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Aviators and Dillas split doubleheader to end first half

June 27, 2004 - Central Baseball League (Central League) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

ROBSTOWN, TX – The Coastal Bend Aviators avoided a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Amarillo Dillas Saturday – after dropping a 5-2 decision to Amarillo in the first game, the Aviators scored four runs in the bottom of the 6th to post a come-from-behind 7-4 victory in the nightcap to earn a split of the twin bill. A Fairgrounds Field crowd of over 3,300 saw Coastal Bend take three of four in the series with the visiting Dillas.

In game one, Amarillo jumped on Aviators starter Mike Garcia for three 1st inning runs – with two out, Dan Meier and Benny Craig singled, setting the table for Matt Mann, who burned his former team with a home run over the left field wall. The Dillas went up 5-0 in the top of the 4th when Carlos Figueroa delivered a two-out, bases loaded single to plate Asdrual Oropeza and Dallas McMann. The Aviators scored single runs in the 4th (Trey Salinas singling in John Ramistella) and 7th innings (Carlos Castillo coming home on Carlos Adolfo’s RBI double), but Amarillo starter Keith Ferguson (1-0) went the distance, striking out eight in defeating Garcia (0-1) and Coastal Bend.

The second game of the doubleheader started in much the same fashion. With Eric Martanovic on the mound making his Aviators debut, the Dillas roughed up the righthander in the 1st inning – Odannis Ayala tripled and came home on Dan Meier’s RBI single; then Mann laced a liner over right fielder Marcus Knight’s head and came all the away around to score…the two-run inside-the-park homer giving Amarillo a 3-0 lead. A bases loaded walk to Benny Craig in the 2nd inning extended the Dillas advantage to 4-0…but it would be the last run Amarillo would score, as Aviators relievers Bubba Makowsky, Brian Dikdan and Jose Luis Lopez held the Dillas scoreless for the final five-and-a-third innings. Coastal Bend chipped away at the lead, scoring a run in the 4th (Cris Colon doubling home Lou Ferrell) and two in the 5th (Ramistella delivering the key blow with an RBI single) to pull to within one. In the 6th, the Aviators broke the game open – Mike Guerrero doubled home pinch-runner J.R. Cortez to tie the score and came home on Knight’s single to right field. Trey Salinas later scored on a wild pitch to give Coastal Bend a 6-4 lead…then a sacrifice fly by Adolfo would plate Knight to make it a three run game. Lopez did the rest, getting the final three outs (striking out Craig and Mann to end it) to record his second save of the season; Dikdan (2-2) got credit for the win.

The doubleheader split gives the Aviators a 24-24 record; Coastal Bend ends the season’s first half in sole possession of second place in the Central Baseball League’s West Division…Amarillo finished last in the West with a first half record of 13-33. The Aviators continue their eight game homestand Sunday with the first of four against the Jackson Senators…lefthander Lavelle Morgan (2-4) will be on the mound for Coastal Bend in the series opener; Jackson is expected to counter with righty Kevin Kuklis (0-2).

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