Eibner Slams Rocks to VictoryMay 11, 2012 - Carolina League (CarL) Wilmington Blue Rocks
Frederick starter Scott Copeland had retired 10 in a row before Whit Merrifield doubled with two outs in the fifth. Copeland (1-3) then lost command, walking consecutive men to load the bases. The next man up, Brian Fletcher, was hit by a pitch to earn his 12th RBI the hard way. Eibner followed with his team-leading fifth home run of the year to left-center field and the Rocks took a 6-3 lead.
The host Keys made it interesting. Mike Flacco, brother of former University of Delaware star and current Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco, made it 6-4 with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. That was the fourth and finally tally on the line of starter Greg Billo (3-3), who only surrendered four hits in his six innings of work. After two scoreless bridge innings by Chase Boruff, closer Nick Rogers allowed his first run of the season in the ninth. Matt Sweeney's one-out solo shot to right-center trimmed Wilmington's lead to 6-5, but Rogers notched a couple of quick outs to earn his fourth save in as many tries.
The three-game set continues at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening. Wilmington right-hander Yordano Ventura (0-3, 4.10) bids for his first win as he faces fellow righty Mike Wright (4-1, 2.62). Broadcast coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
Whit Merrifield began the game with his second leadoff homer of the year and the fourth on his two-year Wilmington tenure. His first leadoff homer this season came off of rehabbing big leaguer Daisuke Matsuzaka at Salem on April 23.
Home runs accounted for nine of the game's 11 runs.
Brett Eibner hit the Rocks' first grand slam since John Whittleman hit one at Winston-Salem on April 24, 2011.
Nick Rogers had not allowed a run in seven outings and 11 innings on the season before Friday night. His ERA rose to 0.75 as a result of Matt Sweeney's ninth-inning homer.
Starter Greg Billo tossed a season-best six innings for his third win of the year. All three of his wins have come on the road.
No CL squad has played more one-run games than the Blue Crew. Vance Wilson's team improved to 5-8 in such affairs with the series-opening win.
Frederick fell to a league-worst 10-20 on the year. Its 5-13 home record is also the worst in the loop.
For the 11th time this season, Jansen Visconti and Rich Gonzalez combined to umpire a game involving the Blue Rocks. That means 33% of Wilmington's games have been umpired by the duo.
Wilmington began the day with a losing record against each of its fellow Northern Division squads. Friday's efforts lifted it to sea level at 2-2 versus Frederick.
Carolina League Stories from May 11, 2012
- Red Sox Outlast Pelicans 5-3 in 14 Innings - Salem Red Sox
- Mudcats Score Early, Wallop Nationals - Carolina Mudcats
- Eibner's Grand Slam Undoes Keys - Frederick Keys
- Seven Run First Propels Carolina over Potomac 9-2 - Potomac Nationals
- Eibner Slams Rocks to Victory - Wilmington Blue Rocks
- 'Cats Score in Eight Frames to Best Dash - Lynchburg Hillcats
- Hillcats Best Dash in First-Place Battle - Winston-Salem Dash
- Pelicans Announce Second Annual Art Contest - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
- Lynchburg Hillcats Game Notes - Lynchburg Hillcats
- Mudcats Game Notes - May 11 - Carolina Mudcats
- All-Star Game Tickets Go on Sale Monday - Winston-Salem Dash
- RHP Leroy Hunt promoted to Double-A Birmingham - Winston-Salem Dash
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