came to the plate. He took the third pitch from Hassan down the line in right, scoring Olson with the tying run. Green followed Olson relatively easily, and Chatham had a second straight come from behind win, 9-8 over Orleans.
Brad Boxberger worked a perfect ninth to earn his first win on the season, while Alex Hassan lost for the first time in 2008. The A's will venture to Boston on Wednesday along with the rest of the league, as the All-Stars will be honored on the field at Fenway Park prior to the game between the Red Sox and Angels. Chatham returns to Cape League action on Thursday at Whitehouse Field, as they visit the second place Harwich Mariners in a crucial divisional showdown. All-Star Sammy Solis will start for the A's at 7 PM, with coverage beginning on the A's Extra Pregame Show at 6:30