On a scorching 100 degree day, short-handed Oaklyn loses both ends of a double header...
game 1: The usually dominant Frank Houser wasn't at his top form to begin the game. After getting the first batter of the game to fly out. The tides shifted quickly when the Angels' second batter, Donofry, hit a high deep fly to left field, barely clearing the fence for a home run. St. Ann's would go on to score two more runs in the inning on three hits and an Oaklyn error. With the A's unable to muster anything offensively early on, St. Ann's went back to work when Donofry hit a deep fly ball to left center field for his second solo home run in as many innings.
Oaklyn showed some life in the third inning when short stop Bob McGeehan led off the frame with a double to deep right center field. After a strikeout, Jeff Kasten hit a single to give the A's runners on first and third with just one out. Phil Guinto followed with a deep fly to right field, sacrificing himself, allowing McGeehan to score from third. That was the A's could muster that inning as the following batter grounded out.
The bottom of the inning started off well with Houser getting outs on the first two batters, but the reason for his early struggles became apparent as he was forced to leave the game with an upper arm injury. Phil Guinto replaced Frank in relief and pitched relatively well, although he would go on to allow 3 runs over the next 3.1 innings.
However, there was a feel-good moment for Oaklyn in the 4th inning. With one out, Bob Mcgeehan hit a single down the left field line for his second hit of the game. The following batter, Bob's son M. McGeehan, stepped to the plate. On a 1-0 count, he made his father proud with a deep drive to right field that easily cleared the fence, plating both McGeehans. Bob greeted his son at home plate with a warm embrace.
M. Mcgeehan's first HR in an A's uniform wouldn't be enough as St Ann's would go on to win game one with a final score of 7-3.
game2: Without their usual number 2 and number 3 pitchers missing the game for personal reasons, the A's were forced to rely on the collective efforts of usual third baseman Rob Roseboro and everyday catcher Billy Hayes. The results weren't pretty. The pair allowed 11 runs on 10 hits in just 4 innings. The A's offense could only muster 2 hits, without scoring a single run, losing the second game 11-0.
Against the Punishers from Camden, the A's were able to overcompensate for uncharacteristically sloppy defense with another brilliant pitching performance by ace Frank Houser and a consistent offensive to attack...
The "comedy of errors" began early for the A's as, with two outs in the top half of the first inning and a runner on third base, starting pitcher Frank Houser induced an easy ground ball to second base which should've ended the inning. However, the ball sailed well over first baseman Ryan Smith's outstretched gloved and allowed the first run of the game to score. Houser would then strike out the next batter to end the side. Oaklyn showed its resiliency, though, and would quickly respond in the bottom of the first.
After a strikeout to the leadoff batter, Phil Guinto upped his remarkable OBP with a base on balls for Oaklyn's first base runner of the game. He would later advance to second base on a passed ball before a groundout to the Punishers' first baseman left the A's with two outs. Oaklyn, always poised in the face of adversity, regained the momentum when a two-out rally began after a passed ball on ball four allowed Guinto to advance to third base with Ryan Smith earning a walk. With Chris Bartell up to bat, Camden's catcher attempted a pickoff throw to first base, but the ball got past the defender at first , allowing Smith to advance to 2nd and Guinto to score, tieing the game at 1 a piece. Bartell continued his hot hitting with a single to plate the second run of the inning. Rob Roseboro started out his great day with a walk, giving the A's another runner in scoring position, still with two outs. The next batter of the inning, Billy Hayes, continued the rally with a line drive single to right field, plating Bartell, giving Oaklyn a 3-1 lead. Camden starting pitcher, James Edelman, ended the rally by striking out the following batter, one of his eventual 14 strikeouts on the day.
Camden tied the game up in the top half of the third thanks to more Oaklyn mistakes in the field. With one out and runners on 1st and 2nd base, a pickoff attempt at 2nd by catcher Hayes shorthopped short-stop Bob Mcgeehan and bounced into center field, allowing both runners to advance. Both runs would go on to score. Although, McGeehan would eventually pick up for his catcher in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and 1 out, the smart situational hitter smacked the ball to the right side of the infield and, with the Punisher's only play being at first base, drove in the go-ahead run.
The A's went on to tack on two more runs in the 6th inning on a two-out single by Michael McGeehan, giving them a 6-3 lead. This would prove to be huge as later in the 7th inning when a throwing error, this time to third base, allowed the Punishers' 4th run of the game to score easily. The Oaklyn ace shut the door after that. Although he would allow a HR to Chris Berroa with 2 outs in the 9th inning, Houser(CG, 5R, 1ER, 2BB,10K) recorded outs on 7 of the final 8 batters he faced to cement another A's victory, 6-5.
The trend of the season continues as the A's win again behind solid pitching and an explosive offense...
This game started out promising as Oaklyn starter Ryan Smith needed just ten pitches to record the game's first three outs with P. Guinto scoring a run on an Eric Juliani sac fly in the first inning. After a 7-pitch top of the second for Smith, that momentum looked like it would carry over. However, Threshers' starting pitching John Abel had other plans.
Abel showed just how able he was as he used a variety of pitches, with solid command, to befuddle a hot Oaklyn offense. Over the next five innings, he would only allow three hits, and although he walked five batters while hitting another, Abel was got out of multiple jams with six opportunistic strike outs. Sewel's offense took advantage in the third inning when they scored a run without registering a single hit. They would score again in the fifth inning when they led off the inning with a single and a double to put the Threshers ahead 2-1.
That would be the end of the day for Oaklyn starter Ryan Smith(5ip, 2H, 1BB, 2R, 1ER, 4K) as Chris Bartell made his 2012 pitching debut in the top of the sixth. Bartell made a solid first impression by striking out the first batter he faced, following that by inducing five outs from the next six batters he faced. He continued that impression with his bat in the bottom of the inning. After Eric Juliani led off the bottom of the 7th with a single to left, Bartell helped himself with a monster opposite field home run to put the A's ahead 3-2, a lead. The A's would go on to scored four more runs in the inning, sparked by a Tony Anderson single and a 2-run double by Bob McGeehan.
The Threshers looked poised to respond in the top of the 8th with Oaklyn's usual Ace, Frank Houser, on the mound. The Threshers first two batters reached base with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. After Houser struck out the third batter of the inning, another walk would load the bases for Sewell with just one out. However, the Threshers squandered that momentum as Houser and catcher Billy Hayes teamed up for a strike-em-out-throw-em-out, with Hayes picking off the runner at second base after catching a called third strike.
Oaklyn put the game out of reach in the botton of the 8th when the game's starting pitcher, Ryan Smith, hit a mammoth 3-run home run. Frank Houser put down the Threshers in order in the 9th to give Oaklyn the win, 10-2.
game notes: Tony Anderson got his first hit of the 2012 season...Chris Bartell got his first HR as a member of the Oaklyn A's...brothers P. Guinto and M.Guinto have each reached base safely in all but one game this season
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