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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Optimist goes to Basselope Stadium with a 2-0 lead, and promptly give it up.

In game 3, the Optimist scores 3 runs on 11 hits, while the Basselopes score 5 runs on 4 hits. Mussina pitched a fine game, but both of his walks scored on the 2-run and 3-run homers he gave up to Carlos Delgado in the 3rd and Aubrey Huff in the 6th. Andy Pettitte pitched well with runners on, with the only damage coming from a Jimmy Rollins home run to lead off the game, and a 2-run shot from Ramon Hernandez in the 6th.

With the Basselopes up 5-3 in the top of the 8th, the Optimist chased Pettitte with a leadoff single, and had the bases loaded with one out. Juan Rivera works the count to 2-0, and promptly grounds into an inning-ending double play. And that's the ballgame.

With the Optimist up 2-1, game 4 features a rematch of Jason Schmidt and Johann Santana. Remember in game one, each of these pitchers only went 3 1/3. Well in game 4, they both go 6 2/3 and each gives up a run. Santana struck out 13, walked one, and gave up just 3 hits. The only damage came in the first when Luis Gonzalez lined a 2-out double and Adrian Beltre followed with a RBI single.

Jason Schmidt was not nearly as sharp for the Optimist, as he struggled with his location all day, en route to walking EIGHT batters. But he was effectively wild, as he gave up only two hits, and struck out 9. In the 4th inning, he escaped a no-out, runners on 2nd and 3rd situation with a couple of Ks.

In the sixth inning, he walked two batters, and with two outs, Lew Ford hit a double down the third base line, scoring Carlos Delgado, but Optimist left fielder Eli Marrero gunned down Aubrey Huff at home to end the threat.

In the 7th, a 2-out single from Ramon Hernandez thankfully chased Mr. Santana. Three walks in the bottom of the 7th ended the day for Mr. Schmidt, but Billy Wagner came on to strike out JD Drew.

The 8th and 9th saw both teams get runners to second, but Ricky Bottalico and Billy Wagner had no troubles. In the 10th inning, both teams turned to their erstwhile closers to hold the game.

Eddie Guardado came in with runners on first and second and one out and got two quick flyouts to get out the 10th. Lidge allowed an infield single to JD Drew but nothing else.

Then, with one out in the top of the 11th, Adrian Beltre hit a MAMMOTH 520 foot shot out of the stadium. Lidge held in the bottom of the 11th, and that was the ballgame.

The Optimist is now up 3 games to 1 and returning home for Game 5. After an 0-4 Game 3, Beltre went 2-5 in Game 4, dropping his batting average for the series down to .500. Mariner fans can only dream about seeing this sort of production from Beltre in the playoffs.

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