Bullpen Allows Sweep to Slip Away
Leading by two runs with three innings to go the Calgary Vipers gave up ten runs to lose 13-6 to the Edmonton Capitals before a record 4859 fans at Foothills Stadium in Calgary, Alberta. The attendance was the largest to ever watch a Vipers game in their five year history. The Snakes still lead the best of five North Division Championship Series 2-1. Leading 5-3 heading into the seventh inning Calgary's bullpen gave up two runs in the seventh, two more in the eighth, and six in the ninth to avoid a sweep of the Capitals.
The late comeback spoiled an excellent outing from starter Dallas Mahan who threw six and a third innings giving up three runs and not walking a batter. Chris Little started for Edmonton and threw six solid innings as well giving up two earned runs while Todd Privett (1-0) took the win in giving up a run in an inning and a third. Jason Pearson (1) retired all five batters he faced including two strikeouts for the save after he came into the game in the eighth inning to protect a one run lead. Pete Sikaras (0-1) received the loss after giving up four runs in one inning.
The loss also spoiled a terrific night at the plate for Calgary's Jorge Mejia who went four-for-four with three runs batted in.
Edmonton grabbed the lead in the top of the first inning as Kevin House hit a solo home run for a 1-0 advantage.
Calgary tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning as Fehlandt Lentini singled, stole second base, advanced to third base on a Nelson Castro productive groundout, and scored on a Sergio Pedroza run batted in grounder.
The Capitals retook the lead in the top of the third as Jorge Cortes hit a solo home run for a 2-1 score.
In the visitor's half of the fifth Edmonton added to their lead as Darryl Brinkley singled and Jose Morban doubled him home for a 3-1 advantage.
The Vipers got a run back in the bottom of the frame as Colin Moro reached on a fielding error, Rick Guarno singled, and Jorge Mejia plated a run with a base hit for a 3-2 game.
In the top of the sixth inning Chad Ehrnsberger led off with a double and after two outs were recorded Matt Ceriani singled into centerfield but Fehlandt Lentini threw a perfectly accurate one-hopper to the plate and catcher Rick Guarno blocked the plate and knocked down Ehrnsberger to tag him out for the final out of the frame.
Calgary tied the game up in the bottom of the sixth inning as Sergio Pedroza smoked a solo home run for his second of the playoffs. The Snakes then took their first lead of the night when Kit Pellow reached on a fielding error, took second base on a wild pitch, Drew Miller was intentionally walked, Moro received a base on balls to load the bases, Guarno drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly, and Mejia laid down a perfect RBI bunt single for a 5-3 advantage.
After Miller made a terrific sliding catch in left field the Capitals answered right back in the next half inning as House doubled, Morban was walked, House stole third base, Morban then stole second while House on the same play stole home, and Joey Gomes plated the tying run with a two-out single for a 5-5 score.
Edmonton took their second lead of the game in the top of the eighth as Aaron Hornostaj, Matt Ceriani, Cortes, and House collected four straight singles for two runs and a 7-5 game.
The Snakes got a run back for a 7-6 score in the home half of the eighth as Guarno doubled for a fourth time in the postseason and Mejia cashed him with a RBI single.
In the top of the ninth the Capitals blew the game wide open with six runs for a 13-6 lead. Ehrnsberger singled, Joe Jiannetti doubled, Hornostaj was walked intentionally to load the bases, John Pasieka walked for a RBI, Cortes knocked in two with a base hit, and Brinkley clubbed a three run shot to cap the inning.
Game 4 will be played in Calgary at Foothills Stadium on Saturday September 5th at 4:05 PM MDT. Joe Sergent (1-0, 5.14) will return to the mound for the Vipers against Lou Pote (0-1, 18.00) of Edmonton.
If necessary Game 5 will also be held in Calgary at Foothills Stadium on Sunday September 6th at 3:05 PM MDT.
Tickets can be purchased over the phone at 403-277-2255 or by stopping in at the Vipers Ticket Office at 2255 Crowchild Trail N.W. All games can be heard live online at www.calgaryvipers.com.
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Professional Arena Soccer League Stories from September 4, 2009
- Bullpen Allows Sweep to Slip Away - Calgary United
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