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Aviators Drop First of Three to Explorers, 3-0

June 9, 2007 - American Association (AA) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

Coastal Bend hit into 3 double plays and suffered their first shutout of the season, losing 3-0 to drop the first of a three game set at Sioux City. Explorers pitcher Rafael Gross went seven strong innings scattering seven hits in his first appearance since returning from the disabled list. Coastal Bend's Tim Haines pitched well in his just his second start of the year, lasting six innings and allowing just 1 run on 5 hits.

While each team finished the game with seven hits, it was Sioux City's ability to capitalize with men on base that was the difference in the ballgame. The Aviators put the leadoff man aboard in 3 of the first 5 innings but could not score thanks in large part to 2 ground ball double plays turned by the Explorers defense. In the second inning the Explorers strung together threes straight singles off Haines to take a 1-0 lead.

The score remained unchanged until the bottom of the seventh. With reliever Miguel Martinez on the mound for Coastal Bend, Sioux City centerfielder Jason Tuttle singled to left center and shortstop Nick McCoola walked. A double steal moved the runners to second and third in advance of Julian Benevidez's single to center that scored 2 and padded Sioux City's lead to 3-0.

Relievers Jon Koch and Rory James pitched the eighth and ninth innings for the Explorers, dispatching the Aviators 1-2-3. With the victory Gross improves to 2-1. Haines falls to 0-2 with the loss. Game two of the series will see lefty Derrick Van Dusen (3-2, 5.17 ERA) on the mound for Coastal Bend. He'll be opposed by righty Ty Marotz (2-2, 3.82 ERA) who'll get the nod for Sioux City. First pitch is at 7:05pm and can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM and online.

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