Six-plus seasons, two organizations, five different teams, none higher that Class A.
Danny Young has certainly bounced around some throughout his baseball career. And in the debut start of his fourth Augusta go-round, the 25-year-old minor-league journeyman with a 16-41 lifetime record and 5.51 ERA couldn't catch a break Thursday night, and promptly was bounced from the mound by a third-inning Columbus onslaught.
In an anguish-filled return engagement for the GreenJackets, Young took the loss in the RedStixx' 11-7 triumph in the finale of the three-game series at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Sitting on a 2-0 cushion, Young trotted out to the mound to start the top of the third and took an early exit after he faced eight batters without recording an out.
A trio of Augusta errors and four hits off Young, including a grand slam by first baseman Rob Bruce, gave Columbus a 7-2 lead. And, with three more hits off reliever Wyatt Brooks, it was a 9-2 rout before the Jackets could stop the bleeding and bring the Stixx' merciless assault to its merciful end.
In two innings, Columbus reached Young (0-1) for seven unearned runs on five hits with a walk and one strikeout.
Originally drafted by Houston in the 84th round of the 1990 draft out of Aquinas (Tenn.) Community College, Young obviously had hoped for a more auspicious beginning to his fourth tour with the Jackets in as many seasons.
Young opened the season in advanced Class A Lynchburg (Va.), where he was 0-0 with a 5.92 ERA in 15 relief appearances. He joined the Jackets after the all-star break, spending his first 10 days with the club on the disabled list.
Augusta blew a chance to blow the game open itself in the first inning, managing only the two runs despite the first five Jackets batters reaching base against Columbus starter Lance Calmus. Charles Rice reached on catcher's interference with the bases loaded and Bo Hundt made it 2-0 with an RBI-single, but Calmus then left three runners stranded by retiring the next three Jackets.
Still, the Jackets roared back with a four-run fifth inning off Calmus and reliever Ken Wagner to cut the deficit to 9-6, but the Stixx scored two more runs in the sixth on Jewell Williams' two-out, two-run single off Michael Chaney to regain a cushy five-run advantage.
Calmus left after four innings and could not get the decision, giving up four earned runs on three hits with five walks and three strikeouts. Lefty Brett Merrick (1-1) took his first win of the season with 2 innings of one-hit, shutout relief.
NOTES: On a night that followed an outstanding Jackets defensive effort in a 2-1 win over the Stixx on Wednesday, Augusta committed four errors, three by shortstop Luis Figueroa. ... LHP Ryan Fisher was promoted from Erie of the short-season New York-Penn League an joined the Jackets on Thursday. Fisher, a 23-year-old non-drafted free agent signee by Pittsburgh in 1995, was 3-1 with a 3.05 ERA with the Jackets in 15 appearances last season. He takes the roster spot vacated by reliever Jason Elmore, who was released on Tuesday.
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