Monday, June 25, 2012
'Sharks Survive Late Rally, Even Series With Skeeters 2-2
Pitcher Michael Nix (1-7) made his third start of the season and second against the Riversharks Monday night in search of his second win against Camden righty Ricky Brooks (4-1).
For the first time in the series, the Skeeters scored first. After a scoreless first inning, Sugar Land worked Brooks in the second to take the early lead. Josh Pressley led off the inning with a single back up the middle, Ofilio Castro walked to put two batters aboard, and Steve Moss singled into right to load the bases through the first three batters of the inning. With no outs and the bases loaded, catcher Octavio Martinez singled over the second baseman into right to give the Skeeters a 1-0 lead. In the next at-bat with the bases still loaded, Luis Figueroa brought in the second run of the inning with a sacrifice-fly into center field, 2-0.
Nix came out with the lead in the top of third, but had trouble containing the bottom of the order after facing the minimum through the first and second inning. Eduardo Perez led off with a single into left and stole second to put himself in scoring position during the next at-bat. Steve Doetsch struck out looking, but with one out and one on, shortstop Jake Eigsti singled into center allowing Perez to come around to cut the Skeeters lead in half, 2-1.
Camden turned the lineup over for the first time, and the second time through proved better. At the top of the order, Chris Walker used his speed to turn what could have been just a double into an RBI-triple into deep right-center field. Eigsti scored from first to tie the game, 2-2.
Second baseman Lloyd Turner grounded out to Figueroa at second, but Atlantic League RBI leader and Riversharks first baseman Brian Burgamy tallied the go-ahead shot with an RBI-single into center. With the score now 3-2, former Houston Astro and World Series Champion Pedro Feliz continued a five-game hitting streak with a two-run home run (2) to increase the lead for Camden, 5-2.
Nix settled back into the game after the big third inning retiring nine of the last 10 batters he faced before getting the hook after working six inning allowing five earned-runs while walking and striking out two. Brooks finished after six as well just allowing the two early runs off seven hits and three walks.
Reliever Kelvin Villa helped retire 11 in a row after Nix left in the sixth with three-up three-down in the seventh, but the eighth was troublesome again. With one on and two out in the inning, catcher Raul Padron hit an RBI-double into the left-center field gap adding a crucial sixth run to the score to put Camden ahead, 6-2.
The Skeeters found a bit of hope when reliever Zach Hammes took the mound in the bottom of the eighth. Pressley continued his magnificent hitting night with a one out double into left, and in the next at-bat, Ofilio Castro brought him home with an RBI-triple into right. The Skeeters halved the lead, 6-3, and even cut it down to two when Steve Moss hit a sacrifice-fly into center to bring Castro in standing up, 6-4.
Camden brought in closer John Lujan for the third consecutive night, but the game wasn’t quite finished even with his appearance. After getting Iggy Suarez to ground out and Bubba Bell to strike out swinging, the Skeeters used the classic two-out rally. Miguel Negron walked and stole second to get in scoring position, and one batter later, Jason Lane brought him in with an RBI-double into left, 6-5. Lujan intentionally walked Pressley in his fifth at-bat of the game, and with two on and the game winning run at first, Castro grounded out to second on a bang-bang play to end the game. Lujan picked up his 12th save of the season and the win for Camden evened up the series at 2-2.