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45 Plus Hurricanes Split Double Header on Opening Day in Phoenix

Oct. 30, 2007 — The St. Thomas 45 Plus Hurricanes split a double-header Monday to start their 2007 Men's Senior Baseball League (MSBL) tournament run in Phoenix, Ariz., with a 1-1 record.
After losing a 10-8 heartbreaker to the Oregon Donors in the early game, the Canes showed a lot of heart in coming back to beat the Fresno Phillies 16-13 in game two.
The islanders seemingly had game two well in hand, leading by five runs at 11-6 entering the seventh inning. But a huge seven-run top of the inning by the Phillies — helped by some untimely Hurricanes miscues — and they quickly found themselves down13-11 with time quickly running out on the game. The Hurricanes, never saying die, stormed back with five runs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead at 16-13. After reliever Kai Schjang set the Phillies down in order in the top of the eighth, the game was called because of time constraints.
After the Phillies failed to score in the top of the first inning, the Hurricanes scored four runs in the bottom of the inning on two-run singles by Glenn Francis and Arthur Smith to take the early lead.
The Phillies got on the board in the top of the second with one run on Richard Metzger's RBI single to trail 4-1 after two innings, as the Hurricanes failed to score in the bottom of the second.
The Phillies continued to chip away at the Hurricanes' lead in the top of the third, plating two more runs on RBI singles by Wayne Weinberger and Paul Kapigian to trail 4-3. The Hurricanes again came up empty in the bottom of the inning.
The Phillies knotted the game at four in the top of the fourth on Nick Papagni's RBI single, but this time the Hurricanes had an answer. They scored two runs on an RBI double by Frank Thomas and an RBI single by Rudolf Chapman to retake the lead at 6-4 after four completed innings.
An RBI double by Dan Triplett brought the Phillies to within one at 6-5 in the top of the fifth. The Hurricanes answered mightily in the bottom of the inning with five runs to take what looked like an insurmountable 11-5 lead. They scored five runs on a two-run single by Schjang and RBI singles by Francis, Chapman and Julien Harley.
The Phillies began mounting a comeback in the top of the sixth with one run on Papagni's RBI double to trail 11-6. After the Hurricanes failed to score in the bottom of the inning, they erupted for seven runs in the top of the seventh to take their first lead of the game at 13-11.
With minutes left in the three-hour game time, the Hurricanes came to bat in the bottom of the seventh trailing for the first time in the game. They knew it would be their last chance to pull out the game, and they responded with a game-clinching five-run seventh inning. They scored five runs on a two-run single by Hendricks, an RBI single by Chapman, a bases-loaded walk drawn by Schjang and a Phillies error.
At the end of the seventh, the umpire said that there was one minute left on the game clock, which meant that the Phillies had to bat again. It did not matter, however, as Schjang took care of business to preserve the win.
Schjang picked up the win in relief of a strong pitching effort from starter Leon Martin, who went six and two-thirds innings. Darin Land got the loss for the Phillies. Top hitters for the Hurricanes were Francis and Chapman, 3 for 4 with three RBIs apiece; Thomas, 3 for 3 with one RBI; Smith, 2 for 4 with two RBIs; and Reggie Wilkerson, 2 for 2. For the Phillies, Papagni and Rocha were 3 for 3 and Weinberger was 3 for 4.
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