Bullpen implodes in defeat

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An announced crowd of 4,535 fans at Lake Olmstead Stadium didn't last to see the final pitch of a 12-inning marathon Saturday night. The GreenJackets bullpen couldn't hold out either.

Augusta fell to the Asheville Tourists, 5-1, in the longest game this season.

GreenJackets starter Craig Clark and reliever Daryl Maday threw well enough for a win. Clark took a perfect game into the fourth inning and struck out 11 batters through six innings. Maday didn't allow a run through five.

"I felt good. I was working ahead in the count, and everybody behind me was making plays," Clark said, "but it would have been a lot better if we won."

Clark and Maday combined for 11 innings of one-run ball, but relievers Joe Paterson and Daniel Turpen couldn't match the effort in the 12th inning. It took both pitchers to get the final three outs, but not before Asheville (16-7) scored four runs on four hits, including a two-run double from Warren Schaeffer to break the tie.

GreenJackets manager Andy Skeels said it never should have gotten that far. Schaeffer's go-ahead hit came after the GreenJackets wasted several scoring opportunities.

"We lost this game because we couldn't hit," Skeels said. "You can't keep asking your bullpen to keep knocking people down and throwing up zeros. Offensively, with runners in scoring position, we were terrible."

The GreenJackets (11-12) stranded 11 baserunners on the night. Nick Noonan was stranded after reaching third with one out in the fourth. Francisco Peguero led off the sixth with a triple but stayed there. With the bases loaded and no outs in the 11th, pinch hitter Garrett Baker managed a grounder back to the mound for a fielder's choice at home, and Charlie Culberson grounded out to third .

The lone GreenJackets' run came in the top of the eighth when Brock Bond extended his hitting streak to 11 games, singling in Culberson with two outs to tie the game at 1.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.



STAR OF THE GAME: Asheville starter Cory Riordan threw seven scoreless innings, striking out seven.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Asheville's Warren Schaeffer laced a double to right field in the top of the 12th inning with the bases loaded and one out to give the Tourists a two-run lead.

NEXT: 2:05 p.m. today, Asheville at Augusta

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