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Defenders Stay Alive with 8-7win

September 18, 2009 - Eastern League (EL1)
Connecticut Defenders News Release

AKRON, OH- With their backs against the wall in a do or die situation throughout the remainder of the Eastern League Champion Series, Connecticut continued their fight with a dramatic 8-7 win over Akron to force a game 4.

Leading by one in the ninth, with two outs and one on, pinch hitter Bobby Felmy sent a flare to shallow leftfield where newly inserted LF- Cristo Arnal and SS-Carlos Rivero collided which allowed LF-Brad Boyer to score the proven game winner from first.

Akron struck first once again in their first visit to the plate. Back to back to singles to leadoff the inning placed runners on the corners and C-Carlos Santana's double play ball allowed CF-Jose Constanza to cross the plate.

Connecticut quickly responded in the second inning taking advantage of free passes. DH-Eddy Martinez-Esteve and CF-Brad Boyer drew back to back walks then 3B-Ramon Castro singled to load the bases. SS-Brandon Crawford evened things up with a sac fly and Boyer tagged to third. The Defenders then improvised by putting on the double steal and took their first lead of the series when Boyer scored on a throwing error on LHP-Eric Berger.

The Defenders added to their lead in the third once again making Akron pay for issuing walks. 2B-Brock Bond drew a leadoff walk, CF-Mike McBryde singled and Martinez-Esteve drew a one out walk to load the bases. Boyer then pulled a dribbler up the first base line and Berger bobbled it for his second error of the game as Bond scored.

The Eastern League MVP would show off his power in the bottom of the inning blasting a two run shot to tie the game. Akron would regain the lead later in the inning taking advantage of a Castro error at third that allowed the inning to continue and 3B-Lonnie Chisenhall delivered an RBI single to give the Aeros a 4-3 edge.

Golden opportunities have been presented all series long to Connecticut but they have yet to fully capitalize . In the fifth inning the Defenders had enough, delivering five consecutive hits that produced four runs. Bond drove in the first, McBryde the next two and Martinez-Esteve the last with a sac fly.

Akron continued to chip away at the lead scoring lone runs in the fifth and the eighth to pull within one at 7-6. But during the eighth, RF-John Drennen would get ejected from HP-John Conrad and his ejection proved costly in the ninth.

The Aeros managed to battle back in the ninth though getting an RBI double by Rivero to trim the lead once again to one. Defenders' closer LHP-Matt Yourkin then made a series saving leaping grab on a chopper back to the mound to retire pinch hitter Jared Goedert for the second out but advanced Rivero. Yourkin would then battle with LF-Jerad Head in a twelve pitch at bat before getting him to fly out to center to secure his second post season save.

Connecticut used seven pitchers in total but RHP-Mitch Lively (1-0) earned the win tossing 2.1 innings allowing one earned run off of just one hit, walked one and struck out a pair. Aeros' starter LHP-Eric Berger (1-1) suffered the loss allowing six runs-five earned off of five hits, walked four and fanned two.

Game four of the best of five series will feature Defenders' LHP-Ari Ronick (1-0_up against LHP-Scott Barnes, making his first start of the post season. First pitch is slated for 7:05pm from Canal Park.

Fans can all the action on the Defenders Flagship Station WICH 1310AM or online at

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