Ninth Inning Heroics and Disappointments

Monday, July 24 2006 @ 02:39 AM EDT

Contributed by: Gerry

Lots of late game swings yesterday.  Syracuse, Dunedin and Auburn each took leads to the bottom of the ninth and lost.  New Hampshire were losing going to the bottom of the ninth and won in eleven.  New Hampshire and Lansing supplied the only two wins yesterday.

Syracuse 6  Buffalo 7

This was a tough loss for the Chiefs.  The Chiefs had scored two runs in the eighth and three in the ninth to take a 6-4 lead.  Lee Gronkiewicz came on for the save and his inning went like this: double, out, triple, out, triple, single.  Dustin McGowan started and wasn't at his best, 4.2 innings, four runs on six hits and three walks with a couple of wild pitches thrown in.  With Marcum and Janssen's improved pitching McGowan will spend more time in AAA.  Davis Romero relieved McGowan and pitched 3.1 innings with only one hit allowed.  Ryan Roberts has been hot for the Chiefs recently and he went 3-4 yesterday with a double and a home run to bump his average to .280.  Luis Figueroa, John Hattig and Mike Mahoney also had two hits each. 

Trenton 4 New Hampshire 5 - 11 innings

Ricky Romero started for New Hampshire and pitched well except to Eric Duncan.  Yankees prospect Duncan hit two solo home runs, #7 and #8, and Romero gave up one other run in six innings.  This was another good performance by Romero who is starting to get the hang of AA.  However the Fisher Cats trailed 4-1 heading to the bottom of the ninth when Chip Cannon hit a three run home, his 17th, run to tie the game.  Ryan Klosterman walked to start the nineteenth, was sacrificed to second and scored on a passed ball.  Curtis Thigpen and Manny Mayorson had two hits each.

Dunedin 5  Daytona 6

Dunedin took a 5-2 lead to the bottom of the ninth before Milton Tavarez had a rough outing.  Tavarez gave up four runs while getting only one out to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Earlier Dunedin took advantage of wildness by the Daytona starting pitcher to score four runs in the first two innings.  In the first 3 walks, a hit batter, a passed ball and a couple of singles led to three runs.  Three singles in the second generated another run.  Orlando Trias started and went six innings giving up one run on four hits and four walks.  Chris Gutierrez, Eric Nielsen and Cory Patton had two hits each.

Peoria 0  Lansing 4

The Lansing Lugnuts got to defeat Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija yesterday thanks to a three run first inning.  After a couple of lead-off walks Anthony Hatch doubled in one and a sac fly and a David Hicks double brought in the other two.  Hatch doubled again in the sixth and scored on a Hicks sac fly.  Lansing had six hits in the game and Hatch had three of them.  Chi-Hung Cheng pitched six strong shutout innings allowing only three hits and one walk with eight K's.  Edward Rodriguez pitched three innings in relief for the save.

Staten Island 5  Auburn 4 - 12 innings

Seth Overbey gave up a lead-off home run in the ninth and Ben Harrison gave up the losing run in the twelfth as Auburn lost a game they probably should have.  Auburn tallied five hits in the twelve innings, three singles in the second to score two runs and two more singles in the sixth to score the other two.  Auburn were hitless in the other ten innings.  Kelly Sweppenhiser had two hits. 

Pulaski 4  Elizabethton 6

Elizabethton scored two in the seventh off Drew Taylor to break a 4-4 tie.  Alex McRobbie started for Pulaski and went six innings giving up four runs and three home runs.  Jonathan Jaspe and Baron Frost each hit two run home runs for the Jays, Travis Snider went 3-4 with a double.


3  Chi-Hung Cheng
2  Anthony Hatch
1  Ryan Roberts


Over the last two years The Jays have been in playoff contention at most levels below AAA and especially with the two short season teams.  This year is a mixed bag.  Dunedin and Lansing both made the playoffs in the first half of the season but since then things have been more bleak.  Syracuse and New Hampshire are having disappointing seasons, Lansing are now last after a good first half.  Auburn are in fifth and Pulaski have slipped back after a great 9-1 start. 

Syracuse are 46-56, and are in sixth place, 11 and a half games behind Rochester
New Hampshire are 45-56, and are in fifth place, 10 and a half games behind Portland
Dunedin are 16-15, and are in fourth place, two games behind Clearwater
Lansing are 11-19, and are in sixth place, twelve games behind West Michigan
Auburn are 14-18 and are in fifth place, three and a half games behind Mahoning Valley
Pulaski are 19-13 and are tied in first place with Danville