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September 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: PawSox nearly sweep, but lose in walk-off fashion at the last minute

9/8 Cup of Coffee: With a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, it seemed like the PawSox were in the perfect position to sweep the best-of-five series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. But Melky Mesa hit a walk-off two-run home run, and the Yankees defeated the PawSox, 4-3 at the last possible second.

Billy Buckner (pictured) started the game and yielded only a hit over his 6.1 scoreless innings and struck out seven. Brock Huntzinger gave up a run on two hits over his 1.2 innings of work. Tony Pena, Jr. came in the bottom of the ninth and the PawSox still maintained a comfortable 3-1 lead. But Pena gave up a leadoff double and a single to trim the lead to only a run. Pena departed with one out in favor of Pedro Beato. Beato elicited a pop out from the first batter he faced for the second out, but promptly gave up the walk-off home run that kept the Yankees in the International League semi-finals.

Bryce Brentz and Mike Rivera hit back-to-back home runs to give Pawtucket their first two-run lead. Juan Carlos Linares hit a RBI triple in the eighth inning to give the PawSox what seemed enough insurance runs, but it was not enough. The PawSox will try to win the series tonight in the fourth game of the semi-finals at 7:05 tonight.
Player of the night: Billy Buckner did everything he could to put his team in a position to win with his 6.1 scoreless innings. The outing reflected a positive season for Buckner, who started the year with Double-A where he posted a 3.20 ERA and earned a promotion after 10 games. In 17 games for Pawtucket, he went 8-6 with a 3.91 ERA.

Photo Credit: Billy Buckner, Kelly O'Connor