Aviators Free Fall Continues with Doubleheader Loss
Their bats in a deep freeze, the Aviators have now lost a dozen straight. After Monday's rainout, Coastal Bend had hoped to gain ground on the division-leading Cats when the teams played two seven inning games Tuesday evening. Instead, they were shut out by scores of 4-0 and 2-0 to fall nine games off the pace in the American Association's South Division.
In the first game Derrick van Dusen and Beau Hintz both pitched well. Unfortunately for Van Dusen, he got no run support and his defense committed a couple errors behind him. With two out in the first, Carlos Adolfo doubled home Marc Mirizzi for a 1-0 Cats lead. Van Dusen kept it that way until the home half of the fifth. But an error by Grant Richardson on Dallas Christison's grounder to third, a walk to Terrence Green, and a bloop single by Jordan Foster loaded the bases with no one out. Mirizzi then lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Christison and Adolfo hit into a fielder's choice to bring home Green, giving Fort Worth a 3-0 advantage.
The Aviators threatened in the sixth when Phillip Grau reached on an error by Mirizzi and Brian Fryer put down a bunt single to the right of the pitcher's mound. James Lofton stepped to the plate looking to bring the Aviators back but grounded sharply to third. Terrence Green stepped on the bag and threw to second for a double play. Richardson drew a two out walk to again put two men on before Bryon Smith grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Cats added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Christison and the Aviators went down in order to end the game.
In game two, it was more of the same for Coastal Bend. They managed only 2 hits off Cats starter Lee Gwaltney, who faced only one man over the minimum.
Fort Worth got a run in the first when Green singled, stole second, advanced on a groundout, and scored on Mirizzi's second sacrifice fly of the doubleheader. In the fourth Adolfo drew a walk, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored when Alan Moye grounded to third. That was all Fort Worth needed for a 2-0 win, because unlike game one, the Aviators never threatened the rest of the way. Gwaltney recorded the next twelve outs without allowing a runner to reach second base, and in the combined 14 innings of the doubleheader, the Aviators did not have a man reach third base.
Coastal Bend's record now stands at 5-13. Game three of the series will feature Kevin Hull (5-5) against Nick Martin (4-4), beginning with first pitch at 7:05pm. The game can be heard locally on KOPY 1070 AM and online.
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